Old School Americana & Nostalgia

Cars

Where is Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’ Mustang Now?

Where is Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’ Mustang Now?

Steve McQueen’s legendary green 1968 Mustang in Bullitt raised the bar for the epitome of automotive coolness in cinema. Not only was the Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback cool as ice, but the heart-pounding car chase scenes in Bullitt truly let it flex its muscle. McQueen himself got behind the wheel for some of the film’s unforgettable car stunts.

Of course, legendary Hollywood stunt driver Bud Ekins did the heavy lifting with the trickier movies. However, after getting put through the paces, whatever happened to the Mustang?

According to the American Car Museum, two Mustang GT 390s underwent modifications for the production of Bullitt. These modifications included a sleek dark Highland Green paint scheme, the absence of exterior badges, scoops, or spoilers, and a black-mesh grille without Ford’s iconic pony badging. Out of the two, only one remains in existence today.

Following filming, the Mustang found a new owner in a Warner Brothers employee, and subsequently, it came into the possession of a New Jersey police detective. In 1974, the detective sold it for $6,000 to Robert Kiernan of Madison, New Jersey, who cherished the car until his passing in 2014.

Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’ Mustang Sat Untouched for 40 Years…

Kiernan turned down several offers for the car, rumored to include one from McQueen himself. Instead, he decided to pass it down to his son, Sean. Sean Kiernan mentioned that his mother had been driving the car until the clutch failed in 1980. After that incident, the car remained undriven for almost 40 years, accumulating only 65,000 miles on the odometer.

Kiernan eventually recommissioned the iconic car, allowing it to be displayed at car shows and auto museums. Despite the car being drivable once more, the decision was made to refrain from making any cosmetic modifications. Currently, the unrestored muscle car possesses a rugged appearance, with its “highland green” paint exhibiting signs of rust and the black upholstery showing signs of wear and tear.

However, Sean Kiernan didn’t hang on to the vehicle as diligently as his father did. In 2020, the 1968 Ford Mustang GT from Steve McQueen’s Bullitt was successfully auctioned in Florida through Mecum Auctions. It fetched an impressive $3.4 million.

According to David Morton, the marketing manager for the auction house in Kissimmee, near Orlando, it marked a historic moment as the highest price ever recorded for a Ford Mustang at an auction. The winner of the auction was not publicly named, according to Reuters.