Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’ Ford Mustang to be auctioned, likely for millions

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It was one of many largest mysteries in each Hollywood and automotive historical past: What occurred to the long-lasting inexperienced Ford Mustang from the Steve McQueen movie “Bullitt”?

There have been truly two automobiles used in the course of the making of the 1968 detective thriller, one for stunts and the opposite for McQueen’s close-ups. The stunt automotive, which was wrecked in the course of the movie’s legendary chase scene, was believed to have been despatched to the scrap heap, whereas the hero automotive was merely bought and disappeared from the general public eye.

Flash ahead to 2017, when a automotive restorer purchased the shell of a Mustang he present in a junkyard in Mexico and introduced it again to his storage. There, he and a colleague found some odd modifications, and analysis confirmed it was the stunt automotive from “Bullitt.” The way it ended up in Mexico stays unknown.

Then, at an occasion the evening earlier than the 2018 Detroit Auto Present, the place Ford was unveiling a brand new “Bullitt” tribute version of the newest Mustang to rejoice the 50th anniversary of the movie, the hero automotive rolled out on stage subsequent to it, stunning these in attendance.

Seems it had been owned by the identical household since 1974, when a person named Robert Kiernan purchased it from a Street and Observe categorized advert for simply $6,000. His spouse used it as a each day driver till the clutch broke in 1980 they usually parked it within the storage with plans to restore it that by no means got here to fruition. Because the automotive sat round deteriorating, its legend began to develop. In time, the Kiernans realized they’d one thing particular, however weren’t prepared for the eye they knew it could get in the event that they went public, so that they stored it secret from all however a number of folks.

Robert died from Parkinson’s in 2014, and for a very long time afterward, his son Sean couldn’t even go into the storage to have a look at the automotive. However with the encouragement of those that knew about it and the anniversary looming, he lastly determined to get it working once more and share it with the world. The in any other case unrestored automotive has been on tour ever since, with stops at automotive reveals, museums and even a show on the Nationwide Mall in Washington, D.C. In the beginning of the journey, Sean by no means dreamed he’d ever promote it, however now he’s had a change of coronary heart and is placing it up for public sale.

“Every little thing I’ve performed with it takes a lot,” he advised Fox Information Autos. “I’ve obtained a child on the way in which, third baby, and it’s time for the subsequent chapter in our lives.”

Sean stated he has thought lengthy and prayed laborious over the choice, and even lent it to LeMay – America’s Automobile Museum in Tacoma, Wash., for a number of months partly to see if he might stay with out it. However in the end, he requested himself “what would dad do?”

“He’d say let it go. It’s value a life-changing sum of money that may safe the longer term for your loved ones.”

Precisely how a lot cash?

Hagerty vice chairman of public relations Jonathan Klinger says his consultants are positive it’ll garner the best worth ever paid for a Mustang, and $5 million wouldn’t shock them. However it might go for way more than that.

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“How do you place a price on a automotive that’s related to Steve McQueen — who is among the few Hollywood celebrities that impacts values of automobiles — but additionally is related to one of many nice automotive chase scenes, was in hiding for almost 4 a long time and is in unrestored situation?”

$22 MILLION DUESENBERG IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE AMERICAN CAR EVER SOLD AT AUCTION

The reply will come on the Mecum Auctions occasion in Kissimmee, Fla., in January, the place the Mustang will cross the block with no reserve. Kiernan stated he’d acquired loads of presents to purchase or dealer it over the previous 12 months and a half, however determined to go together with Mecum for one explicit motive.

“After I met [owner] Dana Mecum, he struck me because the sort of man my dad would’ve needed to speak automobiles with over a beer.”

When it is throughout, Sean will nonetheless have a inexperienced Mustang in his storage. As a part of the thanks for serving to it out in Detroit, Ford gave him the second 2019 Mustang GT Bullitt off the road.

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