10 Cool Facts About Frank’s ’68 Fastback Mustang – Bullitt


Are you a fan of the iconic 1968 movie “Bullitt” and its unforgettable car chases? If so, you’re in for a treat. We’re about to dive into 10 fascinating facts about Frank’s ’68 Fastback Mustang, the star of this cinematic masterpiece. From engine upgrades to the whereabouts of the hero Mustang, this article uncovers the untold secrets behind one of the most famous movie cars of all time.

Fact 1: Double Trouble

In the making of “Bullitt,” not one but two identical Highland Green 1968 Fastback GT Mustangs were acquired for the film. These cars underwent significant modifications to handle the intense stunt driving. One was primed for speed and agility, while the other was designed for impressive jumps, earning it the nickname “the jumper car.”

Fact 2: Menacing Makeover

To give the Mustangs their signature and menacing “Bullitt” appearance, several styling modifications were made. This included blacking out the grille and trim, removing all factory badges and emblems, and fitting them with aftermarket American Racing Torque Thrust wheels with black-painted inner spokes.

Fact 3: Power-Packed Engines

Both Mustangs were equipped with the 390 CI engine, but that wasn’t enough to keep up with the powerful Dodge Charger. To meet this challenge, the engines received various performance upgrades, such as milling the heads, installing a racing carburetor, upgrading to a performance electronic ignition system, and replacing the mufflers with straight pipes.

Fact 4: Built for Stunts

The chassis and drivetrain of the Mustangs received several upgrades too. The stock transmissions were swapped out for sturdier Borg Warner T10s for enhanced durability and top-end speed. Additional improvements included reinforced shock mounts, cross beams, Hellwig stabilizers, heavy-duty shocks, and Coral Springs.

Fact 5: High-Speed Training

To ensure the chase scenes were realistic, Steve McQueen and Bill Hickman, who drove the ’68 Charger, practiced driving side by side at high speeds on closed racetracks. This dedication to realism led to an intense, high-risk driving spectacle, with speeds exceeding 130 miles per hour during filming.

Fact 6: The Bullet Legacy

The ‘Bullet’ Mustang has become so iconic that Ford released special edition Bullet GT Mustangs in 2001, 2008, and 2019, paying tribute to this legendary movie car.

Fact 7: The Junkyard Discovery

The “scrapped” jumper stunt car was rediscovered in a Mexican junkyard in 2017. Restorer Ralph Garcia Jr. unknowingly purchased it with the intent of creating a replica of the ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ car. However, he later realized the historical significance of the Mustang and embarked on a full restoration, which is set to be unveiled to the public soon.

Fact 8: A Hidden Treasure

For nearly 40 years, the whereabouts of the main hero ‘Bullet’ Mustang remained a mystery to the public. Sold in 1974 for $6,000 to Robert Kiermann, he kept the car hidden away, even turning down Steve McQueen’s request to buy it back. The car finally resurfaced when Robert’s son Sean took ownership in 2014.

Fact 9: On Tour

Sean showcased the partially restored ‘Bullet’ Mustang at various locations, including the National Mall in DC and the LeMay America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, before making the tough decision to sell this iconic piece of movie history.

Fact 10: Record-Setting Auction

The ‘Bullet’ Mustang made headlines when it was auctioned in 2020, selling for a staggering $3.74 million to a private buyer, setting a new record for the highest price ever paid for a movie car.

Conclusion

Frank’s ’68 Fastback Mustang from “Bullitt” has left an indelible mark on the world of cinema and car enthusiasts. These 10 cool facts shed light on the untold stories and intriguing history of this iconic vehicle. As we eagerly await its full restoration and public unveiling, the legend of the ‘Bullet’ Mustang lives on.

FAQs

  1. Will the restored ‘Bullet’ Mustang be available for public viewing soon?

    Yes, it’s expected to be ready for public viewing by the end of the year.

  2. How fast did the ‘Bullet’ Mustang reach during filming?

    Speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour were reportedly reached during the chase scene.

  3. What were the modifications made to the Mustang’s appearance?

    Modifications included blacking out the grille and trim, removing all factory badges and emblems, and installing American Racing Torque Thrust wheels.

  4. Are there any special edition Bullet GT Mustangs by Ford?

    Yes, Ford released special edition Bullet GT Mustangs in 2001, 2008, and 2019.

  5. Who owns the ‘Bullet’ Mustang today?

    The ‘Bullet’ Mustang was sold at auction in 2020 to a private buyer for $3.74 million, setting a new record for the highest price ever paid for a movie car.






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