Steve McQueen fans will be pleased to know one of his most iconic chase-sequence vehicles has now been saved from the scrapheap.
It’s been 50 years since anyone had a good idea of where the iconic Ford Mustang from Steve McQueen’s Bullitt was, but it might have shown up in a rather unlikely place. A Ford expert claims that it’s now been recovered after spending years in a Mexicali junkyard.
Originally picked up by Hugo Sanchez from a scrap yard in the capital of Baja California, the then white-bodied Ford Mustang was not in great shape. Its drivetrain was long gone and it had seemingly had a tough life even after being used as one of the two stunt cars in the original Bullitt movie.
However, Sanchez had no idea of its storied past at that point and planned instead to turn it into a replica of the “Eleanor” Mustang from the film Gone in 60 Seconds. As Fox News explains, though, once he learned of its potential history, that plan was put on hold.
Along with his friend, Ralph Garcia, Sanchez contacted Marti Auto Works, which maintains the historical records of every Ford built between 1967 and 2012. Owner, Kevin Marti is convinced that based on on the vehicle’s identification number and the green paint job still visible beneath several successive layers of paint, that it is one of the original Bullitt vehicles used in the filming of the movie.
Indeed some of the modifications made to the vehicle for filming are still there, including strut tower reinforcements and holes drilled for auxiliary power cables in the trunk. The only downside to this find is that it’s had its rear axle replaced with one from a 1967 Mustang, so it’s not entirely original.
Garcia and Sanchez have since begun a renovation of the vehicle, giving it a brand new coat of paint and a replica license place. Taking input from experts at Ford, the pair hope to turn back the clock and bring it as close to its original look in the movie as possible.
With the 50th anniversary of Bullitt taking place next year, there’s no doubt that promotional opportunities will arise. The pair, who co-own the vehicle, are also said to have had many offers to sell it, but so far they have held fast and plan to continue the renovation themselves.
The question now turns to the whereabouts and state of the second car, which was last seen more than two decades ago as part of a private collection.