Skip to comments.This Mustang is No. 1 with a ‘Bullitt’
Posted on 09/09/2020 11:37:37 PM PDT by nickcarraway
There were a few movies in 1968 that prominently featured cars.
Two of them were family films: The Love Bug, a Disney comedy about a Volkswagen Beetle race car that had a mind of its own, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, featuring Dick Van Dyke and a Roald Dahl screenplay based on the Ian Fleming novel about a broken-down Grand Prix from the early 1900s that, given some TLC, is able to fly.
And then there was Bullitt. Rated M (equivalent to PG today), its about a car a 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback 2+2 in Highland Green with the 335 horsepower, 390 cubic-inch Thunderbird Special V8 and a four-speed manual transmission stock engine with a set of American Racing mag wheels and a white cue-ball shifter added (badges removed). It also flew, but only because Steve McQueen was at the wheel, chasing a couple of bad guys all over San Francisco.
How well does Bullitt resonate 52 years later? Well, the family of the man who bought one of the two identical Mustangs used in the movie the only one still fully intact for $3,500 in 1974 sold it at auction last January for $3.4 million. On a retail level, Ford has found Bullitt to be a profitable association twice before. The first time was 2001, when it took a Mustang GT and nudged the horsepower from 260 to 265, painted it dark green and gave it a cue-ball shifter and some wheels that looked kind of like the movie cars. I drove one at the time; it was OK. That generation of Mustang looked nothing like a 1968; the proportions were wrong, and the performance was not noticeably better than a regular Mustang GT.
SINISTER STYLE The 2005 redesign of the Mustang changed everything, and made the 2008-2009 Ford Mustang Bullitt a lot more convincing especially given that 315 horsepower was now on tap.
I think McQueen would approve of the current version, which debuted last year and will only be available through 2020. It is easily the meanest-looking since 1968, so the Dark Highland Green (it also comes in black) and the black wheels make it look positively sinister.
For the first time, this one also packs more horsepower than McQueen had to play with. The 5.0-liter V8 is good for 480 horsepower 20 more than a non-Bullitt Mustang GT. Thank the throttle bodies and intake manifold from the 526-horsepower Mustang Shelby GT 350 for that jump. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy average is fairly sobering: 14 mpg city, 23 highway. Your mileage may vary, and if you drive it like you really, deep down want to drive it, your mileage will be worse.
Other performance-enhancing standard equipment includes Brembo brakes, an active valve performance exhaust system with quad-tipped dual exhaust, a limited-slip rear axle and variable exhaust settings: Quiet (normal), Normal (really loud), Sport (was that an earthquake?) and Track (bring earplugs).
The base price of the 2020 Bullitt is $46,705. The standard equipment includes a 12-inch LCD digital instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, rear-view camera and reverse sensing system, and 8-inch SYNC3 infotainment system, as well as a dash plaque showing your cars number in this limited run of cars.
Our test vehicle also had extra-cost options that included the Bullitt Electronics Package (blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert and upgraded 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system with subwoofer and navigation) for $2,100 and the MagneRide damping system for $1,695.
With those options, a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax and $1,095 destination and delivery charges, the as-tested price is $52,595.
For the level of performance and features, its a relative bargain. And on top of that, its a limited edition; maybe 5,000 will be made for the entire two-year run. (Its being replaced by a revival of the Mustang Mach 1 for 2021.) Just dont expect to get $3.4 million for yours 52 years from now.
Mike Hagerty is vice president of membership for Western Automotive Journalists (waj.org). He has been writing about cars since 1997. Read more of his reviews at MikeHagertyCars.com and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/mikehagertycars) and Facebook (facebook.com/mikehagertywritesaboutcars).
But I’ll be with my Challenger for at least a few more years.
Made some changes to the exhaust system to add another 50ish in HP
Thing is LOUD.
I should grow up!!!
Darn, it’s only $52,595 out of my price range.
This week I did get a (scale) replica of the Bullitt car, though. By coincidence.
I can lend you $5, if you can find the rest.
I saw the model car online last week and thought it would go well with my (scale) 1967 Mustang fastback (that I bought in a gas station). Same gas station where I filled up my SUV the morning of 9/11, expecting long gas lines later that day.
OK, now I only have to come up with $53,000 (so you can get your $5 back). Plus local sales taxes, property taxes, insurance.
Shoot, I might as well buy a 68-70 Dodge Charger too. Maybe a few of them.
Man, I miss the 1970’s.
“...a 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback 2+2 in Highland Green with the 335 horsepower, 390 cubic-inch Thunderbird Special V8 and a four-speed manual transmission stock engine with a set of American Racing mag wheels and a white cue-ball shifter....”
And seven hubcabs.
“Shoot, I might as well buy a 68-70 Dodge Charger too. Maybe a few of them.”
Who are you, Jay Leno?
[Who are you, Jay Leno?]
I’d have to be. I’d have 200 cars if I was allowed to.
And I’d need a place to store them all. And money to keep them going and insured.
I’ll just have to settle for being poor. LOL
It’s nice to dream though, isn’t it! Me, I keep hoping for that perfect car but my requirements keep changing.
My favorites are from the 1960’s through the 1970’s. Plus more than a couple after that.
Seen many in my area I would like to have purchased the last few years.
I’d just get myself into even more trouble if I had such money, I’m sure.
So I have to settle for 1/24 model cars right now. It’s all good.
There IS a Bullitt car close by. I see it sometimes on days when the wx is perfect. There’s also a very active muscle car club in the area as well.
Making a house payment when buying a car is norm these days. It’s idiocy to me.
I’ll continue to stick with my 55K miles 2014 Regal GS and the aftermarkets I have on it. I love eating the neighborhood Cobra’s with it...
Oh right. I was looking to see how many hubcaps but I couldn’t find a definite answer. 7 or 8. (Including 3 all at once as it crashes into the gas station!)
Your still photo shows a VW beetle. I don’t know if that is the same one that keeps showing up in various scenes during the chase.
An aside. I was watching old “Rockford Files” on DVD and noticed a T-bird(?) convertible in numerous episodes - usually parked outside of a nice home or fancy restaurant. Googled it - turns out it belonged to the director/producer or something of the show.
Worked my way to your post reminiscing.
Very much appreciate the necessary levity — lol.
I can’t afford it, but $52K isn’t outrageous for a car like that relative to other vehicles. You can pay $52K for a pickup truck these days. With a 480hp engine and a 6-speed manual transmission, those rear tires aren’t going too last long.
If that has a 5.7 with the eco-crap?
Take the eco-crap off the computer or there is a good chance you’ll bend a rod. Did it in my Chrysler 300. Lucky I had a power train warranty.
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