One of if not the most iconic cars in all of Cinema was spotted at SEMA 2018 at the Shell “Pioneering Performance” Pavilion. The actual 1968 Highland Green Mustang from the “Bullitt” that legendary Steve McQueen drove has been known to some as the holy grail of cars. There were countless myths and rumors of whatever happened to it but recently the truth came to light. Sean Kiernan, the owner of the Bullitt Mustang, discussed the rumors on the Shell “Pioneering Performance” Live Stage.
At the ripe age just 26 years of age, Sean’s father (Bob) purchased the car from an ad run in the October 1974 issue of Road & Track magazine placed by a New Jersey detective. Bob Kiernan was the only person that ever called about that ad (queue faint). This was the family car! Sean’s mom (Robbie) even drove the car to a parish every day where she taught third grade. Yes, you heard that right. The actual Bullitt car was driven by Steve McQueen, then a New Jersey Detective, then the most badass third-grade teacher OF ALL TIME.
Even though the great Steve McQueen wanted the car back and tracked “Bullitt” back to the Kiernan’s, they were unable to let the car go. It became a family member. Sean and Bob turned that iconic movie car into a father-son project to end all father-son projects. They got to work on the coolest car in the world for years, even though they didn’t make much headway (who does?) they shared countless memories that ultimately added to the cars history.
“The 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback is associated with one of the most epic stars in film history and an automotive chase scene that helped propel McQueen to perpetual stardom. From our vantage point, it is among the most important automotive artifacts of the twentieth century,” said Mark Gessler, President of the Historic Vehicle Association.
The HVA’s historic documentation program of the 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback (“Bullitt”) has been underwritten in part through the generous support of Shell and Pennzoil.
“There are certain projects that are truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and there’s no doubt that the return of the “Bullitt” is the perfect example of that. The car and the chase scene became part of the American automotive folklore and we were, of course, excited to help present this extraordinary example of our automotive heritage to as many enthusiasts as possible,” said Mark Henry, North America Marketing Manager, Shell Lubricants. “The cultural impact of the “Bullitt” simply can’t be understated and we’re proud of the role Shell played in helping shape this truly unique American cultural heritage.”