Long-Lost ’68 Ford Mustang Bullitt Stunt Car Found in Mexico

Famous movie car was thought to have been crushed

The legend has been the same for decades: There were two 1968 Ford Mustang GT fastbacks provided by the Blue Oval as stunt cars in 1968’s Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen. Both were Highland Green with aftermarket Cragar wheels, equipped with howling S-code 390s and four-speeds — though sometimes a 289 was claimed to be the nimble jump car’s motivator — and both were modified by Hollywood car builder Max Balchowsky to fit the interior movie lighting and cameras while also upgrading the chassis and suspension for the those famous jumps through the streets of San Francisco. After filming, the lesser-damaged Mustang was sold to a Warner Brothers employee named Robert Ross, who sold it to a now-retired New Jersey detective named Frank Marranca (coincidentally, “Frank Bullitt” was McQueen’s detective character), who then sold it in 1974 to the anonymous current owner that allegedly hid it in a Kentucky Barn — and the second stunt car, the one that folds the front suspension at the end of the chase scene, was allegedly so heavily damaged during filming that it was crushed. Despite letters from McQueen attempting to buy what was thought to be the last surviving car from the mysterious third owner in 1977 (before his death in 1980), it was assumed that the story ended there — as heartbreaking of a conclusion as one could imagine for the legacy of both the actor and film.

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