McQueen's '68 "Bullitt" Mustang Tribute Build
Any list of top car movies is incomplete without the chart-topping Bullitt, best known for its pulse racing chase sequence that featured Steve McQueen behind the wheel of a 1968 Ford Mustang. In addition to setting a high cinematic precedent, the movie prompted Ford to build a 2001 Ford Bullitt Mustang and a 2008 reinterpretation as well. Both were special cars in their own right, but this one-off Bullitt might just be the next best thing to the movie. Back in 2011, Bud Brutsman (producer of Overhaulin’) set to work building a tribute car for Chad McQueen, son of Steve McQueen, for an episode of Celebrity Rides. The plan? Build an authentic-looking 1968 Mustang with all the performance and advancements available from modern components. Parts for the project were sourced from YearOne, and Gateway Classic Mustang handled the build.
RELATED: See Photos of the 1968 ford Mustang Bullit Fastback
A reproduction ’67 fastback body shell came courtesy from Dynacorn, preferred for its stronger steel and improved shock tower braces. Gateway set to work on applying accurate ’68 side scoops before bathing the body in DuPont Highland Green paint. Authentic trim found its way onto the car, including the front bumper, grille surround, as well as in the interior woodgrain highlights. Purists might gawk but the Bullitt now sports an amp, speakers, and subwoofers – carefully hidden of course.
Flip open the hood and you’ll find a Ford Racing 347 crate engine pushed to 450-horsepower. Gateway bumped the output with upgraded aluminum cylinder heads, a high-flow aluminum intake, Holley four-barrel carburetor, and straight pipe exhaust. Power is sent to the Ford nine-inch rear axle through a T-45 five-speed manual box.
RELATED: See Photos of the 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt
To give this Bullitt tribute all the composure and performance of a late-model, Gateway overhauled the suspension and brakes. The front features sporty RRS coilovers paired with larger brake discs and dual-piston calipers, while in the back the Bullitt utilizes a three-link assembly. Tasteful American Racing wheels are wrapped in BF Goodrich G-Force rubber.
It might not be the original, but who wouldn’t want to drive around town pretending to be Steve McQueen. The Bullitt sold earlier this year at Bonhams’ Scottsdale Auction for a respectable $88,000.