Barely 24 hours after Ford unveiled the new 2019 Mustang Bullitt – not to mention dropping a Bullitt bomb by bringing the original movie car out of hiding – Jay Leno is already taking hot laps in both. Actually, we’re pretty sure those laps occurred some time ago considering the amount of green grass and obvious lack of snow shown in the clip, which was clearly shot at Ford’s proving grounds in Dearborn, Michigan. Being a very rich and famous car guy does have its perks.
The video doesn’t necessarily tell us anything that we haven’t already heard from Ford on both the new Mustang and the original. Leno climbs into the passenger seat initially but the clip then jumps to him behind the wheel, chatting with the car’s owner, Sean Kiernan. It was his father that bought the original Bullitt back in 1974 and used it as a daily driver for several years. The cool part – the prior owner was a police detective from New Jersey named Frank. If you've seen the actual movie and not just the chase scene, you'll know how awesome that is.
Steve McQueen tried to buy the car back from the Kiernans, but that deal was turned down twice. The car was parked in 1981 after accumulating upwards of 65,000 total miles; that’s where it stayed and it eventually slipped into obscurity until very recently – as in the last 24 freaking hours.
When Sean’s father passed away in 2014, he decided to bring the car back to running condition while preserving it as it had been during its time as the Kiernan daily driver. Obviously a few other people were in the know on the car, culminating with the big reveal that just went down – a reveal that included McQueen’s granddaughter Molly.
Leno’s video isn’t groundbreaking, but it does give us the opportunity to see and hear both cars in action. That would be welcome enough, but considering this could be the most famous movie car of all time – backed by a truly fascinating story – that makes the clip even better.
Source: Jay Leno’s Garage via YouTube