The Ford Mustang GT 390 driven by Steve McQueen in cult classic Bullitt is set to make its first ever appearance outside of the United States at this month's Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The car is one of the most famous and iconic cars from the silver screen. Two were used in the production – a stunt car (serial number ‘558), and another (serial number ‘559) which was driven by McQueen himself. The stunt car was uncovered in Mexico last year, but the hero car has been hidden, presumed lost, for several decades.
However, it wasn't lost. Not quite.
Robert Kiernan bought the car for $6,000 in 1974 ($30,000 in 2018) after noticing an advert in Road & Track magazine. Kiernan's wife Robbie used the car for some time as her daily driver, during that time Steve McQueen managed to track down the car and wrote to the family pleading with them to sell it to him, but they had no interest in parting with the car.
Some time in the 1980s, somebody broke into the barn where the car was stored, photographed the car and took parts from it. From then on the car was locked away at the family's farm in Tennessee in a bid to get rid of any unwanted attention, keeping their ownership of it completely secret for nearly 30 years.
With the launch of the 2018 Bullitt Mustang earlier this year, the Hollywood veteran was brought out of exile by Kiernan's son Sean, and was seen at the Detroit auto show earlier this year – the first time the general public had seen the car in decades. From then on, the car was added to the Historic Cars Register and embarked on a tour across the U.S.
Its upcoming trip to the U.K., where it will run up the Goodwood Hill alongside the 2018 Bullitt Mustang, will be the first time the car has ever been seen outside of America.
The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed will start on Thursday, July 12 and come to an end on Sunday, July 15 at Goodwood House, West Sussex, England.
Gallery: 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt original movie car
LONG-LOST ’68 “BULLITT” MOVIE MUSTANG, NEW FORD MUSTANG BULLITT HEAD FORD LINE-UP AT GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
- Iconic “Bullitt” movie Mustang as driven by Steve McQueen in the Warner Bros. classic to make debut outside U.S. at 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed alongside all-new Ford Mustang BULLITT special edition
- Champion drifter Vaughn Gittins Jr. will pay tribute to America’s World War II RAF fighter pilots with one-off 700 horsepower Eagle Squadron Mustang GT
- Ford Le Mans racers demonstrate ultra-high-performance Ford GT supercar on Hillclimb
- M-Sport Ford Fiesta World Rally Championship car makes Hillclimb and Rally stage debuts
- All-new Ford Focus and EcoSport, Kuga, Edge sport utility vehicle range completes Ford stand line-up
COLOGNE, Germany, June 28, 2018 – The iconic 1968 Ford Mustang GT driven by Steve McQueen in Warner Bros. Pictures’ classic film “Bullitt” – and lost to history until the beginning of this year – will make its first appearance outside of the U.S. at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, U.K., July 12-15.
The car that starred in the Warner Bros. film’s legendary 10-minute chase sequence – setting the standard for every movie car chase to follow – is set to feature on the 1.16-mile (1.9-kilometre) Goodwood Hillclimb course alongside the new special edition Ford Mustang Bullitt, now available to order in Europe and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic film.
One of two identical 1968 Mustang GT fastbacks used in the filming of “Bullitt”, the historic vehicle driven by McQueen resurfaced after more than three decades in storage. To fulfil his family’s lifelong dream, owner, Sean Kiernan, who inherited the car in 2014 from his late father, Robert, contacted Ford and the two parties worked together to reveal his movie star car at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, Detroit, in January. Kiernan is accompanying the car during its European debut at Goodwood.
Another very special Ford Mustang in one-off Eagle Squadron livery has been co-created by Ford Performance and Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s RTR Vehicles to pay tribute at Goodwood to American fighter pilots who served in the Royal Air Force during World War II.
World champion drifter Gittin Jr. will pilot the 700 horsepower Eagle Squadron Mustang GT on the Hillclimb course before the unique sports car is returned to the U.S. to be auctioned at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s largest fundraiser, The Gathering – with proceeds supporting the Association’s youth education programmes. Gittin Jr. also returns to the Hillclimb in his bespoke Mustang RTR drift car.
Visitors to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed can also witness the ultra-high-performance Ford GT supercar perform on the Hillclimb course driven by Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team World Endurance Championship drivers Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell – fresh from competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Making its Hillclimb and Forest Rally Stage debuts, the rally-winning performance of M-Sport Ford Fiesta World Rally Championship car will be demonstrated by M-Sport Ford World Rally Team drivers Sebastien Ogier – five-time winner of the World Rally Drivers' Championship, and Elfyn Evans – former British Rally Championship winner.
In addition to the track and rally stage action, visitors to the Ford stand at Goodwood have the opportunity to discover new models including the all-new Ford Focus and Ford’s comprehensive sport utility vehicle line-up that includes the compact EcoSport, mid-sized Kuga and flagship Edge models.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from Thursday, July 12 to Sunday, July 15 at Goodwood House, West Sussex, England.
For updates on Ford’s activities in the run-up to and during the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed – including the arrival of the iconic original Bullitt Mustang in Europe for the first time – follow www.twitter.com/FordEu and www.youtube.com/fordofeurope. Media releases and further assets will be made available at http://goodwood2018.fordpresskits.com from 09:00 CET, July 11.