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The original ‘Bullitt’ Ford Mustang sold for $3.4m

A few former owners. Celebrity history. Some wear and tear

A Ford Mustang used in a film in 1968 has just sold at auction for $3.4m, making it the most expensive Ford Mustang ever sold. Belief, consider yourself very much suspended.

The auction house in question is Mecum, and the Mustang? The one driven by Steve McQueen in Bullitt; the actual car rigged with cameras and used to do lots of heroic manoeuvres that turned one rather excellently shot and eventful driving sequence into a bit of a cliché. A good cliché, mind.

Time has only enhanced this particular car’s reputation too, especially considering how badly McQueen himself wanted to own it. Straight after the film it was sold to a Warner Bros employee, and then to a detective, and then to a chap named Robert Kiernan who respectfully declined McQueen’s many advances to buy back the Mustang he made famous.

We pit the original Bullitt Mustang against the new one

No, Kiernan drove the thing every day and pretty much loved it. Kiernan and his son Sean started working on moderately restoring it, but unfortunately, health and family duties got in the way. When Robert suddenly passed in 2014, Sean was given a catalyst to finish his father’s work.

Finish it he did: his car was finally unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show alongside the (then) new Bullitt Edition Mustang. Looks like it was worth the investment, one suspects.

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