Timothy Moore
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Mustang of the Day: ‘Bullitt’ 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

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Counting Down to the 50th Anniversary

1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

Bullit featured cinema’s best car chase, period, and a 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback was the star.

 

The greatest film car chase is not open for debate for most cinephiles; it has long been and forever will be the car chase in the 1968 film, Bullitt, in which Steve McQueen’s character, Frank Bullitt, pursues Bill Hickman as Phil. Hickman drives a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T in the classic chase, but the real star of the screen is the 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT fastback.

1968 Dodge Charger R/ T and 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback in Bullitt

The 1968 Dodge Charger R/T rocketing down a hill

1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

And the 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback in hot pursuit

 

The legendary 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT fastback was powered by a 390-cu.in. V8. Although you can clearly hear double-clutching during the chase, in reality the GT’s four-speed gearbox wouldn’t have a need for it. The producers just used the sound of a GT40’s engine for more of a dramatic effect. The average moviegoer would be none the wiser. (Besides, in a scene in which a Charger with four wheels loses six wheel covers and the chasing cars pass the same green Beetle a number of times, I don’t think the sound of the double-clutching is their biggest issue.)

1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

Another shot of the 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback in pursuit

1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

Steve McQueen behind the wheel

 

Despite minor flaws with the chase, and despite the fact that McQueen reportedly only drove the car for about 10 percent of what we see, the scene is still legendary, as is the Mustang within it. And, as any good car chase should, it ends with a big, fiery explosion.

1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

Because everything’s better with fire.

 

Check out the 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT fastback in action in the complete movie clip below:

  • Timothy MooreContributing Writer

    Timothy Moore takes his leadership inspiration from Michael Scott, his writing inspiration from Mark Twain, and his dancing inspiration from every drunk white guy at a wedding. When Tim is not writing about cars, he’s working on his novel or reading someone else’s, geeking out over strategy board games, hiking with his pooch, or channeling his inner Linda Belcher over beers with his friends. See more articles by Timothy.