Mustang of the Day: ‘Bullitt’ 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback
Counting Down to the 50th Anniversary
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.
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.)
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.
Check out the 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT fastback in action in the complete movie clip below:
- Timothy MooreManaging Editor
Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.