A car that was at the center of what may be the most famous car chase in movie history — the 1968 Mustang GT fastback driven by Steve McQueen in the ’68 action pic “Bullitt” — has turned up in a Mexican scrapyard.
The car, which pursues a 1968 Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco in the movie, was lost soon after filming ended in 1968, and has been missing for almost 50 years. McQueen himself reportedly tried in vain to locate the Mustang to buy it for his private collection.
Now the car — one of two used in the production — has reportedly been found, and The Los Angeles Times reports that noted Ford evaluator Kevin Marti says it’s the real deal.
A pair of car restorers, Ralph Garcia Jr. and Hugo Sanchez, found the Mustang in a scrapyard in Baja California, according to the report, and have been bringing it back to life at Garcia’s shop in Mexicali.
“Marti said there were two identical cars used in the filming of ‘Bullitt,’ a ‘hero’ car that was used for the casual driving scenes, and a ‘jumper’ car that was used for the dramatic chases, some of which involve airborne launches,” the Times notes.
“This is the jumper,” said Marti, who traveled to Mexicali to inspect the car and verified it using the VIN number and documents from the filming, along with alterations to the car’s suspension.
Here’s a clip of McQueen and the Mustang in action, from “Bullitt” …