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Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’ Mustang GT Sets Auction Record

The 1968 classic film Bullitt featured American actor Steve McQueen driving a cool-looking ‘muscle’ car. He even used it in a scene that is now considered one of the greatest car chase scenes in film history. It is easily the most famous movie car of all time. However, the movie car now has another title.

The Costliest Muscle car

Considered to be the most famous among all movie cars ever shown on the silver screen, the Ford Mustang GT car from the 1968 film ‘Bullitt’, has a new owner now after a very high-profile sale as in 2020, it became the most expensive muscle vehicle ever sold at an auction. Though anticipated, the actual bidding was very intense at Florida’s Mecum Kissimmee auction, with huge publicity build-up and much speculation in advance about the final bids. The closing price was amazing at $3.4 million. The no reserve auction floor-price set was at a nominal $3,500, the amount paid for the car in the 1970s; but bids climbed rapidly, with a $1 million bid coming within seconds. The Highland Green 1968 Mustang GT used as an elegant prop in Bullitt became the most expensive Mustang of all time after beating the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 “Super Snake” sold for $2.2 million in 2019.

 Amazing Handling and Power

One of two cars that appeared in the film four decades ago, this Mustang GT, was sold to a private collector, after filming ceased. Since then, the car dropped from the public gaze and remained a mystery. But in an amazing twist of events, the muscle car surfaced at the Ford press preview in Detroit, during the 2018 North American International Auto Show. It’s today the most expensive Mustang of all time.

It turns out that Sean Kiernan had inherited the car from Bob Kiernan, his father. Kiernan Senior had purchased the car in 1974 as a replacement for his family’s vehicle, which was an MGB/GT. According to Kiernan Jr., movie cars were no big deal, so they just casually used this Bullitt Mustang for regular commuting. His father liked that it had been used for the film, but the major selling point was the vehicle’s amazing power and ease of handling. While in their keep, the Kiernan family used the Bullitt Mustang for regular daily-driving duties over the years and finally parked it in their garage until Sean revealed it to the world. Sean Kiernan and his family had owned the Bullitt Mustang from 1974 until it was auctioned off in 2020.

Who is the Mysterious new Owner?

The new owner remains a mystery and according to Sean, the only person who knows the identity of the new owner who made the winning auction bid, is a guy named Frank. No, it’s not McQueen’s character, named Frank Bullitt. It’s Frank Mecum of Mecum Auctions and the car was sold at Mecum’s famed annual car auction held in Kissimmee in January 2020. The excitement during the auction that only lasted for 11 minutes was incredible with Sean comparing it to a rock concert. He was so mesmerized by the 7000 people crowd that he was unable to pay attention during the bidding. To honor Sean’s dad, the bidding started at $3,500, the purchase price Bob paid in 1974.

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