Today it’s #ModMonday, a good day for talking about Mustangs. As luck would have it, I just happened to find a copy of the movie “Bullitt” at the library today. This is the Steve McQueen classic with what many consider the most famous car chase scene of all time, which takes place through the streets of San Francisco. Its fame is such that whenever HOT RODmagazine seems to have flagging sales, all they need to do is include another story with cool photos from “The Chase,” and every Baby Boomer car guy in the country peels a few bucks out of his wallet.
McQueen (Frank Bullitt) is driving a forest-green 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback that has been modified for maximum performance. The bad guys are in a blue ’68 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum. In fact, there are a whole host of muscle cars flailing about Frisco’s wild contours and narrow streets.
The film is made especially famous by all the mythology around the production. Steve McQueen insisted on driving himself, foregoing the use of a stunt man. But after crashing into a parked car on one take, his wife finally got her way and Bud Ekins, one of Hollywood’s top stunt drivers, replaced McQueen for some of the shooting. (Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought he’d done it all.) It had to have been fun, though. The cars were supposed to be shot running 75-80 mph, but you know how things go when the adrenalin is pumping. At times these cars exceeded 110 mph.
Interestingly enough, even though “Bullitt” produced the most memorable chase in a ’60s ‘Stang, it was not the first Hollywood flick featuring a Mustang in a chase scene. James Bond’s memorable cars were so over-the-top, we may not remember the lesser four-wheel stars. Nevertheless, one movie car featured in a Bond flick was a cream-colored early Mustang in the film “Goldfinger.” Here’s a scene you don’t see every day.
The movies, of course, are entertaining fictional, temporary diversions. This year AMSOIL is giving away a modifed 1972 Mustang Mach 1 to some lucky person who will hopefully experience a real-life ongoing excursion. If you like cars and you’re eligible, be sure to enter our Devoted To Protection™ Sweepstakes.