You can buy the Bullitt that McQueen couldn't

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Steve McQueen couldn’t buy the Mustang he drove in the movie “Bullitt,” but now you can.

 Bullitt Mustang Being Revealed at Mecum Auctions in Monterey. Photo - Mecum Auctions

Bullitt Mustang Being Revealed at Mecum Auctions in Monterey. Photo - Mecum Auctions

Mecum announced on Aug. 14 at its Monterey auction that it would offer the “hero” 1968 Mustang GT from the motion picture “Bullitt” at its 2020 Kissimmee (Fla.) sale, to be held Jan. 2-12.

The famous Highland Green Mustang GT that Mecum will offer is one of two used in the film, both of which recently emerged after decades in hiding. Of the two, the “hero” car to be offered at Mecum is an incredible survivor, remaining in very well-preserved and authentic condition. As also reported in Old Cars, the other Highland Green Mustang GT was the stunt car and was found shortly after the hero car in Mexico stripped and in derelict condition.

 Dana Mecum and Sean Kiernan Address the Crowd at Mecum Auctions in Monterey. Photo - Mecum Auctions

Dana Mecum and Sean Kiernan Address the Crowd at Mecum Auctions in Monterey. Photo - Mecum Auctions

In the years after the film, McQueen repeatedly tried via U.S. mail to buy the hero Mustang GT he drove while portraying Frank Bullitt in several scenes in “Bullitt,” including in the film’s exceptionally famous, landmark car chase scene. The private individual who just happened to buy the Mustang GT as a used car after filming turned down request after request by McQueen to buy the car.

The Mustang GT hero car is now in the hands of that buyer’s family, who took the car out of hiding and into the spotlight at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car has since been shown across the country at select events with much fanfare.

In an Aug., 14 post on social media, Sean Kiernan wrote: “Through a lot of conversation and prayer my family and I have decided to sell our car, the 1968 Mustang GT fastback known as Bullitt. I can promise that we have thought this through together and decided that this is the best decision for the family.

 Original 1968 Mustang '559 from the Movie Bullitt Photo Courtesy of Historic Vehicle Association

Original 1968 Mustang '559 from the Movie Bullitt Photo Courtesy of Historic Vehicle Association

“Bullitt has been part of my family for 45 years and we have celebrated her in the grandest way possible, and now it will have a new role and new meaning to the future owner.”

The timing of the car’s sale comes more than 50 years after the 1968 film hit the big screen. The number of people who saw “Bullitt” in theaters is slowly being outnumbered by car enthusiasts who only saw it on the small screen, if at all.

Mecum Kissimmee is touted as the “world’s largest collector car auction.” In the months leading up to the auction, the Bullitt Mustang will be displayed at additional events such as Charlotte AutoFair, Mecum Dallas auction, SEMA and MCACN. Learn more at Mecum.com

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