In 1968 a Highland Green Mustang GT Fastback running on Torque Thrust alloy wheels with Steve Mcqueen in the drivers seat became one of the motorised film icons of all time when it starred as the pursuit vehicle in a 10 min 53 sec car chase through the streets of San Francisco in the film Bullit. Thanks in no small part to that chase sequence the films editor Frank P Keller won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing.
In 1967 the Mustang was given it’s first face lift with more aggressive styling the Mustang became larger, thanks to a Ford Thunderbird type big block 6.4 litre FE V8 heavier, but now with 320 hp also more powerful.
For 1968 the Mustang gained mandatory side reflectors, the ’67 only brushed steel interior trim was replaced with woodgrain interior trim, 3 point seat belts became standard for the front seats as did seat belt warning and door ajar warning lights. Those last two safety items were way ahead of their time, I did not see those sorts of warning lights on any vehicle at all until I sat inside a brand new Honda while I was working as a car valet at a Honda Dealership during a college break in the summer of 1979.
Unlike Lt Bullit’s Mustang today’s 1968 model is powered by a, then new addition to the Mustang range, 4.9 litre / 302 cui Windsor V8 a motor. The 302 was designed to meet Federal Standards being introduced and would become a regular for the option for mustangs through to the end of third generation Mustang production in 1993.
Although two Mustangs were supplied by Ford Motor Company to the producers of Bullit both cars were debadged of all Mustang lettering logo’s that normally appeared on the model.
If one were foolish enough to steal this Mustang one would be disappointed to find that one could not recreate the double declutching sounds that are a strong aural feature of the Bullit car chase, not only is the motor smaller but this car has an automatic transmission. The Bullit film soundtrack also won an Academy Award.
In the United Kingdom Ford made a promotional film to launch the new Ford Puma in 1997. The film used some of the San Francisco Bullit film sets and edits from the Bullit film to make it look like Steve McQueen, who died in 1980, is driving a Silver Puma, pulling into his garage next to which is parked Lt Bullit’s Highland Green Fastback GT ‘stang, as can be seen in this link.
Thanks for joining me on this “Highland Green 302” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.