The 390 cubic-inch 1968 Ford Mustang GT made famous by a very good car chase scene in Steve McQueen’s not very good detective film Bullitt was sold Friday by Mecum auctions in Kissimmee, Fla. for a massive $3.74 million. Before the auction the rumors in the room claimed the car would hit as high as $5 million, but as bidding crested the 3 mil mark about 5 minutes after the car rolled onto the dais, parties lost interest.
I remember hearing the stories about this car. That the owner had purchased the car for just $3500 from a newspaper ad. That Steve McQueen himself had tried to purchase the car back from the owner and he absolutely refused. Rumors that it had been exported to Mexico at some point before being lost to history. In reality it was just stored until the owner passed away and left it to his son in 2014. It resurfaced a couple of years ago and the excitement surround the car was practically palpable.
I grew up a Mustang kid and for a hot minute everything Steve McQueen was mind blowingly awesome. I got a 68 Mustang GT Fastback, admittedly it didn’t have a 390, in part because of this movie. This still amazes me with how dumb it is to spend that kind of money on what amounts to a neat story attached to a $20,000 car.
If you’re interested in watching the bidding frenzy, it’s right here. How soon a fool and his money are parted, eh?
I was hoping 2020 would bring news that was less dumb. We’re off to a great start.