Original 1968 “Bullitt” Mustang is Up For Auction

By mporter on January 9, 2020
Sean Kiernan’s 1968 Bullitt Mustang was featured in one of the most famous chase scenes ever filmed. (Photo by Mecum Auctions)

By: Madeleine Porter

Dusty and rusty perfectly describe what could be the most valuable car to ever be on the market. Famous in cinematic history for the most high-intensity car chase to be recorded, the 1968 Mustang GT Fastback is finally out of hiding and making headlines. 

The word “unique” doesn’t even begin to cover the life of this Mustang. Before it was kept under wraps with owner Robert Kiernan in 1974, the car debuted in the 1968 film “Bullitt”, where it was raced by Steve McQueen. 

It went on to be driven by Warner Bros employee Robert Ross who eventually sold it to detective Frank Marranca in 1970, which farmer Kiernan bought for $6,000 as a family car in 1974. With each passing year the car was seen substantially less and people began to question its existence. 

In 1977, McQueen wrote a letter to Kiernan stating the car had personal meaning to him. He even offered to buy Kiernan the same type of car, but Kiernan refused. Their only agreement was to keep the car as restored as possible. 

American actor Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980) as Frank Bullit next to a Ford Mustang (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/ Getty Images)

After Kiernan’s passing in 2014, his son Sean Kiernan took over ownership and has since been touring with the ‘68 Mustang. It even got the attention of the National Historic Vehicle Register and is the 21st car to be added. 

The “Bullitt” Mustang is a car that was once thought to be lost in time only to reemerge to remind us of its undeniable cultural significance in automotive history. And just like in 1968, the car is making waves today as experts claim it is valued at over $3 million. But how can you put a price tag on an icon? 

Ready for its next role in life, the Mustang will be auctioned off at the Mecum event in Kissimmee, Florida on Friday, January 10. 

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