‘Mona Lisa of Mustangs,’ Raced in ‘Bullitt,’ Units Public sale Document
The 1968 Ford Mustang GT pushed by Steve McQueen within the legendary chase scene within the film “Bullitt” offered on Friday for $3.74 million.
“It’s a file public sale value for any Mustang ever offered,” stated Dana Mecum, the principal of the public sale home, Mecum Auctions, that offered the automobile. “It’s the Mona Lisa of Mustangs.” The value was about 25 % larger than even his pre-sale estimate, Mr. Mecum stated, which he had thought-about considerably optimistic.
The reply from the vendor, Sean Kiernan, a Kentucky horse farmer, was much more succinct: “Holy smokes!”
His household purchased the automobile in 1974 for $3,500 in response to a labeled advert in Street & Observe journal. “This has been in my household for 45 years. It’s solely been offered twice earlier than — for $3,500 every time it’s offered. That’s what my dad purchased it for, in order that’s what we began the public sale off at. And it went from there.”
On the public sale occasion, in Kissimmee, Fla., Mr. Kiernan was providing the all authentic, rusty, banged-up Highland Inexperienced fastback on the market with no reserve. If that appeared like a chance, the issues had been quickly dispelled. Bidding shortly climbed to $2.5 million, then slowly after that to its ultimate “hammer” value of $3.four million. Gross sales commissions and different charges introduced the ultimate complete to $3.74 million — the official sale value, Mr. Mecum stated.
Three phone bidders slugged it out for the fitting to personal arguably essentially the most iconic Mustang of all time. The winner’s id was not disclosed — typical of such auctions. Mr. Mecum stated he had no thought what the brand new proprietor supposed to do with the automobile. Mr. Kiernan stated he was unconcerned with what occurs subsequent to his household’s beloved grocery-getter.
“I really feel actually good,” he added. “It topped each expectation I had for it. That will likely be a quantity that will likely be within the file books for a very long time.”
McQueen himself, together with three skilled stuntmen, had piloted the automobile within the 10-minute chase sequence by the hilly streets of San Francisco. McQueen crunched the left entrance fender when he plowed, unscripted, right into a parked automobile throughout filming. The fender nonetheless bears the scars.
Mr. Kiernan’s father, Bob, fortunately purchased the automobile with all its dings and dents after the film wrapped. “He simply needed a ’68 fastback,” Mr. Kiernan stated.
It nonetheless featured a spate of efficiency modifications that McQueen had commissioned, to assist its 390-cubic-inch V8 sustain with a extra highly effective 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 that it dueled with within the chase.
McQueen, who died of most cancers in 1980, tried to purchase again the automobile in 1977, when he tracked down Mr. Kiernan’s father. Regardless of a pleading private letter from McQueen, the household retained it and used it as an around-town errand-runner till its clutch gave out a couple of years later. It had largely been in storage, and out of public view, since then.
Its latest “discovery” had set off a groundswell of curiosity within the amassing automobile world. Ford Motor Firm had proudly put the automobile on show the previous 12 months or so, alongside fashionable “Bullitt Mustang” homage fashions it had produced, that had been impressed by the unique.