Approaching three decades since his death, Steve McQueen remains the “King of Cool,” most notably when it involves cars, motorcycles and high speeds. The latest homage to McQueen will occur Nov. 16-25 when Ford Motor Company introduces a special edition Mustang to honor the 1968 vehicle McQueen drove in the movie Bullitt.
The new vehicle will be available in black and in dark highland green, similar to the color of the Mustang used in the movie. Seven years ago, Ford manufactured its first McQueen commemorative Mustang.
In the film, McQueen played Lt. Frank Bullitt and he often drove around the hilly streets of San Francisco in the Mustang and at excessive speeds. The climactic chase scene in the film is often cited as the greatest chase scene in film history.
The 2008 Mustang Bullitt will be powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine tuned to deliver 315 horsepower, 15 hp more than the regular V8 Mustang. It will also have suspension, chassis and brake upgrades for improved handling. Ford plans to begin production on the vehicle early 2008, and its will be limited to 7,700 and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price will be $31,075.
The first Mustang Bullitt was produced for the 2001 model year. The cars were available in Dark Highland Green, blue and black and a total 5,582 were sold, according to “Mustang Special Editions,” by Brad Bowling and Jerry Heasley.
Earlier this year, at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso, ordered new by McQueen’s wife at the time (he had three) sold at auction for $2.31 million. And in 2006, the 1937 Crocker motorcycle McQueen owned sold for a record $276,500.
McQueen, who owned several additional rare sports cars and more than 100 motorcycles, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1971 while driving a Husqvarna.
McQueen died at the age of 50 on November 7, 1980, in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico of a heart attack following surgery to remove or reduce a metastatic tumor in his lung. He had been diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 1979.
Article Last Updated: November 12, 2007.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.