Steve McQueen, The Real Story, Chase, And The Bullit 68 Mustang GT
Steve McQueen has raised the stature of the Mustang GT more than almost any actor,except maybe the original 1974 Gone In 60 Seconds movie.
With outstanding chase scenes, the movie won an academy award for best editing. The chase scene alone is 10 minutes and 53 seconds of a 390/325 hp 68 Mustang GT, 4 speed fastback. The Mustangs’ engines, brakes and suspensions were heavily modified for the chase by veteran car racer Max Balchowsky. Ford also originally lent two Galaxie sedans for the chase scenes, but the producers found the cars too heavy for the jumps over the hills of San Francisco. They were replaced with two 1968 375 hp 440 Magnum V8-powered Dodge Chargers. The engines in both Chargers were left largely unmodified, but the suspensions were mildly upgraded to cope with the demands of the stunt work.(wiki)
McQueen, an accomplished driver, drove in the close-up scenes, while stunt coordinator Carey Loftin, stuntman and motorcycle racer Bud Ekins, and McQueen’s usual stunt driver, Loren Janes, drove for the high-speed part of the chase and performed other dangerous stunts. The Mustang’s interior rear view mirror goes up and down depending on who is driving: when the mirror is up, McQueen is visible behind the wheel, when it is down, a stunt man is driving.
The black Dodge Charger was driven by veteran stunt driver Bill Hickman, who played one of the hitmen and helped with the chase scene choreography. The other hitman was played by Paul Genge, who played a character who had ridden a Dodge off the road to his death in an episode of Perry Mason (“The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise”) two years earlier. In a magazine article many years later, one of the drivers involved in the chase sequence remarked that the stock Dodge 440s were so much faster than the Mustang that the drivers had to keep backing off the accelerator to prevent the Dodge from easily pulling away from the Mustang.
The last remaining Charger and one of the two Mustangs were scrapped after filming because of damage and liability concerns, while the other was sold to an employee of Warner Bros. The car changed hands several times, with McQueen at one point making an unsuccessful attempt to buy it in late 1977. The current state and location of the surviving Mustang is largely unknown, but it is rumored that the Mustang is kept in a barn somewhere in the Ohio River Valley by an unknown owner. In late February/early March 2017, classic Ford expert Kevin Marti conclusively determined from the VIN and other identifying information that a 1968 Ford Mustang found in a Baja California Sur [Mexico] junkyard is in fact the movie set Mustang reported to be scrapped, and the new co-owners plan to have it fully restored in the U.S.(wikipedia)
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