Although Ford was able to keep the GT’s development under wraps, the same can’t be said for its latest pony car.
Ford, after repeatedly denying the model’s existence, revealed the limited-edition 2019 Mustang Bullitt on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Steve McQueen film, “Bullitt,” Ford celebrated the new Mustang’s launch by uniting the original car from the movie, its spiritual successor and McQueen’s granddaughter, Molly.
After shooting wrapped, Warner Bros. sold the hero car that McQueen drove in “Bullitt” to a private collector. It was long presumed lost, but the 1968 Mustang GT fastback in fact changed hands a few times, an ultimately was inherited by Sean Kiernan in 2014.
“You know, it was never our intention to keep this car a secret from everybody,” Kiernan said. “It just kind of happened with life. I’m just completely buzzing to join with Ford and the new Bullitt and show this car to the world on one of the biggest stages there is.”
In addition to the hero car, McQueen used a second Mustang as a stunt car, which recently was found in Mexico and its authenticity was verified by a Ford expert. That particular example wasn’t involved in the 2019 Mustang Bullitt’s unveiling, however.
Like the car on which it’s based, the Bullitt edition features minimal badging, either Shadow Black or Dark Highland Green paint, a retuned version of Ford’s 5-liter V-8 that produces 475 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque as well as a white cueball gear knob. It also comes standard with the Mustang GT Premium equipment level and everything found in the Performance Package.
Many have speculated that a “Bullitt”-edition Mustang has been in the works since a design sketch was spotted in the background of a Ford commercial starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Ford denied it at the time, though a subsequently leaked window sticker and spy shots of the car filming its launch video all but confirmed its existence.
Thumbnail photo via Ford