But what happened to that green Beetle?
January 15, 2018 3:04 PM   Subscribe

In 1968 Steve McQueen chased a Dodge Charger through the hills of San Francisco in an Mustang GT390 (previously). The production company bought two Mustangs from Ford, one was ruined during filming and the other ended up with a private owner, never to be seen publicly again. McQueen practically begged to buy it back until 1977, but was repeatedly rebuffed. But yesterday, the Bullitt Mustang was seen again.
posted by hwyengr (25 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Wild. I bet this car would break auction records now that it's known to exist.
posted by rhizome at 3:35 PM on January 15, 2018

I take a certain vicious, pointless joy in knowing that Steve McQueen really wanted his prop car and was denied it.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:35 PM on January 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

> When Bob got a company car, his wife drove the Mustang to her teaching job at a nearby school.

"So you see, Mr. McQueen, why I am unable to sell the car back to you."
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:44 PM on January 15, 2018 [14 favorites]

(Steve McQueen angrily rides his motorcycle away.)
posted by Going To Maine at 4:03 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

What a coincidence!
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:11 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I find car journalism surprisingly, consistently compelling. I don't give fuck one about cars: mine is a Carolla with 190+k on it, broken locks, dents all over, peeling, oxidized paint, and interior upholstery literally peeling off the ceiling (a friend asked if a moose had been riding the in the car, scraping his antlers on the ceiling). But a well written piece about a car gets me every time.
posted by latkes at 4:13 PM on January 15, 2018 [11 favorites]

What a coincidence!

Pepsi Green? ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:14 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

OK guys: frame-for-frame re-shoot of Bullitt car chase scene only on bicycles! Let's do this!
posted by latkes at 4:20 PM on January 15, 2018 [10 favorites]

The Secret Of Steve McQueen's Bullitt Chase Scene - so there were three! Let the searching continue.
posted by unliteral at 4:29 PM on January 15, 2018

Perfection. Needs only more window louvres.

And a San Francisco empty enough to hoon it in.
posted by spitbull at 4:30 PM on January 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

posted by Capt. Renault at 5:05 PM on January 15, 2018

There was a line in the article ‘this was the automotive equivalent of the Ark of the Covenant’ that made me start imagining a remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which a reporter from a car magazine is racing against time to stop the car falling into the hands of the alt-right, and in the final scene the hood opens and Nazi faces start melting off.
posted by um at 5:25 PM on January 15, 2018 [22 favorites]

Sallah: Indy, there is something that troubles me.
Indiana: What is it?
Sallah: The car. If it is there, in Kentucky, then it is something that man was not meant to disturb. Death has always surrounded it. It is not of this earth.
posted by um at 5:37 PM on January 15, 2018 [18 favorites]

Our buddy back in the old basement VHS viewing lodge claimed that the actor/driver in the Dodge was also a famous stock-car driver, but I wouldn't know anything about it back then; Bill Hickman did some interesting things with cars, like The Love Bug.

(Also, Lalo Schifrin did not add music to the chase scene; and he is very good.)
posted by ovvl at 5:47 PM on January 15, 2018

Sallah: Indy, you have no time. If you still want the car, it is being loaded onto a truck for Frankfort.
Indiana: Truck? What truck?
Sallah: Looks like a Mercedes-Benz L3000. 4-cylinder diesel engine, about 300 cubic inches.
Indy: Top speed about 50mph? Odd choice.
posted by um at 5:48 PM on January 15, 2018 [7 favorites]

I cry shenanigans. I know where this car ended up. Anyone who watches the weekly documentary Blue Bloods knows: The Bullitt Mustang.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:28 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I’ve known the director, Ken, from the story for years. I’m slightly heartbroken that I didn’t get in on this reveal, as is every gearhead production person I know.

We’re all sending the article to each other, kinda stunned.

Thanks so much for posting, this is fantastic. If you ever get the chance to see Bullitt In a theater, do it. Sit in the middle back, so you can watch everyone’s heads bobbing and ducking during the chase scene. No matter how big your tv is, it can’t give you that view.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 8:06 PM on January 15, 2018 [7 favorites]

Feeding into the Raiders spoofery, I was imagining that McQueen hid something in that car, after reading this in the OP:
McQueen offered no specifics as to why this particular Ford was important to him, except to say that he wanted to keep it unrestored and that it was “simply personal with me.”
Yeah, personal, like a treasure map. C'mon, Hollywood, don't you have any imagination? Larry Webster referenced Radiers and Goonies! Sure, a story for gearheads may be fun, but a story for gearheads and anyone who dreamed of discovering hidden loot with a treasure map is better (at least in terms of box office impact, or something).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:00 PM on January 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Is this the pitch for the next Nick Cage National Treasure Film?
posted by jadepearl at 10:01 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hot take: the green Beetle is by far the best part of the chase scene.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:17 AM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

The green Beetle is in the promo film for the new Bullitt, so I think a lot of people are with you, plastic_animals!
posted by queensissy at 10:58 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

the new Bullitt

I'll hold out for "Werner Herzog's Bullitt"
posted by thelonius at 11:10 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

That was Steve McQueen's granddaughter Molly McQueen driving the Mustang in the promo.
posted by leaper at 1:28 PM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

Just saw this same story on The Selvedge Yard today. I think it's the same?
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:34 PM on January 16, 2018

The story is on CBS evening news tonight, although the video sent on the website yet.
posted by TedW at 3:59 PM on January 22, 2018

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