Ford Mustang Fastback GT "Bullitt"
|The “King of Cool”, the Mustang, and the mother of all chase scenes
Icon, classic, cult – terms that are used almost too frequently in our fast-moving times.Indeed, the things that are considered cult items often quickly become yesterday’s model. It is quite a different thing, however, when the name “Bullitt” is mentioned. This classic thriller from 1968 featured not one, but two icons: Steve McQueen, Hollywood’s undisputed “King of Cool” of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, and the Ford Mustang Fastback GT 390 in the classic Highland Green that made motion picture history like no other car before or since.
McQueen stars as Detective Lt. Frank Bullitt of the San Francisco Police Department, who is ordered by an ambitious politician to protect a gangster set to testify as the chief witness in a mafia trial. When this witness is (seemingly) murdered, Bullitt is hot on the heels of the two killers – or put more precisely, on the bumper of the Dodge Charger 440 Magnum they are driving. The two killers initially follow the detective and his Ford Mustang Fastback GT 390, until the cop turns the tables and hunts the murderers through the hills of San Francisco and past the city limits. While the Charger and its occupants meet with a spectacular yet unpleasant end, Bullitt and the Mustang escape with just a few injuries. The reason “Bullitt” and the Ford Mustang Fastback became part of movie history is due entirely to McQueen. However, it was not just because the superstar delivered a taciturn performance here befitting his rebel image. “Bullitt” was also the first movie in which McQueen, through his production company Solar, was not just the producer but also the executive producer. As a result he was able to have significant influence on the action, and of course over the highlight of the film, the legendary chase scene. The rest is (cinematic) history…