UPDATE: The “BULLITT” 1968 Ford Mustang GT Sold For $3,400,000
SOLD! The long-awaited Bullitt Mustang finally crossed the auction block and sold for $3,400,000.
This fastback Mustang passed through several hands before joining long-time owner Bob Kiernan’s collection.
Following its movie debut, the 1968 Mustang GT hero car was sold to Robert Ross, a Warner Bros. employee who used it as a commuter. It then found its way to New Jersey and into the hands of Detective Frank Marranca, who bought the car in 1970 with confirmation from Ford that certified the Mustang had indeed been purchased by McQueen’s Solar Productions for the movie. As Marranca’s family grew, he eventually put the car up for sale.
The late Robert Kiernan of Madison, New Jersey, had always wanted a 1968 Mustang fastback and picked up the hero car for $6,000. While McQueen himself made numerous attempts to reacquire the vehicle from Robert, even offering to help him find a similar Mustang, Robert had already fallen in love with it and respectfully declined all offers.
In its early years with the Kiernan family, the Mustang was used as a daily driver by Robert’s wife, who taught at a nearby school, but was moved into the garage with just 65,000 miles on the odometer when the car’s clutch went out.
In the following years, the car would move several times from Cincinnati to a friend’s home in Kentucky and finally to the family’s new farm in Nashville.
That’s where it sat until 2001, when Ford’s introduction of a Bullitt Mustang GT inspired Robert and his son, Sean, to start putting some work into the car. They didn’t modify it enough to alter the history but did enough to make it drivable. However, work stalled when Robert was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Sadly, Robert would never see the Mustang reach completion, as he passed in 2014. After his father’s death, Sean went on to complete the work they started years earlier. He returned the Bullitt Mustang to roadworthy condition before unveiling it to the general public alongside Ford’s third Bullitt Edition Mustang at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2018.
Aside from being known for its movie fame, the car is significant due to its largely original, unrestored state that is informative to its history as a movie car and as an automotive icon that vanished from public view and was highly sought after for around 50 years.
With its public unveiling and renewed reputation, the Bullitt Mustang is now ready for its next starring role.