Ford Mustang Bullitt - A V8 Requiem For Steve McQueen


To coincide with the 40th anniversary of the legendary movie, Bullitt, Ford released the Ford Mustang Bullitt. The Mustang Bullitt was a limited edition of 7,700 cars loosely based on the Mustang GT that Steve McQueen made famous back in 1968 in seven minutes of movie car-chase history.

It shared the Dark Highland Green colour scheme and the iconic name, but not a lot else.

Despite a degree of hype the car only had 315-bhp, not a stunning amount for a car of this size and weight. Although I suspect that there will be plenty of firms in the US who will take the engine to its five-litre capacity and whack a supercharger on it for good effect. Get it up to 500-bhp and then we'll be talking a 'hot' car.

Ford Mustang Bullitt Interior
Ford Mustang Bullitt Interior

Mustang Bullitt

The Ford Mustang Bullitt has the 4.6-litre V8 under the hood, with, as I said before, a measly 315-bhp delivered at 6,000 rpm and 325 lb ft of torque at 4,250 rpm. Ford claimed a 151 mph top speed, which sounds reasonable for that sort of power output.

Transmission is a five-speed manual going through a 3.73:1 diff, which I hope is a LSD, in a live rear axle - which does sound very 1968.

Ford marketing were attempting to claim that they had tried to copy the exhaust note from the movie sound-track (via a specially mastered DVD) when designing the Mustang Bullitt's exhaust system, but not having heard one in the metal, so to speak, I couldn't say if they have succeeded.

As a hard core cynic I view such claims as little more than sales talk, but for around $32,000 when released new I could live with one, especially if I could liberate a little more horsepower somewhere down the line. There isn't much that can match the sound of a well sorted V8 on full throttle.

Ford mustang Bullitt

Ford Mustang Bullitt in its 'natural' home.
Ford Mustang Bullitt in its 'natural' home.
Ford Mustang Bullitt False Gas Cap Badge
Ford Mustang Bullitt False Gas Cap Badge

2008 Mustang Bullitt

In order to copy the look of McQueen's movie car the new Mustang Bullitt has all its exterior badging removed apart from a 'Bullitt' badge in the false gas-cap lid.

For some strange reason they also allow a colour option, but only black. That goes back to the Model T Ford, let alone 1968. Personally I would have said Dark Highland Green or nothing, or else how can it be a Bullitt replica?

The interior was black leather, with an aluminium inlay to the dashboard.

Externally it came with a rather nice-looking set of 18" alloys with a charcoal satin finish and supposedly a more sporting suspension package. 

I've not seen a 0-60 time for one but I would guess somewhere in the six second class.

As for the original 1968 movie with Steve McQueen playing the cop Frank Bullitt, don't ask me 'who did it' as  have no idea - and I'm not sure anyone else has ever actually worked out what was going on and why in that movie. But it is still good to watch if only for those seven minutes of V8 symphonic heaven as the Dodge Charger and McQueen's Mustang battle it out around the hills of San Francisco.

And for the movie buffs, count the number of hub caps the Dodge looses throughout the chase. It's the only five wheel Dodge in town. I'm sure if you head on over to You Tube there will be someone who has stuck a copy of the chase sequence up for you to watch, all be it illegally.

Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford Mustang Bullitt Front
Ford Mustang Bullitt Front

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