The Most Valuable Mustang In The World?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Torren61, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,904
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Location:
    CA
    A dusty looking green Ford Mustang with some surface rust and holes cut in the trunk could very well become the most valuable Mustang -- maybe even the most valuable American muscle car of any kind -- ever sold at auction.

    The 1968 Mustang GT, which will be offered for sale by Mecum Auctions at an event in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday, was driven by the actor Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt.
    Even if you've never seen the movie in its entirety, there's a good chance you've seen clips from its famous chase scene. It features the Highland Green Mustang with black wheels and McQueen clearly in the driver's seat in many shots. And there have been plenty of movie chase scenes done since that were influenced by the Bullitt chase, considered the first and still one of the best "modern" auto chase scenes. There were car chases in movies before but they looked very different.
    The current record price for a Ford Mustang sold at auction is $2.2 million paid for a 1967 Shelby GT500 at Mecum's Kissimmee auction last year. The highest price ever paid for any muscle car at auction was $3.5 million for a '71 Hemi 'Cuda convertible sold at a Mecum auction in Seattle in 2014. This car could fetch more than either of those cars.


    This Mustang's uniqueness makes it difficult to predict the ultimate selling price. Ordinarily, past association with a celebrity and even appearance in a movie don't add significantly to a car's value. They just make for cute stories to tell when showing off an old car to friends. It's usually the car itself, its desirability and its rarity, that contribute most to its value.
    [​IMG]

    Sean Kiernan's 1968 Bullitt Mustang was featured in one of the most famous movie chase scenes ever filmed.
    Generally speaking, a 1968 Ford Mustang GT with a 390 cubic-inch V8 engine would be worth about $70,000 in good condition, according to the Hagerty Price Guide for collectible cars.
    But Bullitt, with its iconic chase scene, isn't just any movie and McQueen isn't just any famous actor. Because of his well-known love of cars and racing he holds a special place in the hearts of modern collectors. Asked to sign an insurance form stating he would refrain from off-screen racing during Bullitt's production, McQueen refused saying, "There are some things that aren't for sale -- and one of 'em is my soul," according a 1968 Daily Variety article quoted in the American Film Institute catalog.
    He remains one of the very few celebrities whose past ownership can greatly increase the value of a vehicle often by three or four times or more. In 2014, a Ferrari previously owned and customized by McQueen sold for triple its ordinary value. In 2015, a vintage motorcycle he had owned became one of the most valuable motorcycles ever auctioned, going for $775,000. Other cars McQueen once owned have sold for five times their ordinary value.

    The McQueen connection compounds the importance of the Mustang GT's onscreen appearance. Not only did McQueen star in the film as San Francisco police lieutenant Frank Bullitt, he also did some of the driving in the chase scene himself. He had worked with stunt drivers and the movie's director, Peter Yates, to script out the 11 minute scene. At times, the cars featured in the film -- the green Mustang and a black Dodge Charger R/T -- were going more than 100 miles an hour on hilly city streets, according to Marc Eliot's biography on McQueen.
    Adding to the car's mystique was the fact that it largely disappeared for decades.
    Just after the movie debuted the famous Mustang was sold to a Warner Bros. employee. (Warner Bros., which is now part of WarnerMedia, as is CNN, was the distributor for the film.) The Warner Bros. parking permit remains affixed to the windshield to this day. It had one subsequent owner before Robert Kiernan, responding to an ad in Road & Track, bought it for $6,000 in 1974, according to Mecum's web page on the car.
    It became the Kiernan family's regular car, going on shopping trips and taking kids to school for years. McQueen managed to track the car down and reached out to the family, offering several times to buy it from them. He even offered to buy the family another car to replace it. Robert Kiernan refused, his son Sean said.
    "This wasn't like one of three cars that my dad had. This was it," Sean Kiernan told CNN. "[McQueen's] in California, my mom and dad were in Jersey so I mean the logistics alone would have been a pain. And then beyond that, leave my mom without a car."
    [​IMG]

    The Mustang was also just great fun to drive, Sean said, thanks to engine tuning and suspension modifications made for the movie at McQueen's request. In 1980, the clutch failed and the car was put into a garage. It was moved from one garage to another, from New Jersey to Kentucky, as the family moved.
    In 2001, Robert and Sean started working on the car to make it drivable again but had to stop when Robert became ill with Parkinson's disease, according to Mecum. After Robert died in 2014, Sean returned to the garage to try again, he said.
    This time he was able to restore the car to running condition. In 2016, Sean said, he reached out to Ford and had the car authenticated by an independent Mustang expert. Documentation, including the letters from McQueen begging to purchase it, along with alterations made to the car for filming -- such as holes cut into the trunk for power cables -- backed up the car's authenticity.
    While Ford (F) and Kiernan were preparing to unveil the car, another Mustang used in the movie, a stunt car that had been sent for scrapping after production, was uncovered in a Mexico scrapyard. It was found in far worse condition than Kiernan's car, though.
    Finally, in January 2018, at the introduction of a new Bullitt edition Mustang at the Detroit Auto Show, Kiernan's car reemerged into public view.
    Since then, Sean has been touring with the car, which has now become the 21st car added to the National Historic Vehicle Register. Now, he said he's ready to part with the car and return to the family's Kentucky horse farm.
    "It's perfect timing," Sean Kiernan said, "and that's what this car's been all about, just timing, since the beginning."

     
  2. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Holic

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    847
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Location:
    Van Zandt Co, Texas
    That is a great story. A car that was famous from the start spent its life serving a higher purpose and will now be recognized for what it truly is. The coolest car ever built in the history of the world.
     
    TeleTown likes this.
  3. mally

    mally Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    748
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Location:
    runcorn cheshire uk
    Torren61 likes this.
  4. 68tele

    68tele Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,176
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    East Northport NY
    Torren61 likes this.
  5. rarebreed

    rarebreed Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    904
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Louisville,KY
    After seeing the articles about this car going on the auction block, I read somewhere that they are predicting it could sell for well over $4,000,000.00. That particular Mustang is a 1968 model. I turned 16 years old in January 1969. Later that summer I bought my first car, basically the same model Mustang as the Bullitt car, except mine was a 1967 model. It was a GT fastback Mustang with the 390 engine and 4-speed top loader transmission. Basically the same color as well. I didn't know the correct name for the paint color, I always called t British Racing Green. I gave right at $1700.00 for that Mustang that summer, would love to have it back. Somewhere around here I have a picture of the car, but it has a primered left rear quarter due to being side-swiped. I'll have to dig that picture out and bring back the memories of cruising the drive-in restaurants and the local streets and thoroughfares.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,244
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit


    And they put it on the mall in DC in a glass case so people could check it put up close.

    049DA7AA-4863-4B0B-BDE8-A4458351A01A.jpeg

    McQueen-owned cars and bikes selling for astronomical prices ? What about that damn watch that sold ?! I think it was the record price for any time piece ?
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  7. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,536
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Philly Burbs
    just for the record...camaros/firebirds and mustangs and the late to the party challenger/cuda are not muscle cars...they are pony cars...muscle cars were mid size and full size cars

    pony cars were usually raced in a circuit track where muscle cars were usually raced on a drag strip

    pony cars were also raced on the drag strip but being smaller and lighter the circuit was more suited for these cars
     
    don71, SheldonP, tintag27 and 2 others like this.
  8. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Even without the chase scene that was a good movie...the chase scene just made it a great film.
    No stupid camera angles, no CGI, trendy music, no interviews with Tom Cruise stroking himself while he tells you how cool he is for copying McQueen by doing his own driving or edits so that the stars could makes smart assed quips...just a great chase scene. 50 years later and it's still the chase scene all others are judged by...along with that other classic car chase in "The French Connection".
    A useless bit of trivia...that Charger McQueen was chasing was a lot faster in real life. Bill Hickman had to keep backing off the accelerator, otherwise that car would have quickly outrun the Mustang. But the Mustang is still the cooler car.
    Even the poster is still among the coolest ever made...
    C1AAF434-9DC2-4088-AED0-B9D3B0F0430E.jpeg
     
    Stubee, tamer_of_banthas and Torren61 like this.
  9. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,781
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    I know NOTHING about cars ( just love the looks of the Classic muscle, pony, Vettes, Foreign roadsters ),
    but in College ( 1979), one of my classmates bought an amazing Mustang, which I begged him to let me borrow for a date- he did!

    It was 1969 Mustang GT fastback ( green, 4 speed, with I think a 429 Cobra Jet engine), and it was a terrifying beast.
    Its idle was set so low that if you did not keep your foot on the gas, at a stop, it would stall. But so much power and torque/grab ( right?) I could actually make it burn rubber when shifting 1-2-3, AND I took it up to about 90 MPH, then chickened out past that.

    I locked the keys inside the car during date, had to call buddy for spare set.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  10. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    37,912
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California


    I think this one might be more valuable.
     
    tubelectron likes this.
  11. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,904
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Location:
    CA
    I’m never loaning you my car...
     
    Chiogtr4x likes this.
  12. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,781
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    Funny! You have a good point.
    ( the fastest I have ever driven, both times. were friends' Mustangs!)

    As it turns out, because of the types of jobs I have done ( service biz, gigs) I have driven over a million miles ( NO tickets, not even parking, NO accidents)

    And in 2016 I became an Uber driver!
    What can I say, I love driving, even in Northern VA.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,092
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    Amazing what celebrity status can do. I don't get it, but I'll leave those values with the collectors that have vast disposable income and apparently nothing else to do.

    Of course the "pony" car nomenclature came from the iconic Mustang. I was a gearhead dragstrip guy with a tri-power GTO back in high school. Working on friends' Mustangs really didn't get me too excited about them. I'll avoid talking about their chassis design.

    "Bullitt" was a classic iconic movie with an iconic actor as well. Way too many movies since have tried to up the chase scene game, but they are all compared to the one in "Bullitt". I'm glad I saw that one first. I can still remember the tense drama.
     
    Stubee and Torren61 like this.
  14. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,781
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    Our first car ( my dad found it for me in his neighborhood/ front lawn FS)
    was 'an almost muscle car'.
    ( sorry no pics- really wish I had a few!)

    It was beautiful:
    A 1970 Ford Torino Station Wagon
    Solid dark green ( no woodgrain sides), with brown fake leather interior. A 351 Cleveland engine. In great shaoe.
    We got it in 1980, 80K miles on it, paid $450 for it! I bought an aftermarket FM radio that you used the AM radio antenna for the signal! ( plus 2 rear speakers.)
    It was a rocket, when you stepped on the gas.

    Drove it 4 years, till I killed it. ( poor maintenance, my fault)
     
    Stubee and Torren61 like this.
  15. tintag27

    tintag27 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,950
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Old England
    That car had enough mojo it should have had equal billing with Steve :0)
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  16. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    10,099
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    You mean it's not my M-III V2?
     
    Torren61, getbent and Frodebro like this.
  17. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    10,099
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    I was a bit surprised that was a 390, and not a 427/429. I've only seen the 390 in pickup trucks, but that doesn't mean Ford did not use them for cars. Oh - and a full sized station wagon. My perception issue I guess.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  18. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    37,912
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California
    cobra and gto.JPG
    The Green mustang is my brother's. He bought it for 650.00 in 1974. We found it in the pennysaver, the parents of a kid who'd been killed in Vietnam. It had been under a tarp for several years... we had to drag it home and tear it down and put it back together and then we fired it up. It had a 392 and always ran hot... The goat is his buddy Pete's.... that car was legendary... we replaced the transmission and... well, we made some mistakes, we had some things set up wrong... took it for a test drive out on Grant Line road (near sacramento) 5 of us packed in shifting upside down (doy!) anyway at about 90 mph the tranny erupted... we found pieces of it about 500' away... a farmer used his tractor to pull us out of the road... big fun!
     
    Obsessed and Stubee like this.
  19. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    california
    i thought this was going to be a fender. wrong fender, it belongs to a car!

    play music!
     
  20. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    824
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    France
    The Mustang I like is this one :

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    -tbln
     
    Stubee likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.