The iconic Ford Mustang once featured in the famous Bullitt car chase scene back in 1968 is back in the spotlight. At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, Ford revealed its new 2019 Mustang Bullitt, with styling tweaks inspired by the original 390 GT to commemorate the film’s 50th anniversary. (The first 2019 model sold at auction for $300,000.) One of the original Mustangs used in the film also made a surprise appearance, rediscovered after it was owned in secrecy for decades. But what about the other car featured in the famous chase scene?
Indeed, the Dodge Charger R/T Steve McQueen was chasing doesn’t get the love it deserves—despite being faster, stronger, and much more menacing.
It was so robust that it needed fewer modifications than the Mustang to cope with the abuse of jumping the hills of San Francisco. And now a Dodge Charger with a similar spec to the movie car is heading to auction. Sadly, this 1969 Charger wasn’t used in Bullitt, but was made as an homage to resemble the stunt car. It features the same imposing black paint finish as the Bullitt Charger, but the 1969 model has a noticeably different front and rear end to the 1968 model used in the movie, so it’s not an exact replica.
The Charger for sale was imported to the UK by musician Jay Kay in 2008, who bought the car from previous owner Bruce Willis. At the time, the menacing muscle car was bought by Willis’ wife, Denise Moore, as a present for the Die Hard actor. Under the hood is a huge 8.2-liter V8 paired to a three-speed automatic transmission, which Jay Kay had rebuilt and upgraded in 2014 at a cost of £25,000 (around $35,000) in 2014. Since the upgrade, the Charger has only covered a handful of miles in the last few years, but is said to drive superbly and will “happily spin its rear wheels if you accelerate hard in a straight line.” The interior is also still in original condition.
“Aside from the fact that it has been enjoyed by two massive global mega-stars—Bruce Willis and Jay Kay—it is also an unbelievable example in its own right,” said Nick Whale, managing director at Silverstone Auctions. “Indeed, its star-studded celebrity past will attract interest from bidders around the world, who will also appreciate that it is one of the best examples of a 1969 Dodge Charger ‘Bullitt’ spec model currently available to buy.” Set to go under the hammer at Silverstone’s Race Retro Classic Car Sale on February 24, this 1969 Dodge Charger is estimated to fetch between £50,000 and £60,000 ($69,000 to $82,000).
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