The Bullitt car is truly one of the most iconic cars of all time.

The 1968 Mustang GT fastback Steve McQueen raced through the streets of San Francisco was almost another character in the film.

The filmmakers actually had two Bullitt cars made. The first car was scrapped when it got damaged during filming. The second mysteriously disappeared after being sold to a Warner Bros employee. Steve McQueen died thinking the car was forever lost, but it was recently discovered in a Mexico border town.

The Bullitt Car Recovery Story

Bullitt car chase scene San Francisco 1968 Steve McQueen
Bullitt took “automotive action” to a whole new level. McQueen driving down residential streets at 110 mp reportedly pissed off the neighbors.

A body-shop owner named Ralph Garcia who built some of the fast rides used in the Nicholas Cage film Gone In 60 Seconds, got a call from an associate who was in Baja. The guy had found a clean ’68 Mustang that might be a good candidate for restoration. Garcia told the guy to bring it to the shop. Imagine Garcia’s shock and surprise when the long-lost Bullitt car showed up!

A VIN number search further proved the car’s authenticity. Members of FORD have also seen it and verified its the same car. A closer inspection of the car’s suspension system and other noticeable upgrades suggest this was the car used in the film’s dramatic “jumps” and dangerous driving sequences.

Steve McQueen Bullitt on the set
Steve McQueen tried during his lifetime to locate the iconic Bullitt car.

Garcia hasn’t put the Bullitt car up for sale yet. It may go to auction later this year. To remind yourself what this car can do, watch it in one of the greatest car chase scenes ever filmed. Bullitt won an Oscar in 1969 for film editing on account of this epic chase.

You can also pick up a collector’s edition 1:18 replica of Steve McQueen’s mean green machine here.

McQueen was unable to locate this beloved car before his untimely death, but now a new generation can see and appreciate the Bullitt car, an example of true American muscle.