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Biting the bullet: Bullitt Mustang goes to auction

5 September 2019



After returning to the spotlight last year, the Highland Green 1968 Mustang fastback that starred alongside Steve McQueen in Bullitt is set to trade hands for the first time in over four decades. Owned by the Kiernan family since 1974, the authenticated Bullitt Mustang may become the most expensive Mustang ever sold at auction when it crosses the stage during the Mecum sale in Kissimmee, Florida, next January.

Warner Brothers purchased a pair of S-code Highland Green Mustang fastbacks with sequential vehicle identification numbers in January 1968. Chassis No. 8R02S125558 was modified for use as the stunt car, while its twin, chassis No. 8R02S125559, was selected as the hero car, used primarily for close-ups. Both received chassis reinforcements, heavy-duty front springs, Koni shocks, and a thicker anti-roll bar, and their already potent 390 V8s gained machined heads, larger four-barrel carburettors, and a hotter ignition for added performance — these weren’t no ‘sit around and look good’–type deals.

After the movie wrapped, only chassis No. 559 was in a condition worth selling, with the stunt car being scrapped — although it resurfaced in a Mexican junkyard in 2016 after long being considered lost to time.

Chassis No. 559 was purchased by Warner Bros employee Robert Ross, who sold it two years later to New Jersey police detective Frank Marranca. In turn, Marranca sold it one more time to Robert Kiernan for $6K, the same price the detective had paid for it in 1970.

Mecum’s Kissimmee auction is set to take place between 2 and 12 January 2020 at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, US. No pre-auction estimate has been announced. For further details, visit