In the world of movie hero cars, there are few more instantly recognizable than the Mustang from the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt. Bathed in a trademark deep green hue, devoid of extraneous badging or accessories, and rocking a great exhaust note that made the car an instant favorite among the gearheads in the moviegoing audience.

Fifty years later, Ford has unveiled a commemorative Bullitt Mustang based off the car in the film, and who better to take the car for a spin in one of its first public sightings than the car guy’s car guy, comedian Jay Leno. Having seen the movie in theaters when it came out all the way back in 1968, Jay knows a lot about the car from the movies, including the fact that for many years, it was quite literally lost. Back in the 60’s, movie cars were used for their “role” and then sold with no thought given to the fact that they might someday be highly valuable and sought-after.
As Jay is putting the ’19 Bullitt through its paces at the Ford Proving Grounds, a familiar silhouette appears in the rearview mirror, that of a first gen Mustang. It turns out, after four decades of being lost to history, the original movie car had been found and the new owner brought it to let Jay take it for a spin as well. While they take the car for a more leisurely spin around the track, Leno learns that the car was actually daily driven for years and that McQueen himself had tried, obviously unsuccessfully, to purchase the car in the past.

The new Bullitt certainly does the legacy of it’s namesake justice, looking and sounding the part and, according to Jay at least, it handles pretty dang well too. You should start seeing Bullitt editions here and there over the next few months.

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