Earlier this year at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, Mustang fans rejoiced when theY got to take a look at a famous car that had been in hiding for many years. After falling through the cracks as an ‘average’ ratty 1968 GT390, the original Steve McQueen movie sidekick finally came out of hiding. At the same time that Ford used the original car to promote the 50th Anniversary of the original Bullitt, they also rolled out a 2019 version that created a lot of interest in the original movie and car, as well as what the new version had to offer. In this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay gets an up close look at both cars at the Ford Proving Grounds.
At the beginning of the show, Jay talks the Mustang Marketing Director Mark Schaller’s while driving the new 2019 Mustang Bullitt around the proving ground’s road course. The car is coated in the signature Bullitt green, or Dark Highland Green, and it also borrows some of the same styling cues as the original McQueen Mustang. The new version packs a hefty 480 horsepower thanks to a 5.0L powerhouse under the hood.
When the original old school Bullitt greets Jay, it steals the show. The car has been owned by the Kiernan family since 1974 when Robert Kiernan bought it from a Road & Track ad for $6,000. Steve McQueen himself made many attempts to buy the car from Bob, but the Hartford Insurance Executive was in love with his car, and never considered McQueen’s offer to buy it.
This is a car that’s just easy to love, even though it might not have the flash, or handling, of the newer Bullitt, it has a lot of charm and character. The 390 cubic inch engine has a great roar that you can hear while Jay and current owner, Sean Kiernan, lap around the proving grounds and go over the history of this car. Even after it left the set, this car has had a full life and an awesome story with it as proof!
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!