Sold: Bullitt Mustang At $3.74 Million, Was It Well Bought or Well Sold?

The big question going into Mecum’s Kissimmee sale: How much will the Bullitt Mustang fetch? Certainly it’s a rare car–just one of one. 

Okay, technically the filming employed a pair of Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang Fastbacks, but the one up for auction has been branded the hero car–the one that Steve McQueen drove on screen. It’s also the one that survived filming largely unscathed and has remained unrestored. 

At the wheel of this car sat one of Hollywood’s biggest names ever in one of Hollywood’s most iconic scenes ever. But it’s a Mustang, not a Porsche or a Ferrari. And it’s kind of beat up, with rust holes in the rear quarters. 

Hagerty says that a 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback powered by the 390-cubic-inch V8–this car, basically–in fair condition is worth $39,200. Then add 10% for the four-speed. So in round numbers, let’s call it close to $45,000 for an example in No. 4 condition. (That same car in mint condition, the guide says, is worth a tick north of $85,000.)

The auction started humbly enough at $3500–the car’s selling price the two times it previously changed hands. That last time, though, was in 1974. That’s when Robert Kiernan bought the car via an ad in Road & Track. It served as the family’s daily driver until it was sidelined by a bum clutch. The car’s been sitting since, just hiding in plain sight until Robert’s son, Sean, rolled it into the public eye in 2018. Sadly, his father succumbed to Parkinson’s disease a few years earlier. 

No official price estimate was posted for this one, meaning the community was left guessing. Would it top a million? Likely? $5 million? Ten? How do you value something like this?

Considering the return on investment, maybe $3.74 million isn’t so bad. See the listing at Mecum here.

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Chris McComb
Chris McComb None
1/13/20 2:07 p.m.

I think it's worth every penny of that.  It is a one-of-a-kind, and a car known by almost anyone who has ever seen a movie.  Not just Bullitt, ANY movie.

rsikes
rsikes New Reader
1/13/20 3:39 p.m.

Yeah, I'd say well sold!  Happy for the Kiernan's family, cool car, great story.  Worth 3.74m? apparently for someone, the bragging rights are!

jplowden1
jplowden1
1/13/20 4:47 p.m.

Well sold! Like we say a collectable is only worth someone is willing to pay and that is why we have auctions.

Bo Jangles Dusenburg sold 3-4 years ago for $400,000. It should have brought well over a million.

When the first Shelby Cobra was up for sale in 2015 a wealthy gentleman turned it down for $20,,000,000 because it didn't have the origional paint !

It all depends on what means more than money to some people.

slowbird
slowbird Dork
1/14/20 1:49 p.m.

I'd say: both. Well bought for the collector who got what they wanted, a once-in-a-lifetime car that has great significance. Well sold for the family who got a huge return on their father's old daily driver that was parked for decades, and I'm sure the whole auction process was an experience that they'll never forget.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/20 5:29 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

You know, I can't fault that view at all. 

dougie
dougie Reader
1/14/20 10:33 p.m.

Well sold, it was a POS.......You wouldn't want to drive it any distance unless it had a full restoration which would cost you another 100K.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/15/20 6:11 p.m.
dougie said:

Well sold, it was a POS.......You wouldn't want to drive it any distance unless it had a full restoration which would cost you another 100K.

And in doing so you would probably cut a huge amount of the value out of it. Original in this case is a huge part of the value.  

dougie
dougie Reader
1/15/20 6:58 p.m.
dean1484 said:
dougie said:

Well sold, it was a POS.......You wouldn't want to drive it any distance unless it had a full restoration which would cost you another 100K.

And in doing so you would probably cut a huge amount of the value out of it. Original in this case is a huge part of the value.  

Ergo you wouldn't want to drive it.......

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