2y ago


Bullitt, the 1968 Oscar-winning film starring Steve McQueen, featured a 1968 325 horsepower Ford Mustang GT fastback.

One of the movie's most notable scene features McQueen's Mustang tearing through the streets of San Francisco as he chases down the bad guys driving a 1968 375 horsepower Magnum V8-powered Dodge Charger. This scene is now regarded as one of the greatest in movie history with Renata Adler, of the New York Times, calling it a "terrific movie, just right for Steve McQueen - fast, well acted, written the way people talk" and that "the ending should satisfy fans from Dragnet to Camus."

An emphasis on realism drove the chase scene into the history books. Rather than opting for high-powered music to support the pursuit, Bullitt's 10 minute car chase uses the raw sounds of the engine and squealing tires which becomes an orchestral piece in itself.

Now, there are a great number of questions to be asked about the movie in regards to the editing. Why does the Dodge Charger being chased by McQueen lose six hubcaps? Who do the two speeding cars pass the same VW Beetle several times? But the most keenly argued point of dispute has to be whether a '68 Ford Mustang really could catch a Dodge Charger.

On paper the Mustang appears to be the inferior car; it has 50 fewer horsepower than the Charger and a heavy, big-block engine upfront which would make the car as well handling as a canal boat, it would surely have come off worst in a duel.

At the end of the day who really cares about theoreticals and hypotheticals? The Mustang is a rare piece of brilliance - engineered for cheap mass production, it was nevertheless miles cooler than any other car of its day.