Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. That’s the case with the missing Bullitt 1968 Ford Mustang (talk about a quality used car!). Do you think it’s the real deal? Let’s jump into the story and find out (article compliments of AutoBlog).
Hope you have your skeptical setting turned up to maximum for this little nugget – ours certainly is. A Vintage-Mustang.com forum user in Mexico claims a local shop has the “lost” second Bullitt Mustang (not pictured above – that’s a replica of the first car loaned to the Petersen Museum), and it’s coming back to the US for a full restoration. It was about to be cut up and turned into an Eleanor clone, the story goes.
The evidence provided is a couple of VIN stampings, some damage loosely consistent with how it would have been used in the film, and what look to be reinforcements welded in around the front shock towers. Things get a little goofy when you realize that reports about the fate of this car, VIN 8R02S125558, are mixed. The gist is that it was probably sent to a junkyard and scrapped after filming, having been heavily damaged. VIN stampings can be faked, and metal can be altered – crash damage can even be intentionally added.
The bottom line is that there’s not enough evidence provided in the forum thread to tell whether this is a forgery or, however improbably, the real thing. In fact, it’s doubtful anyone could make that determination simply based on peering at badly framed photos on an internet forum. The only way to be sure is to bring the car to an expert for an in-person inspection, while exhaustively researching the fate of the other car that was used by Solar Productions (the studio that produced the Steve McQueen movie).
That being said, we’ll keep an eye on this story. It’s exceedingly improbable that this is a real Bullitt car, but perhaps it does make it to the US, get authenticated by an unimpeachable authority, and get the restoration it probably deserves. In that case, we can all chuckle at the healthy skepticism expressed in this piece. Until then, don’t believe everything you read – but you’re welcome to hope that it’s true.
Update: Fox News reports that Kevin Marti, the famed and respected expert on the authenticity of vintage Fords, has examined the car and is “100 percent sure it’s authentic”. Read the Fox News article for more details and the evidence that Marti examined to make the determination.
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