Patch.com — The iconic 1968 Mustang GT that disappeared shortly after Steve McQueen drove it in the 1968 movie “Bullitt” turned up recently in a Mexican scrapyard.
The car used in one of film history’s most legendary chase scenes had been missing for nearly 50 years even though McQueen spent years searching for it before his death. It disappeared shortly after “Bullitt” filming wrapped up, but the car was recently discovered in a scrap yard in Baja, California. It was restored by the owner of a body shop in Paramount and his partner, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Paramount-based body shop owner Ralph Garcia Jr., who has made a career building replicas of the “Eleanor” Mustang featured in the Nicolas Cage movie “Gone in 60 Seconds,” said he was contacted by an associate in Mexico, who said he had found a clean ’68 Mustang fastback that he thought would be a good candidate for “Eleanor”-ization, according to the newspaper.
The car was delivered to a shop Garcia owns in Mexicali, Mexico, where it was scheduled for restoration. However, Garcia’s partner in Mexico, Hugo Sanchez, called Garcia and told him he had run the vehicle identification numbers on the car and discovered it was no ordinary Mustang, The Times reported.
“I was going to turn it into another ‘Eleanor’ car, but my partner Googled the VIN,” Garcia said. “That’s how he found out it was the ‘Bullitt’ car. He said, ‘You can’t touch it!”‘
consultant Ken Gross, who called the car “the Holy Grail of the Mustang car crowd,” said the Mustang could be worth $1 million at auction.
“This is certainly on the list of top 10 list of most desirable missing cars,” Gross said, right up there with the Porsche actor James Dean was driving when he died, The Times reported.
Garcia said the car is not for sale at the moment.