Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’ Mustang sells for record $3.4 million on Mecum Auctions

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Late actor Steve McQueen would have been proud, very proud.

As televised live Friday on NBCSN, the 1968 Ford Mustang GT that was McQueen’s four-wheeled co-star in the iconic 1968 film “Bullitt” sold for a record $3.4 million at Mecum Auctions in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Highland Green two-door fetched a milestone price for a Mustang, far surpassing the previous record of $2.2 million for a 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake, sold at last year’s Mecum Kissimmee auction.

“Movie and TV cars have always been worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for them,” McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Price Guides for collectible cars, said in a media release. “But the Bullitt Mustang has it all – a great chase scene, the McQueen connection and a fantastic backstory.

“The fact that it had disappeared for decades, only to reemerge as an unrestored, movie-car time capsule is something we’ll likely never see again in our lifetimes.”

MORE: Iconic Steve McQueen ‘Bullitt’ car may draw millions on NBCSN’s Mecum Auctions

In addition to the $3.4 million sale price, there were $300,000 in additional fees and a buyer’s premium, bringing the overall final price tag at $3.74 million, according to auction officials.

But the Bullitt Mustang still fell short of breaking the mark for the most expensive American muscle car ever sold. That honor is still held by a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible that sold for $3.78 million in a Mecum Auction in 2014.

The now-former owner of the Mustang, Sean Kiernan, was happy the Mustang would be placed in a loving new home, just the fourth of its 51-year lifetime. The car had been in Kiernan’s family since 1974 when his late father Robert purchased the car for $6,000.

“This didn’t have anything to do with money,” Sean Kiernan said in a statement. “It had to do with breaking records and we did that.”

The identity of the Mustang’s new owner was not disclosed.

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.