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.”
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.