Thanks to the record-breaking sale, the car is now the world's most valuable Mustang

By Maria Pasquini
January 10, 2020 04:49 PM
Steve McQueen in Bullitt
Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Owning a piece of history doesn’t come cheap!

On Friday, the 1968 Ford Mustang that Steve McQueen famously drove through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt sold for $3.4 million at a Mecum Auctions event held in Kissimmee, Florida. Thanks to the record-breaking sale, the car is now the world’s most valuable Mustang, according to Road and Track. The previous record was set in January 2019, when a one-of-a-kind 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake sold for $2.2 million

Bidding for the car was over within just a few minutes time, according to Fox News, which noted that the identity of the seller has yet to be revealed.

Prior to the sale, Dana Mecum, founder and president of the auction house, called the collector item “the holy grail of muscle cars.”

“This will pretty much be the first American muscle car to sell as art,” Mecum told CBS News. “It’s gonna sell as pop culture.”

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Of course, the car’s steep price tag is even more impressive because back in the day, Kiernan’s father purchased it for only $3,500.

In 1971, McQueen’s Solar Productions sold the car, which was used for close-up shots, as well as another car used in the film, according to The New York Times. Three years later, Bob Kiernan purchased the vehicle after discovering it listed in a Road & Track magazine ad, which read: “Driven by Steve McQueen in the movie ‘Bullet’[sic] … Best offer.”

He’s the only one who showed up,” Sean told CBS News, adding that for years his mother, not knowing the value of the vehicle, drove it “back and forth to school.”

“It was, to me, a used car,” she told the outlet.

Although McQueen actually tried to purchase the car off the family in 1977 — three years before his death in 1980 — Sean said his father never responded to the letter, although he did keep it.

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However, after the vehicle’s clutch died in 1980, the mustang spent the next 35 years parked in the family barn, until Sean’s father died, and he became the new owner.

Sean went on to restore the car, with 98 percent of its original parts, and over the past year and a half, he has showed off the vehicle in a promotion with Ford, according to CBS News.

Although the car has been in his family for decades, Sean told the Times he was ready for the sale. “It has to go,” he said. “I only have a two-car garage.”

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