HomeCar CultureCar movie of the day: ‘Bullitt’

Car movie of the day: ‘Bullitt’


Editor’s note: Car guys, and even car girls, can take only so much of those Hallmark holiday movies that fill the airwaves and cable systems this time of year. As an automotive alternative, we’re offering our own suggestions of our favorite car movies for your viewing pleasure. Check out more of our favorite car movies here.

Steve McQueen. That Ford Mustang. Car chases. What’s not to love about the 1968 film Bullitt?

McQueen plays Lt. Frank Bullitt, a San Francisco cop in charge of protecting a key witness in an organized crime case. When a hit is carried out on the witness, the lieutenant starts to investigate.

The Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in <i>Bullitt</i> has inspired countless tributes. | Warner Brothers Screenshot
The Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in Bullitt has inspired countless tributes. | Warner Brothers Screenshot

And then we get that glorious car chase. Originally pursued by hitmen in a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T, Bullitt flips the scenario and begins chasing the would-be killers in his 1968 Ford Mustang GT — you know the one: minimal exterior badging, black wheels, dark green paint.

We don’t want to give away the whole plot, but let’s say there’s more twist and turns than San Francisco’s famed Lombard Street and, at the end, McQueen’s character gets his man.

Carter Nacke
Carter Nacke
Carter Nacke is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He began his career at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix, the largest news radio station in Arizona, where he specialized in breaking news and politics. A burgeoning interest in classic cars took him to the Journal in 2018. He's still on the hunt for his dad's old 1969 Camaro.


  1. Saw it when it came out- ooh, did I give away my "boomerism"?- and watched it again today.
    Mainly looking at the peripheral GTO (have one), I still love the Ford v. Mopar, all out simulation of the contest.
    My opinion only, the "Ronin" chase was (ahem) better- but without the double-clutching McQueen in Highland Green (see what I did there?), there wouldn’t have been any "Gone in 60 Seconds" or "Ronin".
    Again, my opinion only, no Mustang made equals the grace, aggression, and unity of purpose exhibited by the ’67/’68 fastback body style, not even the heavy, over- electronicized new GTs.
    On the other hand, having owned a ’69 Charger R/T, I like the split grille and tapered taillights better than the look of the ’68 the hitmen used. My thing. The hubcaps gotta go, as several did in the movie. And whoever made the new "Charger" a thing, instead of calling a 4door a "Polara" or "Coronet"… well, perhaps Hell is real, and they’ll go.
    Fargo ND

  2. The MOTHER of all car chases. It’s fun to see the same stunt cars that they pass multiple times during the chase. The VW Bug and The Firebird.


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