This is a car I have always loved. I have always been a big fan of Steve McQueen, and the movie Bullitt has one of the best car chase scenes ever. So when I had a chance to get a 1968 Mustang fastback, there was only one way I was going to build it, make it into a Bullitt.
When I started my search I realized that 1968 and 1967 Mustang fastbacks are not the easiest cars to get your hands on. Most of these cars have found their way to being cloned Shelby or Elanor style, so trying to find an unmolested fastback for a reasonable price was a challenge. I was able to locate some; I found a handful of 67 fastbacks but not many 68’s. I really did not want to settle for a 67 but if worse came to worst, I would fill in the side vent louvers in front of the rear tires and make it a 68.
Luckily after searching I found a 1968 fastback in Ohio. This car was made in Dearborn, MI in early 68, luckily a lot of the body work was already completed so I did not really have to worry about rust issues. The body was real solid. The car was in complete yellow primer and was missing practically everything on the front end, the interior was in nice condition and black in color so luckily there was not much to do there.
The mustang has its factory numbers matching 302 (J code) this was the first year for the 302 in 68, and was originally a 4 speed manual, but unfortunately for some reason someone switched the 4 speed to a 3 speed. The first thing I did to the car was that I took it straight over to Lopez paint and body to begin its transformation. The car was originally candy red, and had been painted several different colors over the years; now it was to be painted the factory 68 color Highland Green the same as Bullitt.
Luckily all mustang parts are pretty easy to get. Almost everything is available and very affordable, so I was able to find everything for the front end, bumpers, headlight buckets, grill misc brackets, you name it. While it was being painted I did some research of my own which consisted of watching the movie Bullitt to try to get every detail about the car. I was also lucky to stumble upon a Web site that is dedicated to Bullitt mustangs and it was very informative and almost gave a step by step breakdown of the Bullitt car.
I did the entire exterior of the car to exact specifications right down to size of the tires, no exterior trim, original California front license tag with the same numbers, no reverse lights and the sound of the exhaust. The rims are American Racing Torq Thrust D that I have altered to look like the exact rims from the movie, this consisted of taping off the spokes and spraying them a darker grey.
Once Lopez was done with the paint, I took the car over to John and Kevin of Vehicle Recreations to work their magic. A factory 68 4 speed toploader was installed bringing the car back to its original state. They also added power steering and a new driver’s floor pan, tweaked and tuned the motor, rewired the car, replaced the carpet and other misc things. The motor is pretty much the stock 302 but it is mildly modified so it definitely has get up and go and is able to lay a wheel down just like the car in the movie. I am going to change the factory 302 to a big block 390 so its running gear is identical also to the movie car. I am very happy with the way the 68 fastback turned out, If Steve McQueen were alive today and had his and my car parked side by side he would definitely have to do a double take to find out which one was his.
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