From Ford press: For the filming of "Bullitt," two 1968 Mustang Fastbacks were used from the Warner Brothers fleet for actor Steve McQueen's movie character. Once the Mustangs were selected, veteran race driver and builder Max Balchowski was enlisted to modify the cars for the rigors of the high-speed pursuit scenes. Balchowski added stronger springs and Koni shocks, and he fabricated braces for the inner fenders. He also did some minor tuning to the 390-cubic-inch engine for a little more top-end power.
After filming was completed, the primary car was in sad shape. Two weeks of stunt driving had taken its toll on the Mustang, so it was sent to the crusher due to liability concerns. The remaining car, the less-damaged backup, was sold to an employee of Warner Brothers' editing department. In the early 1970s, the car was advertised in a classified ad in The Los Angeles Times for the then princely sum of $6,000. A buyer was found and the car eventually made its way to the East Coast.
The Mustang went up for sale again in 1974, this time in an ad in Road & Track. It is reported that Steve McQueen himself called the New Jersey number in the ad with a desire to purchase the car for his own collection. He was told the car had been sold, but was given the name and number of the buyer. McQueen tried to persuade the new owner to resell it, but to no avail. The new owner did promise to contact him if he ever did decide to sell. McQueen died in 1980 with no contact from the owner.
Whenever contacted by prospective buyers or media, the owner has refused offers of purchase or publicity. The car has been in non-running condition for some time.
The car remained in New Jersey until the mid-1990s, when it was moved to a farm in the Ohio River Valley. Parked in a hay barn, the Mustang remained inoperable, still wearing New Jersey tags. A film company recently made an offer to the owner for its use in a motion picture. The owner declined.