The 1968 Ford Mustang GT driven by Steve McQueen in the legendary chase scene in the movie “Bullitt” sold Friday for $3.74 million.
“It’s a record auction price for any Mustang ever sold,” said Dana Mecum, principal of the auction house, Mecum Auctions. “It is the Mona Lisa of Mustangs.”
The price was about 25 percent higher than even his presale estimate, Mecum said.
The reply from the seller, Sean Kiernan, a Kentucky horse farmer: “Holy smokes!” His family bought the car in 1974 for $3,500.
At the auction, in Kissimmee, Fla., Kiernan was offering the all-original, rusty, banged-up Highland Green fastback for sale with no reserve. Bidding quickly climbed to $2.5 million, then slowly to its final price of $3.4 million. Sales commissions and other fees brought the final total to $3.74 million.
The winner’s identity was not disclosed, and Mecum said he had no idea what the new owner intended to do with the car. McQueen drove the car in the 10-minute chase sequence in San Francisco. He crunched the left front fender when he plowed, unscripted, into a parked car.
The fender still bears the scars. McQueen, who died of cancer in 1980, tried to buy the car in 1977. Despite a pleading personal letter from McQueen, the family retained it.