It’s absolutely crazy to think that the same 1968 Mustang GT Fastback driven in Bullitt by Steve McQueen himself, would end up in the hand’s of an unassuming New Jersey housewife… But that’s exactly what happened.
“After Bullitt wrapped, the hero car was sold to a studio executive in Los Angeles, who kept it briefly before selling it, coincidentally, to a police detective. The officer shipped the car to New York and kept it for about three and a half years before placing a for-sale ad in the back of Road & Track magazine in 1974. His $6,000 asking price was somewhat steep, but Robert Kiernan, a New Jersey insurance executive and Mustang fan, went out to look at it. He bought it for his wife to use as a daily driver.” –Vanity Fair
The original 1968 Mustang GT Fastback from Bullitt in Sean Kiernan’s secret barn in Nashville. Inset, the letter from Steve McQueen to Robert Kiernan, dated 1977. (via Vanity Fair) Courtesy of Ford/Historic Vehicle Association.
Steve Mcqueen is an icon– and I still don’t think we appreciate this guy enough for all that he did in his lifetime. McQueen personified the “anti-hero”. A true man’s man who raced cars and motorcycles, and had a very enviable collection of both. He even flew his own plane, for cryin’ out loud. What a life this guy had. He ran away from home at 14- joined the circus- joined the U.S.M.C.- went AWOL- was eventually honorably discharged- worked in a brothel- on an oil rigger- and was even a lumberjack. Later he was an avid martial artist and friends with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. It was McQueen that convinced Norris to take acting lessons, which could be considered a somewhat dubious distinction, but one that I’m sure Chuck greatly appreciates to this day.
As seen above, McQueen was no stranger to the workout room and had an exercise regimen of two hours a day, everyday. I love this shot for two reasons- McQueen of course, and his irrepressible charm- but also for it’s statement on simplicity. It reminds me of life when things were simpler, and in my humble opinion- better. To workout all you needed was an exercise bike, free-weights, jumprope, a chin-up bar and of course- a rope hanging from the ceiling.
I remember when this was a part of phys. ed. class. All of us anxiously lined-up in our tube socks, waiting our turn to try to pull ourselves up that rope. If you could, you were the man, and if you couldn’t, well… And look at what else- he’s wearing simple, classic grey sweatpants and they fit. No fancy– wicking, moisture management, antimicrobial blah, blah, blah. Cotton was the original, and still the best performance fabric.
Steve McQueen was, and still is the one that every guy wants to be, and that every gal wants to be with. Sometimes you just can’t improve upon the classics.