40 yr Tribute Model of
Steve McQueen's 1968 Movie "Bullitt"
"Steve was very clear," adds his
former production partner, Robert Releya.
"He always said that this movie
was a western in which he would strap on a car like a gun belt."
"BULLITT 08.0901 ~ BUILT 0109.08"
Mustang Bullitt 2008, S/N
901 of 7000 US
Custom ordered 12.6.07 with HID Headlights & Active Alarm, Built
1.9.08, Delivered & purchased 2.6.08
Pics of Mt. Shasta from
2.18.08 "Thrill Ride HIGH SPEED"
Thrill ride HIGH
SPEED update 2.18.08:
OK fellow Bullittheads: just got back from a 5 hour round trip on the "Shasta
Raceway". That's what I call the I-5 Freeway from the Oregon border down to
Redding California* that drives by 14,000+' Mt Shasta and ends down below past
Lake Shasta where the Freeway is pretty much flat after that all the way to
Mexico. Its been my personal proving grounds since 1979! LOL (providing the
CHP's don't getcha!)
To set this up for you flatlanders (ha ha), I leave my ranch at 4200' altitude,
head over a 5000' pass down into the Rogue Valley. The valley floor is about
1300' altitude so your ears pop a couple of times on the way down. From there I
pick up the I-5 Freeway (Interstate/Turnpike, whatever you easterners call 4 laner speedways) and head south into California. The first climb is over the
Siskiyou Pass which takes you back up to around 4300'. But its not a single
climb or a single decline. Yes its a Freeway, but it twists and turns and goes
up and over mountain passes, down to valleys and rivers, and back up all over
again several times - many turns down to 50 & 45 mph. The drive is about 130
miles as it heads all the way down to Redding, Ca which is only 600' altitude.
So its quite a drop (serious ear pops for me after living at 4200' for 26 yrs).
So here's the road test: I took most turns in 4th, sometimes 3rd, and I like to
get set up before the turn. The tighter the turns, the more I prefer to be at
least 4k rpm - the beginning of the power band - for better control. So that's
what determines my gear more than anything. Plus it sounds bitchin! Like I wrote
in my 2.10.08 road test on a tight 2 lane, carve your line for the turn and
finesse it with the throttle - gas a bit more to push it out, let off a bit to
reel it in. This thing handles just as good at high speed as it did in 30-35 mph
turns using 2nd! The rack and pinion steering, combined with the tires/wheels,
combined with the responsive throttle, are so precise and you feel total
control! Its like a CSN harmony! (OK that just dated my ass! LOL) I'm talking 65
- 80 mph this entire stretch. Perfect balance again! IMO Go Ford Racing!!
And I love the feel of this car with the road! I've got about 150k snow and
black ice miles over these passes (out of over a half a million) so I've got that nerve in my butt that tells
me if we're starting to slide any and can calmly steer out of it. (Personally, I
don't want that feel at high speed on dry pavement! LOL I'm not that confident.)
But using that same "fly by the seat of my pants" feel is such a thrill in this!
For example, I came up on this Beemer that was in the right lane and I'm in the
left. He was an older gentleman (that's probably what he thought about me! LOL)
with his wife and this wasn't about speed. It was about handling - carving a
line and holding it smoothly and accurately. And he was into it too for awhile.
I remember going thru several turns left and right, back and forth, like a
bobsled slalom, holding neck and neck just for fun. Sometimes I'd move ahead a
bit just so he could hear the Bullitt's exhaust tone! I'm talking 70-75 mph
here. For lack of a better description, its kind of like going into tunnel
vision. I use less forward sight, and rely more on peripheral vision, and
between that, the G-force, and the feel in my arse, that's what takes over to
control the vehicle. I've carved my line, I'm in total control with the throttle
(3rd gear about 4-4500 rpm's as I remember), and the concrete barrier is flying
by in a blur in my left vision and the Beemer fender is holdin' tight in my
right vision. And I'm just carvin' it like a Thanksgiving turkey!! LOL That Euro
machine ain't got nuthin' on Steve McQ baby!!! And its made in America dadgummit!!!!
Finally, after the last turn, I had to move on and he acquiesced. Like I said it
wasn't about speed.
My name is charliehorse and I am a Bullitthead. I am addicted & committed. Steve
McQueen is my hero.
PS: The puter says 23 mpg on the way home 'back up' the mountains cruisin mostly
70-75, running premium fuel.
*footnote: Just an FYI to give you a flavor of the area where my Bullitt is
being 'road tested': The very southern Oregon and the very northern California
area is known locally as the 'State of Jefferson'. There was quite a move on
years ago to create the 51st State. The area is closely tied geographically,
economically, politically, weather wise, accessibility, etc. It is very
different in this region from what most people think about 'typical' Oregon &
"Thrill Ride TWISTY 2
LANE thru the Applegate Valley & Missouri Flats"
Seems like most of the posts on
Bullitt forums focus on qtr mile times. The Bullitt.08 definitely does a great
job there in its small block V8 class, but I think the designers/engineers put
lots of focus on building a great handling, well balanced road racer too. IMO
My interest lies more with F1 than drag racing. Years ago I cut my teeth on
the 2 seater British open roadster Jensen-Healey powered by the awesome Lotus
4V DOHC 2.0. The power to weight ratio and the handling on back country, 2
lane roads was pure adrenaline!! My second drive in my new Bullitt #901
rekindled that same luvin' feelin' - only with way more punch!! The HP &
torque are so awesome, and so is the gearing, and the balance in the
turns is just perfect! Superb handling! IMO
Latest road test notes 2.10.08:
Had a fantastic drive today! Really got to put it thru the paces. Went west
out of Jacksonville out the Applegate hiway/valley. Nice curvy two lane
mountain valley road. Beautiful! After several miles into the valley, the
bridge across the Applegate River was closed for damage so the detour took me
up N Appelgate Rd thru 'Missouri Flats' and past Bridgeview winery. Great
twisting turning very narrow 2 lane. The Bullitt just sticks! Superb balance
for throttle steering thru turns. (Some magazine critic said too much
understeer but not for me - I don't want to go fishtailing on a narrow bumpy 2
lane rd. It feels just as tight as my 2000# Jensen-Healey/Lotus did. Carve the
line with your steering and finesse it with the throttle. I'll trust Don
Healey's method anyday!) And this thing just Leaps! out of the turn in 2nd.
Don't know how else to say it. Really fantastic. I have no idea what one would
do with massive 400+hp?? 315hp simply jumps out and 100 is as tight as 60. The
book says vary the RPM's for the first 1000 miles. So sometimes I hi-revved
thru the turns in 2nd, sometimes 3rd, sometimes easy in 4th and then downshift
& nail it, and then cruise in 5th a bit on the straights. Great close ratio
gears & the 3.73 rear end keeps the revs where you need them at all times.
Never found myself needing a gear 'in between' (my JH/L was a 4spd and the gap
between 2nd & 3rd was noticeable. Later models had a close ratio 5spd.).
Didn't even want the superb 'Shaker 500' stereo on cause I wanted to hear the
engine roar. Definitely drove about 20 mins. at 'sweaty palm' speed! LOL
Headed up to Grants Pass and picked up Rogue River hiway back down. At Gold
Hill took Sams Valley to Tablerock, then over to Eagle Point & the Brownsboro
cutoff back to 140 and home. Great loop!!
Oh and as for tone... seems at the higher revs is where it really matches the
'68 390 original Bullitt tone on the DVD. Coming down a hill I had it in 2nd and about 5k. Gassed and let off... gassed and let
off... sounded just like I was with Steve McQueen in San Fran! LOL
First drive off the lot notes 2.6.08:
YES!! I got it today. I drove over the pass and got all the paperwork done.
Thankfully all dry or wet pavement - no snow down there. So I've been driving
it for a couple of hours on I-5 and some back highways out of Jacksonville
that had some nice 90 deg turns. Got a lot of 2nd & 3rd action. 5th gear
throttles down to 2k at 65mph on the freeway.
Man this car is sooo nice. I still smell the leather on me. I am surprised at
the low end torque as low as 2k and then how it keeps building - really pulls
hard from 4k on up to red line. Hard to believe its just a 'small block' V8
[4.6L=281ci]. Fast car. Tight steering. Superb shifting. Great hot rod tone.
Looks clean and classy. Love the HID lites & stereo. Just a dream. Perfect.
PS: With only my first few
hundred miles, with the Dealer filling the tank with Regular gas, and
driving it the way I noted on 2.6 & 2.10; my first tank full gave me 20 MPG!
Excellent - and I'm sure it will get better as the engine loosens and
especially on an all freeway trip.
Thought I'd share my thrill ride!!
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