JoBlo vs. The Bullitt!

It seems to be a no-brainer. Take an motion picture icon known for performing in some brilliant chase sequences in his films. Then look back at his career and think of a pivotal moment in cinema that let the world know that this dude knew how to kick ass and take names speeding through the streets of San Francisco. And what you have is Steve McQueen in the 1968 feature BULLITT. The film, directed by Peter Yates, has what may be the most important car chase in film history. McQueen tearing up the road in his 1968 Mustang GT. He is after an assassin out to kill a witness that McQueen is protecting. The villain is driving in a 1968 Dodge Charger. Each and every hill they scream down, you feel the jumps and the bumps. Hands are sweaty and nerves are high at each level this cinematic thrill ride gives.

The classic chase scene from BULLITT

For many, Steve McQueen was the essential cool. He hardly spoke, and he knew how to take care of business. And in BULLITT, he knew exactly what car to drive. The Ford Mustang GT is a tough and simple car that took a beating but still came out the victor. And now, Ford has just unveiled the 2008 Mustang Bullitt. It looks and feels like the original ‘68 model, with a similar green shade, a cool aluminum shift nob and trim panel and a simple clutch that adds a smoothness to the drive. And I’m happy to report that Ford Motors was kind enough to invite JoBlo along for an early peek.

Upon my arrival at San Francisco, I found myself looking out at the ocean. I saw Alcatraz and was immediately excited. I’ve never been there before, and it was surreal to see it surrounded by the cruel water which prisoners braved with intention to escape. Some possibly ending up as fish food. But I digress. Here I am, in San Francisco, about to see what happens when film history and automotive power meet. And soon they came. Roaring into sight, the brand new Bullitt (in fact, a whole bunch of them) sped up only a few feet away. One by one, they swerved onto the blacktop demanding attention.

With a few introductions, a group of lucky automotive journalists (and one entertainment dude named JimmyO) got to sit behind the wheel and take it for a spin. And when I say spin, I mean approximately eight hours of cruising through San Francisco. We saw the sights that make San Francisco one of the most beautiful cites in the world. The ocean was stretched out alongside us at one point as the misty skies opened up to let the sun shine down. It was fantastic to see the deep blue sea and then find yourself amongst the majestic trees that towered above only a few miles apart. We traveled all the way to Pebble Beach and back for what may possibly be one of the most impressive road trips I’ve ever taken.

JimmyO does his best Steve McQueen

Usually, I like to have the radio blasting with some fitting song about rebellion, the breakdown of society or something with just a pounding beat when I’m on the road. I’m talking anywhere from Ryan Adams to Pearl Jam… or maybe even Bad Religion. But along with Scott Burgess, a Detroit News auto critic, I was given a lesson in making this four wheeled Bullitt live up to it’s full potential. You see, I’ve got to be honest, I’m a car guy in the sense that I like a car that runs. Period. I have no need for speed and it would probably be a long a laborious affair if I tried to change my own tire. But I can tell a good car when I see one. And Scott and I spent a few hours with this baby girl and she really warmed up to me.

When I took the road on Wednesday morning, I quickly got used to the clutch. If you are used to an automatic, it can be a scary thought to take on a manual shift. But the Bullitt makes it easy. She is steady as she moves from first to second to third and so on. You get used to it pretty quickly. It was within a few minutes that I was wanting to take charge of the road and speed past an annoying pick-up that seemed content to go twenty… I wasn’t. And thanks to one of my new favorite people, Scott showed me how to keep her happy and give her a little extra boost for those in need of revving up.

After two days of getting to know this car. It was a fascinating and kind of thrilling reminder of how powerful cinema can be. When someone can witness this spectacular on-screen race and be so inspired by it, that they grow up with a love for cars, and a memory of the coolness that was Steve McQueen. Not only being influenced by him and the film, but think back in time and recreate this beauty for a new audience and car buying public. Maybe you won’t find yourself chasing down a brutal assassin, but you may find a small satisfied part of childhood when you take this baby for a spin. And at an approximate cost of $30,000 (which is not too unreasonable for such a bad ass car) it may be a dream come true. With only 7,000 Bullitts being manufactured for 2008, you just might to want to check it out. And soon because I‘m guessing they may take off pretty fast.

The Mustang Bullitt in action

Let’’s try something new… spit some bullets about a memorable road trip you may have had. Maybe you got laid, maybe you got into a fight or maybe you just drove to grandmas. Let’s hear about it. Any other comments or questions, let me know at [email protected]

Source: JoBlo.com



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