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· Premium Member
8,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone forwarded this article to me.

Go to to see the article in person (free registration):,1051,SAV-0106240223,00.html

Please read the entire thing, and overlook a few things (the comments on color and the horsepower boo boo).

Mustang on the rise with a `Bullitt'
Chicago Tribune 25-Jun-2001
author: Jim Mateja

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tony Bennett may have left his heart here, but it was the several pounds of radial ply rubber left over several blocks of concrete by Steve McQueen that prompted the media to arrive in force to pay homage to a car named in his honor.

Memories of McQueen piloting a 1968 Ford Mustang fastback is the reason the automaker choose this locale to introduce the newest member of the Mustang stable--the 2001 Bullitt named for the movie McQueen filmed here in the late '60s.

"It was the greatest chase scene of all time. Eight memorable minutes of a Mustang fastback in a high-speed chase of a Dodge Charger. The only dialog was the sound of V-8 engines, what seemed like 16-speed transmissions, squealing tires and seven hub caps falling off the Charger," said Chris Theodore, vice president of North American car operations for Ford,
before turning the media loose in the 2001 Bullitt to trace the course traveled in the movie.

Sound a tad hokey?

Sure does, which is the reason we suspected the course would be far more appealing than the car. Ford, no doubt, was hoping to use the local scenery to camouflage the fact that Bullitt was a mediocre machine and no more than a marketing gimmick to help relieve dealers of Mustang inventory.

Can't say traveling in a prone position up the hills here is as much fun as making circles upright around a track and definitely can say that on more than one occasion in the middle of one of those hills, we called upon a being other than Steve McQueen to keep the light green, especially when climbing those hills
in a 5-speed manual.

But Bullitt proved to be one heck of a car. Too bad all Mustangs don't provide the same rush as this one.

Ford will build only 6,500 Bullitts for 2001 and throw away the molds. The one-year only vehicle is aimed at "the emotional cortex of the brain to bring back passion and romance to this business and provide a sensory experience so that you enjoy the drive along the way from point A to point B," Theodore said.

"The days of pony cars are gone. The Dodge Charger, the nemesis of the Mustang in the movie, is gone. Camaro and Firebird are rumored to be taking a hiatus soon. Bullitt brings back and celebrates our pony-car heritage and says that if and when the others come back, we're ready to take on all comers," Theodore said.

Bullitt also is a way for Ford to go retro on the cheap, or as the automaker refers to it, creating "living legends," limited-edition versions of existing vehicles that bring back memories of past editions without having to invest in creating all new vehicles to evoke memories like DaimlerChrysler did with Viper, Prowler and PT Cruiser and Volkswagen did
with its new Beetle.

"The reaction to this product could lead to other products. Maybe more living legends, maybe spin-offs of other Fords as well, low-volume niche vehicles that bring back imagery of the past and our heritage," Theodore said.

"That's one thing we have that the Japanese don't have, a long heritage with lots of ideas we can choose from. We just have to pick some and do 'em. I just can't tell you about those other products we might do," Theodore said, though in trying to further define legends, he noted vehicles such as the white '56 Thunderbird driven by Suzanne Somers in "American Graffitti."

He wouldn't comment, however, on reports that Ford may bring out the next-generation Mustang in 2004 built off the '02 Thunderbird platform by dressing it up with styling cues borrowed from the `67-'69 Mustang.

While borrowing styling from the past for vehicles of the future, Theodore is quick to point out that legends will incorporate engineering from the present.

"We glamorize the good ol' days, but technology has taken us a long way. The reality is that the cars are a lot better today than they were back then. The new
ones don't pound you to death," he said.

And Bullitt is a prime example. It hints at the look of the '68 fastback with bodyside scoops, rear spoiler, honeycomb grille, polished aluminum fuel-filler door, brushed aluminum gearshift ball and the same shade of dark green paint as on the movie model. Ford also offers a blue or black exterior for
those who aren't into nostalgia or who don't care what those colors mean in terms of ruining collectible values.

But Bullitt stands out in terms of how it acts more so than how it looks. The 4.6-liter, 260-horsepower V-8 that develops 265 foot-pounds of torque in the Mustang has been revised to develop 265-h.p. and 302 foot-pounds of torque for very lively movement from the light. And no apologies are made for a specially tuned
exhaust that signals your movement from the light.

"It's the sound exhausts used to make before federal regulations," Theodore smiles. "You just don't feel the joy of driving, you hear it, too."

What makes the 4.6 respond so well is that it is teamed with one of the smoothest shifting 5-speeds Ford has ever offered.

But Bullitt's primary attraction is its quick, yet stable response to wheel and pedal input and its nimble, agile, sure-footed handling.

"Bullitt's suspension was tuned not to punish you," Theodore insisted, a most accurate claim. There are those who will argue that Mustang has good looks and good power, but until you move up to a Cobra SVT (Special Vehicle Team), has average road manners with
a mind of its own.

Bullitt has the stability you might find lacking in most Mustangs. To give the car "a meaner look," Ford lowered the body by less than an inch, and moving it closer to the pavement gave it better balance, especially when pushed hard.

Only 6,500 copies will be built and to ensure
exclusivity and therefore collector value, each will come with two sets of serial numbers to identify it as one of the limited-edition 2001 models and not a customized knock off.

"One serial number will be hidden and confidential. Only owners will be told where it is, and we won't give out the hiding place to the public," Theodore said.

"I'm sure 20 years from now there will be people claiming there are two times as many Bullitts out there as actually were built, but with that hidden serial number I'll be able to tell the real from the fake," Theodore laughed.

Theodore isn't kidding about wanting to maintain exclusivity for the 6,500 owners, one of whom is Chad McQueen, son of the late actor, who got the first one off the line.

"You can probably get all the parts needed to make aBullitt of your Mustang on your own in the aftermarket, but for about $8,000," Theodore said.

"But no other Mustang will have the two sets of serial numbers and no other Mustang will ever have the same green paint because only our dealers will have access to that special paint, no one else," he said.

To create a Bullitt, you need to add a $3,695 package that includes the beefed-up engine, specially tuned suspension, lowered body, special gauges and decor items such as aluminum gearshift ball and aluminum
fuel filler cover to the premium Mustang GT that starts at $23,640.

The '68 cost about $4,080, or only about $400 more than just the Bullitt package.

· Premium Member
4,122 Posts
Oh my God,

Is this the same car as the Forbes people did? And I'm sure the incorrect numbers are due to the fact that is what they were quoted in SF. Sounds like we did ok in the end.

Can't you just see Bill Murry from SNL knocking on Franks head from Forbes and going "Hello is anybody in there?"

no response.

· Premium Member
5,610 Posts
Nice article Mike! :smile: Did you catch Theodore statement that Ford will let only owners know where the second sticker is???? I'll be checking my mail/e-mail a little more closely now!!! LOL!!!! Makes you wonder what the Forbes guy was driving doesn't it? :???:

13,650 Posts
Just wondering.......How does,say a body shop, go about getting the DHG paint for our cars when they need painted? The body shop gives them our VIN numbers and then they know to send the paint over as they will know it is for a REAL Bullitt? :???:

As the article says that only the dealers have access to the paint.


· Premium Member
419 Posts
The article is great! The thing about the paint is pure BS. Code PY is available through the aftermarket. I have already had some mixed for touch up. My understang is that some Ford trucks also are painted this color from the factory.

· Registered
595 Posts
Teddy, you're right. DHG is a truck & van color, as evidenced by the fact that when I looked at colors to decide between True Blue & DHG, I looked at an F250 & decided I didn't like the green. The paint code was the same as the Bullitt's. Any body shop or repair facility can order paint as long as they have the correct VIN. For instance, my 9C1 Caprice was an Ohio State Police car & they were painted Titanium (metallic gray) a special-order paint from Chevrolet. I've had the car into 3 different shops for minor painting jobs & every time the color comes out looking the same. So, it's not like no one will ever be able to mix a can of DHG or paint a GT that color, if they so desired.
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