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More Bullitt FAQ - 2nd owner revelation, mods to Bullitt & more facts

For those who have not read, heard, seen or knew about the latest print release from Brad Bowling in the April 2010 "Mustang Enthusiast" magazine - here's the complete link and very detailed information AND PICTURES of Bullitt taken in 1971:


http://editions.amospublishing.com/MNGE/default.aspx?d=20100401&pagenum=62


Not to plagerize or directly copy Brad's story from Mustang Enthusiast, but the below is merely for hard text archival purposes for this site documenting BULLITT. Here are quick "bullet" FAQ's pulled from Brad's very detailed 4 page interview with Frank (in the event the original link disappears from the internet someday):


1) The 2nd owner finally contacted Brad last November after hearing about Brad's Bullitt stories & research. Bullitt's second owner was/is Frank Marranca, retired Police Detective located in NJ. He owned Bullitt from 1970 to 1974.

2) Frank's 1st wife's Father worked @ CBS and had access to first run movies. Frank saw Bullitt for the first time in a CBS studio and mentioned to his then father in law he would like to own the car (Bullitt) that Steve McQueen drove in the movie. The Father in law flew to CA alot and eventually found out Bullitt was for sale & told Frank + supplied the contact info for Robert Ross.

3) A deal was struck between Ross & Frank. Bullitt was put on the rails in CA on Nov. 10, 1970 to be shipped to Frank. Frank picked up Bullitt from Southern Pacific in Staten Island on Dec. 4, 1970.

4) Bullitt's 1970 sale price to Frank was $6,000.00

5) Bullitt was sent to Precision Auto Body on Hollywood Blvd. after the movie. Repairs were made to the vehicle on Nov. 27, 1968, with a total job cost of $920.16. The repairs included: replacing front grille, replacing grille surround, misc. molding was replaced, a knob was replaced, antenna was replaced (and several other things according to Frank, but the writing for the other things on the receipt he kept is not legible). Both front & rear bumpers were also straightened & rechromed.

6) Frank states the original shift knob was missing (most likely stolen) when he went to pick up the car @ Staten Island. He also states that the round door mirror was gone from the car and upon his receipt, the car had a square driver's door mirror.

7) When Frank acquired the car, it was in very good condition w/ no visible body damages or interior damages (a good used car). He does state however that when he picked it up from the train station, on the tachometer, there was a piece of tape that had the words "LITTLE PIECES" written on it in pen & the sticker was pointing somewhere between 7,000 & 8,000 RPM. He called Ross to inquire and Ross told him either McQueen or the car builder (Max Balchowsky) placed it there to keep McQueen out of the engines redline, as going over the redline would blow the engine to "little pieces".

8) Frank states the the car had no firewall insulation and it had "truck mufflers & straight pipes". He also says in the trunk on the left side is a hole & piece of tubing (no confirmed facts as to what the hole & tubing are for, as some have said cooling ducts for the brakes or cooling duct for the camera that was mounted in that location).

9) Frank's (2) mods to the Bullitt - He took it to Roger's Speed Shop in Garwood NJ (on South Ave) & Roger Munn installed a 4 speed Hurst shifter. Frank also installed a kill switch in the ashtray, which was located beneath or behind the original ashtray insert. Frank makes note that through stories online, sources have stated the "Nardi" steering wheel was removed, but he says the steering wheel in Bullitt was the same as when he received the car and the same as when he sold it.

10) Passenger side of Bullitt's windshield contained an original Warner Brothers decal that only read "WB". Sticker was 2" long by 3/4" wide. Frank says this was located all the way at the bottom of the glass and could only be seen from the outside of the car.

11) Frank took Bullitt up to 120mph on the Atlantic City Expressway after a Datsun "obviously wanted to race" and Frank left him in the dust and states the "tach was still rising"... Frank also says the Bullitt handled extremely well, was very tight and strong.

12) Frank regrettably sells Bullitt in April 1974 (for a new Chevy Vega wagon). Bullitt only had approx. 19,000 original miles on it when sold. The car was listed in Road & Track magazine and Bullitt was sold for $6,000.00 - the same amount Frank paid for it in 1970. Frank also let the original CA plates go with the car at the time, he gave the next buyer some paperwork - but he retained and still has in his posession:

Handwritten letter from Ross from Nov 18, 1970 outlining Bullitt's oil schedule, suggestion of adding a thermostat, suggestion of repairing the car's automatic choke for the NJ climate & warned Frank how easily the Firestone racing tires would puncture.

Duplicate copies of Bill of Lading from Southern Pacific, which also states original shift knob was missing.

Repair order from Precision Auto Body in Hollywood.

Letter from WB certifying Bullitt's VIN # 8R02S125559 and that the car was used in the movie.

Signed letter from Steve McQueen & autographed photo dated Dec. 8, 1977 from when McQueen contacted Frank to see if he still owned Bullitt and thanking Frank for trying to help find Bullitt again.

Insurance cards representing the time Frank owned the car

NJ Sales receipt tax

Vehicle registration cards from 1970-1974

Copy of original NJ Title

Robert Ross' CA registration cards

Extremely rare large format Bullitt Press Book

(10) 8x10 photos of Bullitt taken in 1971



Frank also has a documented list of modifications and/or special equipment. This was supplied by Ross and states that $5,000.00 was spent on the car before filming started. The mods done to Bullitt for the movie were:

4:10 posi rear
new heavy duty Borg-Warner clutch
5-ton motor mounts
5-ton spindles
custom Shelby steering wheel
On this list, Bullitt's exterior paint color is also referred to as "BRITISH RACING GREEN" (so, there you have it folks, the TRUE & FACTUAL COLOR OF BULLITT)


I would highly suggest that someone hard save the complete printed story from the above link with the pictures of Bullitt from when Frank owned it - just in case the article gets removed in the future. Also, please add this to the Bullitt "FAQS".

Note: Frank's NJ plates were the old style "yellow w/ black font" NJ plates and read: UJW-290. Based on *some* online reports from when the car was first spotted in the Kentucky barn years ago, it was said that Bullitt still has these plates mounted to the vehicle.


:shine:
 

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Good evening gentlemen,
Very nice informations.
I have though to inform you that the famous Road & Track add is kind of an urban legend. I wrote back in april 2009 to the magazine and been answered that no add has been found by their librarian. The question had been asked many times to them.
 

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Funny that the owner of the car would say he put an ad in the magazine and didn't? I would say since the second owner stated that he placed the ad that is not an "urban legend". Not really sure that R & T would go to the trouble of looking for this one small ad. Maybe he meant Motor Trend?
 

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Droopy said:
Must have had bad memory of where he advertised. Obviously it would have had to have been a national publication since the current owner lives in Tenn. Still a shame he will not share the car with the Mustang and movie community.
Good morning,
The attitude of the last owner is not only a shame, it is completely ridiculous. I don't see any reason to hide the car. He surely must have one of his own.
The only reason known to hide the car was a restoration project with his son. This was long,long ago.
The owner is a wealthy man. He has the money to have the car completely stripped and rebuit by professionnals in a few weeks....so....
 

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All that I have talked to is to not "restore" it but to fix what needs to be fixed and clean it up and present it as is. No frame off restoration but a simple refresh. Unfortunately before being sold originally it was put back to a regular Mustang from the photos shown. No blacked out panels etc... My understanding from people that have seen the photos of the car while it was stored in the barn is that it still retains the hole in the trunk, glass pack mufflers, camera mounts on the undercarriage and wheels. The front end is damaged, missing the front bumper and the interior was extremely. dirty
 

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Hi Greg,
I hope I understand what you mean; it would have been nice to keep the car in his original condition right after the end of the filming...just good maintenance afterwards.
Like you said, the car, as per the pics had been very well brought back to almost new condition.
If I remember well, after the filming,the car was on the road for a few years and had a couple accidents.
 

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Its a pity but Amos publishing don't seem to have any more copies for sale.
I registered on their website and tried to buy one but it comes up as unavailable...
Anyone know of where I can get one?
 

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Not unusual

Hey Dan,

I talked with an individual that has photos of the car after several years in the barn. It does not look good..... It has not been taken care of since he purchased it as witnessed by him letting it sit in a horse barn for numerous years.
Believe or not its not unusual with rare vehicles. In New Zealand (my country of birth) there was an old hermit in the Nelson area, living on his late parents farm, with no phone or letter box, who had a large collection of very historical WW2 aircraft. All original, unrestored and languishing in a home made shed. He had no money or will to restore them, and would usually chase off any visitors. I was lucky enough to befriend him whilst at flying school a few miles down the road from him. He was an enthusiast of these things in the late 1950's and early 1960's when nobody cared for such things, and they were being cut up for scrap. He used his Dad's farm truck and hay trailer to drive to several RNZAF bases and wreckers yards and collected, wait for it;

2 x Curtis P40's (1 with WW2 media history and zero kill markings on it)
1 x P51D Mustang (engine still turns and drips oil)
1 x Harvard / Texan
1 x Hudson bomber
1 x Tiger Month RNZAF WW2 trainer (immaculate back then, he did his PPL in it then put in into storage!)
1 x DH Mosquito (80 hours on it, completely original) - Yes I kid you not, one of the rarest WW2 fighters ever and almost unmolested. The engines ran until he ran out of money to buy the 200L drums of avgas necessary to warm them up!!
Plus many parts; RR jet engines, DH Vampire & Canberra fuselages, Wheels etc)

He was like the Bullitt owner, bought it cheap and just likes having it in his shed. No interest in sharing it or using it, with the exception of letting the odd warbird restorer measure or photograph things in an "as it was" state. Sadly some took advantage of him and didn't return borrowed parts etc, perhaps leading to his lack of an open welcome to all.

He would let me sit in the Mossie's cockpit and help him pull the P40's out so he could sweep the floor, and that made me "special" in the eyes of the locals. But like the Bullitt's owner, he just let them slowly fade away... rather sad, but then to be fair, its "his trainset" and we should be grateful he had the sense to save these things when the rest of society couldn't care less...

Perhaps one day, when the Bullitt's owner dies, or hopefully sooner, the world will once again share this special car. Often its simply money that takes over. When that special person passes on, often the kids or spouse simply see big $$$ signs and flog it off.
If his son drives it, then great, although I hope he doesn't butcher it getting it roadworthy... Altering anything unnecessarily on that car would be criminal IMHO!
 

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Anyway I finally got an email from Amos and they confirmed that they don't have any left.
Would anyone here be willing to sell their copy OR perhaps scan and email the article for me?
I would pay a small fee for scanning and emailing if you like (by PayPal?).
Any help appreciated.

I've been searching on eBay and there are quite a few Bullitt articles in various Mustang magazines but this one isn't around at it seems.
 

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ANYBODY?

A scan will do if you can't part with it. I've bought lots of magazines with Bullitt articles in them, but this is the one I would really like to have a copy of.
Even if its just a soft copy of the Bullitt article itself, would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 
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