I BOUGHT ONE...
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR PAT DEVEREUX THOUGHT ALL HIS BULLITT FANTASIES HAD COME TRUE... HE WAS WRONG
You’ve heard the phrase ‘never meet your heroes’, right? The idea being that you’ll only be disappointed when you do, as nothing and no one can live up to the hype. Well, that was exactly the case with my Mustang.
After years of watching Bullitt in the UK, when I finally got my hands on my very own exact replica of Steve’s car I thought all my Christmases and birthdays had come at once. Until I drove it.
Bad is an understatement. Appalling would be more like it. The steering had more play in it than Shakespeare, the brakes just simply didn’t and the chassis generated less grip than a curling iron.
I got out of it after the first drive shaking my head, my passenger just shaking. How on earth did McQueen get it to do those jumps, reverse burnouts and slides without rolling the car into a ball in every take? Using the industry’s best stunt drivers and having several identical heavily chassis-tuned cars to use and abuse, that’s how.
Over the next couple of years, I tried everything I could think of to make mine better. Wheels, tyres, shocks, disc brakes, etc. But the fact remained that every time I took the car out, it tried to kill me.
So, despite its fantastic burbling V8 and traffic-stopping looks, it had to go. When the next Bullitt hero worshipper came to collect it, he said: “I bet you’ll be sad to see this go.”
“Yeah...” I lied.