Check out this photo, captured last week by Telstar Logsitics Senior Operative Susanne Friedrich!
The car is a 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt, a new version of the famed Ford ponycar inpired by the Mustang Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt, his 1968 cop film set on the streets of San Francisco. Susanne caught the 2008 Mustang in midair because it happened to be flying right outside her apartment. She explains, "They were photographing a special edition Mustang for the 40th anniversary of Bullitt for Hot Rod Magazine on my hill. So I ambled out, and they didn't mind if I took some shots."
Of course, the most famous part of Bullitt was the now-legendary San Francisco car-chase scene, which saw McQueen's Mustang battling it out against a Dodge Charger driven by two goons who look like refugees from Mission Control of a NASA Apollo flight. If you've never seen the original chase, or if you just want a little adrenaline referesher, sit back, strap in, and enjoy this ride (along with the soundtrack by the equally-legendary Lalo Schifrin):
Ah! Now doesn't that feel better?
For any San Franciscan, a few things stand out about the Bullitt chase:
There is vicarious satisfaction, of course, in watching McQueen sail off many of the city's steepest hills -- an experience which, as every local knows, invariably results in the need for expensive front-end repairs. But most of all, it's fun to watch the scenery -- or rather, the dis-continuity of the scenery: McQueen screeches around the corner in one part of town, only to reemerge in another neighborhood, miles away.
Die-hard Bullitt fans have taken to documenting the chase. For example, Ray Smith reconstructed the apparent route, and then re-photographed it to create a 2002 then-and-now version. Here's a still from the start of the action, at the intersection of Precita Street and Army Street (now Cesar Chavez Boulevard) in San Francisco:
And here's the same intersection in 2002:
Others have gone even more high-tech by tracing the impossible route on Google Maps (click to explore):
The 2008 Bullitt Mustang is intended to capitalize upon all this fandom, of course, so it's only natural that the tale comes full-circle with a Ford-produced video that shows the new Mustang in San Francisco, doing monkey-see like the original. And Susanne was there:
Bullitt Locations in San Francisco (then-and-now photos of the Bullitt chase route)
Bullitt: The Greatest Car Chase (Google Map tracing the 1968 chase route)
2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt (official Ford website)