Jim Smart
April 1, 2004

As Mustang enthusiasts, we're into the legend and folklore that go with the 1968 Warner Brothers film Bullitt. Unless you've been living on Mars, you're familiar with the chase scene in this legendary film that set the standard for chase scenes to follow. In Bullitt, San Francisco police detective Frank Bullitt (played by the late Steve McQueen) mixes company with hardcore underworld bad guys. Hot on the trail of a couple of thugs with a pump rifle in a black '68 Dodge Charger, McQueen fastens his seatbelt, starts the Mustang's big-block, and goes after the bad guys with raw determination. The two musclecars jump those San Francisco hills, losing more wheel covers than anyone has ever been able to count, with the Charger winding up a fiery tomb out in the suburbs. McQueen's Highland Green fastback survived the chase with a busted lower control arm, undoubtedly living to chase another day in the fictional future.

Larry and Denise Porsche of Tahoe City, California, had a thing for Steve McQueen's slippery fastback. In fact, they liked it so much they built a replica. However, the Porsches decided to go Frank Bullitt's Mustang one better. Instead of FE-series big-block iron up front, Larry opted for a lightweight 351W-based 427 stroker small-block. What this would have meant for Frank Bullitt was a road rocket that could not only have kept up with the Charger, but would have out-handled and passed it by. Call this one the Bullitt Mustang on steroids.

McQueen would have loved the Porsches' Bullitt with its balanced and blueprinted Coast High Performance 427ci stroker, TKO five-speed, 3.55 cruising gears in a Currie Tru-Trac differential, Shelby 16-inch 10-spokes, Bridgestone Potenza tires, Total Control coilover front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering, Stainless Steel Brakes Force 10 disc brakes on all four corners, and more. Inside are Recaro bucket seats that Larry upholstered himself. Surrounding Larry is a Custom Autosound stereo system with an Alpine amp and six-CD changer. In front of him is an ididit tilt steering column that was easy to install and use.

When Larry spins the 427, it yields a throaty crack through JBA shorty headers and Dynomax mufflers. Larry fitted his 427 with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. induction system, an 830-cfm Holley, Twisted Wedge Stage II aluminum heads, an MSD ignition, a Griffin radiator, twin electric cooling fans, and a McLeod clutch. Battery power originates in the trunk area for better weight distribution. A large, 22-gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell keeps things safer, and with fewer fuel stops.

Many of the features on Larry's Bullitt replica were largely unavailable in 1968. But, we're convinced Steve McQueen would have appreciated them. And that's what this fastback in green is all about: respecting the Bullitt legacy with a sharp eye on improvement.