Losing Your First Love For a Second Time – Farewell to the Bullitt – Again

You never forget your first love.  For some its human for others its mechanical.  Today I’m talking mechanical.  The 1968 Mustang used in the filming of the iconic movie “Bullitt” made its appearance yesterday on display at Mecum Auction’s Kissimmeevenue for a sale that will happen on Friday, January 10, 2020.

If you’ve been following JulesOnWheelz for any length of time, you know that I’ve covered this car previously.  I made its acquaintance for the first time at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise and met its owner Sean Kiernan face-to-face.  Sean brought the Bullitt out of the shadows, back into the public eye.  Again I was able to get up close and personal at the 2018 SEMAShow in Las Vegas.

Bullitt front

“Bullitt” was a cult classic.  Young men wanted to be Steve McQueen and young ladies wanted to date him.  That car was a part of the “swagger” that he brought to the role of detective Frank Bullitt and both sexes fell in love, either with the car or the man or both.  Shortly after the movie debuted, the car was sold and went into hiding.  Heartbreak #1 for Bullitt fans.

Where was the car?  Rumors flew.  It was destroyed, it was in a barn somewhere, it was in Mexico…all guesses for the next fifty years with hopes attached of someday reuniting with it.  That first love.

Enter Sean Kiernan.  Documentation has proven that Sean’s Dad bought the original Bullitt from a classified ad.  The purchase was for it to be a family car and Sean’s Mom actually used it as a daily driver to the Catholic school at which she taught.  Imagine that, the mysterious Bullitt hauling kids and groceries.  Incredible.

Bullitt interior

Bullitt side

Eventually the car was put into storage right there at the Kiernan place and the secret was kept until Sean shared it with a colleague years later.

The surfacing of the original Bullitt was a bombshell at the Detroit Auto Show in 2018.  Fifty years had passed and Ford arranged the debut amongst whispers and speculations from car buffs and long lost lovers everywhere.  An overwhelming sense of excitement and relief that the car still existed filled the hearts of Bullitt fans and the automotive heritage faithful.  Their first love had floated back into their lives and they couldn’t be happier.

Bullitt NHVR

Brace yourself…in case you didn’t know, Sean Kiernan has decided to auction the Bullitt.  In just one week he will transfer the keys to a new owner in Kissimmee as it passes across the block.  The faithful everywhere will be watching and hoping that losing their first love the second time might be to a museum where they can visit on occasion.  If a private party is the high bidder, guard your heart and say goodbye for the second time to your first love.

Whatever the case may be, I’ll be there next Friday to witness the sale at Mecum.

The Bullitt came before my time so it’s not my first love, but I sure have admired the time I’ve spent with it over the last couple of years.  While I’m surprised Sean is selling it, I know how big a deal that car is and all that goes with it.  He’s selling an icon and that’s a heavy load.

I wish him and the new owner(s) well in their future endeavors and maybe, just maybe, we won’t have to lose our first love again.

Read more about the Bullitt from JulesOnWheelz by clicking the links below and be sure to keep an eye out for my coverage on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook of the Mecum-Kissimmee event.

“Bullitt on the Big Screen In the Rain in a Mustang”

“Grace, Honor, Mustangs”

“SEMA, Shell and Sean”

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