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From Bullitt To Eleanor: Hollywood’s Most Iconic Movie Mustangs

Vukasin Herbez June 27, 2023

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Charlie’s Angels

The other time when the Mustang II made an appearance in a movie was on the legendary “Charlie’s Angels” TV series. This cool-looking Mustang Cobra II came in white with racing stripes and was driven by one of the hottest actors of the era in Farrah Fawcett. We know that Charlie’s Angels was a TV series that only became a movie in the 2000s, but we still have to feature it on this list (via Motor Biscuit).

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Ford knew their 5.0 V8 engine delivered only 140 HP in the Mustang II, making its performance terrible. But they also knew by dressing up the car, they could attract some buyers. The Mustang II was slow, but it was good-looking.

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Diamonds Are Forever

The second James Bond movie to feature a Mustang was “Diamonds Are Forever” in early ’70. The part of the movie is in Las Vegas, and what is better to drive than red hot Mustang Mach I? In fact, this car entered movie history for its famously flawed stunt scene when it entered the narrow alley on two wheels only to exit the same alley, tilted on the other side and driving on the other two wheels (via Auto Express).

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The 1971 Mach I was the star of this scene. It was a completely stock model with the most powerful engine available, standard graphics, and a flame-red paint job. Even though the car is used for just a couple of scenes, it’s still legendary for this mixup in the alley.

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Knight Rider

Although “Knight Rider” is well-known TV series from the ’80s featuring the Pontiac Trans Am as K.I.T.T., in 2008, it was adapted into a movie that was received with mixed reactions. However, its Shelby GT 500 was a very cool and memorable car, fitted with all the typical K.I.T.T. equipment, weapons, and chameleon paint (via Motor 1).

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There is a reason why the Shelby GT was in the film. The 2007 Shelby GT 500 was something else. It looked mean, had an aggressive design with multiple upgrades, and sounded terrifying thanks to the new 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine with 500 HP and 480 lb.-ft of torque. This was the first production Mustang that broke the 500 HP barrier and was the most powerful muscle car at the moment.

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Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez

The legend says the first movie to feature the new 1964 Mustang was not ‘Goldfinger,’ but the French comedy “Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez.” Whatever the truth, this movie helped establish the popularity of the Mustang in Europe. Where it was as respected and sought-after as in the States. The movie itself is an amazing, charming flick and the red 1964 Mustang Convertible fits perfectly (via Wiki).

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Most of the market was fascinated when they first saw the Mustang in 1964. Compact and sporty looks, long hood and short deck, and a very affordable price seemed unreal. But there was a small portion of knowledgeable car enthusiasts that were kind of disappointed. The reason was the technology and engine choices. The Mustang shared modest underpinnings with the economy Falcon, and the engine lineup included pretty mild versions of six and small V8 units. Put this great car on Cote d’Azur, and you have an instant movie legend.

Photo Credit: IMDB

Bull Durham

Although it’s kind of a forgotten baseball movie from the ’80s, Bull Durham is still a solid film with a good selection of actors. However, it is cool for automotive fans because it features a beat-up 1968 Shelby GT350 Convertible driven by Kevin Costner. This is one of the rare times when you see a prized classic like Shelby in not-so-great condition as a daily driver (via Gold Eagle).

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The 1968 Shelby GT350 is the entry-level Shelby model for that year. It featured an almost stock 302 V8 engine, a few performance add-ons, and characteristic Shelby front and rear-end treatment. It was also a rare car, with only 404 made.

Photo Credit: IMDB

Gone In 60 Seconds (2000)

The modern remake of ‘Gone In 60 Seconds’ starring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie proved to be a box-office success and a cool movie for car fans everywhere. Of course, as in the original film, the leading role is, in fact, a special Mustang. In this case, it is Shelby GT 500 E. The car proved to be so popular that thousands of replicas appeared. The original one used for the movie recently sold for a cool million dollars (via Robb Report).

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Despite an all-star cast, the only real star was the highly modified 1967 Shelby GT500 with the nickname “E,” for Eleanor. Although they used several cars used for the shooting, “E” was the “hero car” for close-ups and promotional purposes. After the movie, Eleanor soon became extremely popular. Lots of companies produced and sold replicas with various drivetrains. Purists protested because they made several Eleanors using the real 1967 Fastback, which many considered blasphemy.

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Bullitt

In 1968, the legendary actor Steve McQueen starred in a detective movie called, “Bullitt.” He played a detective who drove a mean-looking ’68 GT390 Fastback. The movie was more or less a standard crime drama typical for the period. But the car and the car chase with the 1968 Dodge Charger was something else. It was so revolutionary, intense, and dynamic that it became a legend of the movie world and launched Highland Green Mustang into stardom. The McQueen’s fastback is arguably the most legendary of all Mustangs in the movie (via Motor Junkie).

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Studio used two cars during the shooting, but they destroyed one of them. They used the other for close-ups and promotional shoots. McQueen, a racing enthusiast, modified and drove it before preserving it for the future. They later sold the surviving GT309 car. After several owners, it finally settled on the East Coast of the U.S. For decades, only a few people knew of the car’s whereabouts. And the owner refused to sell it, even to Steve McQueen himself when he tracked down the vehicle in the late ’70s. Then in 2018, Ford made headlines. When it convicted the owner’s son of taking the original 1968 GT390 Fastback out of hiding and showing the car in public next to the modern Bullitt Mustang.

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Tomas Crown Affair

Although the original movie from the late ’60s featured beach buggies and yellow Ferraris. The remake from the ’90s had a very interesting 1968 Shelby GT 350. In contrast to other similar cars, this Shelby got the off-road treatment with special tires, wide fenders, a roll bar, and a spare on the back. Even the lights on the top. Cool looking vehicle and is a contender for one of the coolest movie Mustangs ever featured on film (via Motor Junkie).

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

The 1968 Shelby GT350 is the entry-level Shelby model for that year. It featured an almost stock 302 V8 engine, a few performance add-ons, and that characteristic Shelby front and rear-end treatment.

Photo Credit: IMDB

Basic Instinct

The 1992 psychological thriller will be remembered for Sharon Stone’s performance and its car chase with a Lotus Espirit. But there is also the appearance of a dark red Mustang convertible driven by Michael Douglas. The car endures a lot of torture and perfectly fits the photography and feel of the movie (via IMCDB).

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At that time, the Mustang was once again an affordable performance car with lots of options and enough power to spin the rear wheels in any gear. That is why we consider the 1988 to 1993 Mustang 5.0 GT as one of the best ’80 muscle cars. This car marked a return to the roots with a strong V8 engine and exciting performance. Also, the late ’80s Fox-body GT was very popular, so they’re plentiful today. Which makes them an excellent choice for entry-level collectors. On the other hand, the aftermarket for those cars is enormous, so you can modify and make your Fox-body GT even faster, easy, and cheap.

Photo Credit: IMDB

Driver

Proof that the Mustang is memorable, even if it is not the flashy modified car, Driver, a noir thriller featuring Ryan Gosling in a leading role. In this movie, Gosling is a driver for hire and drives a regular black 2011 GT model. However, the intense action, driving scenes, and cool production make a hero car from this ordinary-looking modern Mustang (via Jerry Garret).

Photo Credit: Fastlane Classics

A cool-looking redesign and a new engine marked the last years of the fifth-generation Ford Mustang. The genuinely modern 5.0-liter Coyote V8 was a world-class powerhouse that was the basis for almost all performance Mustangs of the era. In base trim, the 5.0 Coyote was capable of 412 hp and 390 lb-ft, which are respectable figures. You can get this engine in numerous versions, GT, GT Premium, California Special, and so on. And

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