More hollywood lies

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Remember the sensational car chase in Bullitt? Mustang-equipped Steve McQueen outrunning some bad guy in a Charger?

It was rigged.

UPDATE. Important car-chase information: never allow someone named Dietrich to race your Ferrari Enzo against a Mercedes-Benz SLR. I know; this is an old street-racing dictum we’ve all heard thousands of times before. But it’s worth repeating.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/22/2006 at 09:00 AM
    1. Personally, I was suspicious when they passed the exact same volkswagon beetle about sixty dozenty times.

      Posted by Craig Mc on 2006 02 22 at 09:06 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, no, you mean car chases in thriller films don’t reflect the exact performance characteristics of the cars involved?  Maybe this wasn’t the only one.  Is there no shame?  There oughta be a law!

      Posted by robert speirs on 2006 02 22 at 09:21 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, I always assumed that it had been rigged.That particular model of Mustang outdo a Charger? C’mon!

      Posted by paco on 2006 02 22 at 09:51 AM • permalink


    1. American muscle cars of that era only handled adequately after being fitted with lots of after-market suspension items, like bigger springs, shocks, sway bars and tires.  Even then the front ends were much too heavy.  Nonetheless they are waaaaaay cool 🙂

      Posted by Dave in Chicago on 2006 02 22 at 09:55 AM • permalink


    1. Well thanks.

      Another cherished legend debunked.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2006 02 22 at 09:57 AM • permalink


    1. I guess my Ford Festiva wouldn’t have had a chance against a Charger either, huh? Just as well I traded it in.

      Posted by Monroe Doctrine on 2006 02 22 at 10:14 AM • permalink


    1. The particular Mustang in the movie was massively tricked out with an almost entirely custom suspension package.  In fact, they had to DEtune the suspension because they couldn’t get the Mustang to skid or fishtail photogenically.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 22 at 10:52 AM • permalink


    1. I’ve got an issue of some automobile magazine that had a photo feature of a black ‘06 Charger vs a custom-painted hunter green ‘06 Mustang.

      The best part? A “by-the-numbers” sidebar, which mentioned that some guy on a motor forum had been flamed over 100 times for posting that he had just seen a hunter-green Mustang being chased by a black Charger on the streets of San Francisco.

      Posted by david on 2006 02 22 at 10:57 AM • permalink


    1. 6. Well, maybe if it pulled out of an alley right in front of the Charger. But you can take comfort in your superior fuel efficiency!

      Posted by paco on 2006 02 22 at 11:06 AM • permalink


    1. Thanks, Paco, but perhaps it’s best that I didn’t pursue a career in law enforcement. Tha gas-guzzling Saturn Vue I drive now has got good pickup, but it’s still not going to blow the doors off a Charger.

      Posted by Monroe Doctrine on 2006 02 22 at 11:16 AM • permalink


    1. 10: “The gas-guzzling Saturn Vue I drive now has got good pickup, but it’s still not going to blow the doors off a Charger.”

      Especially the new one.

      Posted by paco on 2006 02 22 at 11:55 AM • permalink


    1. I always thought the chase in The Seven-Ups was better, but that’s just my never-to-be-humble opinion.

      Posted by Baby M on 2006 02 22 at 12:39 PM • permalink


    1. An Enzo owner would try to blame Deter the Phantom Driver when he wrecked his own car, a car he was almost certainly not qualified to drive.  Geez.  Hey Enzo guy, take a page from the book of Daemond Rogan and step up and take the hit.  Pansy.

      Posted by Matt in Denver on 2006 02 22 at 01:03 PM • permalink


    1. Watch some of these!

      Posted by Rob Read on 2006 02 22 at 02:20 PM • permalink


    1. Damn! Next thing they’ll be telling us is that professional wrestling is faked.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2006 02 22 at 03:14 PM • permalink


    1. Wow! someone let Jethrodrive a Ferrari.

      Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2006 02 22 at 03:19 PM • permalink


    1. Of course it was rigged. If you look closely and keep count, the McQueen’s Mustang loses a total of FIVE hubcabs during the chase. Last must have come from the spare in the trunk.

      Posted by JohnO on 2006 02 22 at 04:19 PM • permalink


    1. Bullit has been running regularly on Austar the last few weeks & I can’t resist watching the car chase over & over again. That Mustang sure throws out a cool note.

      A question for you car buffs.

      Am I hearing things? Is Steve double de-clutching on the gear shifts or was the sound dubbed? Did that model only have a crash box and no syncro?

      Posted by Spag_oz on 2006 02 22 at 06:04 PM • permalink


    1. 18 Spag
      I dunno about cars, but in movies, especially vintage movies, almost ALL of the (non-dialogue) sound has to be dubbed.  The people with “Foley” in their job-titles in the credits are the ones who do that.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 02 22 at 06:57 PM • permalink


    1. I always double de-clutch on the way down, but Steve does it going up as well.  Maybe it was a crash box, but the main thing is it sounds really cool!  I have it on DVD, and watch it regularly – just like I do with Ronin!  Of course in Ronin they manage to keep up with my model M5 with a Citroen – as if!!

      Posted by SezaGeoff on 2006 02 22 at 07:10 PM • permalink


    1. BabyM—I liked the car chases in Cannonball Run, mostly cuz you got to chase Adrienne Barbeau.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 22 at 09:19 PM • permalink


    1. #21 richard mcenroe:

      Remember the scene in Escape From New York where Adrienne Barbeau takes a bead on the Duke of New York’s hurtling pimpmobile, using a modified Weaver two-handed pistol stance, gently squeezing not only the trigger, but those two perfect outsize mammalian protruberences in such a way that……uh, excuse me, I’m off to inspect, uh, the job wronwright did cleaning the executive washroom. Will be back soon!

      Posted by Rob C. on 2006 02 22 at 10:45 PM • permalink


    1. Damn! Next thing they’ll be telling us is that professional wrestling is faked.

      Say it isn’t so …

      Posted by Skeptic on 2006 02 22 at 11:01 PM • permalink


    1. If you really want to know what a million dollars U.S. (the approximate replacement cost for a Ferrari Enzo) looks like torn to shreds and scattered all over the place, look here:

      And as far as the “coolness” factor goes in the story about the Bullitt car chase, you and Steve McQ can keep the ‘68 Mustang. As far as I’m concerned the Charger has it beat, even on film (and yes, in real life the Dodge would have left the Mustang in the dust as well). Although every time I see Bullitt, even today, I have to wince at the abuse heaped on those cars, Ford and Dodge alike, especially how few intact examples are left today…

      One final note: when Motor Trend road-tested the new incarnations of the Mustang and Charger (in their “Bullitt rematch” article), they noted that the modern versions were much more closely matched than the originals; the new Mustang was actually slightly quicker in the quarter-mile than the Dodge. On the other hand, the new Charger that MT tested had the 340-hp 5.7L Hemi; the 425-hp/6.1L Hemi versions hadn’t yet been released. So I’d like to see a rematch…

      Posted by Wes S. on 2006 02 23 at 12:19 AM • permalink


    1. Steve should have changed to the morphing VW beetle mentioned by Craig Mc and handed the Dodge some curry:)

      Remember the problem of rear torsion bar tuck-in that caused beetles to regularly flip? He would have gone down one of those SF streets like an out of control bowling ball.

      Great watching some of those car chases (rigged or otherwise). Good escapism from all of this ME crap at the moment.

      Posted by Spag_oz on 2006 02 23 at 12:56 AM • permalink


    1. The greatest car chase of all time comes from Spielberg’s “Duel”, starring Dennis Weaver, as he is chased across the country in his rattletrap Valiant, by a psycho trucker, the speedometer desperately waggling around 75, the best it can do… with the auto gear shift indicator on ‘Park”.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 23 at 01:47 AM • permalink


    1. Day-AMN!  What can it do if you put it in gear?

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 02 23 at 03:25 PM • permalink


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