Time to bite the Bullitt? Is a 2v possibly the next cheap collector’s car?

In the 90s and early 2000s Ford built many special edition mustangs under the Ford flag before ALL the upfitting companies went big time with their mustang lines. A few of the notable editions were, the 7-Up Edition, the Boss Shinoda, The Spring Feature, The Mach 1, and The Bullitt. In 2000 the Bullitt Concept made a debut at the L.A. Auto Show. The audience was completely in awe of it. Roush was contracted by Ford to make the concept, at the time Roush had complete access to all the Ford parts bins and many of the original plans didn’t come to be, but I’ll tell you more about that.

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To see how the Bullitt ended up the way it is, you have to know where it came from. Back in October 1968 a movie about a detective in San Fransisco set the annual record for a weekend debut, the movie was “Bullitt”. Ive seen Bullitt some 17 times or so, and still don’t know what happens after the Charger wrecks. But I remember the Mustang scene, its widely considered to be the best car chase scene in film history.
Also the car is one of the most memorable Mustangs yet, a 1968 Highland Green Mustang GT 390 Fastback with blacked out grille, no running pony, siting on black face, polished lip American Racing Torque Thrust IIs. It was a icon, while the 390 wasn’t the fastest Mustang made, it was the best sounding and it really sang. Steve McQueen was the perfect fit for the drivers role, only 5 years earlier he had been the star of  “The Great Escape”  where he jumped a Triumph motorcycle over a POW camp barricade.

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Its clear to see why designers built a homage edition Mustang, the sound, the jumps, the tire shredding, the color. The scene was perfect and a tribute car with the proper backing by ford would be a surefire sale. To style the new car, designers had to get all the details right, it wasn’t going to be enough to paint the car green and put some Torque Thrust II wheels on it.

Starting with a 1999 Mustang they

  • Shaved the side scoops
  • Designed the seat covers to emulate the 68 GT styling
  • Deck lid pedestal spoiler was deleted
  • Added rolled stainless steel exhaust tips
  • Smooth rocker panels with integrated mud flaps
  • Blacked out grill with chrome running pony
  • A billet fuel door
  • Retro styled gauges
  • Brushed aluminum door sill kick panels with the Bullitt logo
  • Brushed shifter bezel
  • Brushed shift knob
  • Polished modern pedal covers with rubber grips
  • 13 inch cobra style front brakes, with red calipers and a embossed running pony
  • Sharper angled C pillar, later found on the Mach 1
  • 3/4 inch lowering springs
  • Larger rear rotors
  • Performance struts
  • A new Ford wheel styled after the American Racing Torque Thrust II
  • Tuned exhaust to give the Bullitt a unique old-school sound
  • A special intake using a Cobra style twin blade throttle body, bringing HP to 265, and TQ to 305.

The original design was to use the 4v 4.6L from the normal aspirated Cobras made in 1999 and 2001, but SVT claimed they were the only ones allowed to use this powerplant and halted any further use of the 4v in the Bullitt project. I wonder what that would have done to Cobra sales, and what it would have done for the ford brand as a whole.

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Only 5,582 of these cars were produced, they came in 3 colors. The best selling color by far was Dark Highland Green, but they also came in Ford True Blue, and Black. For comparison there were 7,251 Cobras made in 2001. Of the 5,582 built more than 4,000 were presold.

With the retro styling of the 2005 came the clear opportunity to make a encore to the 2001 Bullitt, and in 2008 they did.
Playing on a lot of the same styling cues as the 01, it was a mostly debadged GT with black Bullitt style wheels, and a interior with retro inspired features.
Honestly I don’t think this car will ever be as collectable, because instead of adding the subtle performance upgrades or paving a way in a homage car, they slapped on some Ford Racing upgrades you could have already found in the catalog. For me it just doesn’t do it.
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Do you think that the Bullitt be it the 2001 or 2008 will ever be a collectable car? let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to Like, Comment and Share!

Bonus footage: Bullitt chase remake

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Forge your name in the sky; The story of Forgestar

Cragar, Dayton, Niche, Forgiato, these names spanned decades of wheel trends, but today I want to dicuss a brand on the rise.

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Many of you know Forgestar from its incredible modular ordering system and affordability for totally tailored wheel specifications. To really understand what Forgestar is you have to know what it was. Think back to the early 90s, a much more simple time. The Olson twins were just born, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was in full swing and wheels were small. It wasn’t until 1996 that the 20 inch tire was released by Pirelli. Wheel styles weren’t of the 90s, most everyone bought old wire spoke Daytons or a Mag style wheel like from the 60s or 70s. With the rise of cell phones, bling, and MTV brought a new need and market for big, stylin’ wheels, and the market reacted. By the late 90s, 20 inch wheels were all the hype!  And all the money, some sets of just tires costing in excess of $3000. Companies like Lorenzo, Niche, Giovanni, Ultra, Enkei, and MOMO captured this market and grew to what is now a wheel empire out of this blossoming niche market.
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As the 2000’s rolled around, so did the demand for bigger,even more unique designed wheels. This spurred the creation of the 3 piece wheel, borrowed from BBS who pioneered the 3 piece wheel in the 70s. Until now, these multipiece wheels had been exclusive to racing applications and never been much larger than 18 inches or so. Making 3 piece wheels for style made perfect sense, as it allowed each piece to be forged or milled to the exact offset and provided much more detail than a cast wheel ever could. With the strength came the possibilities of even larger diameter without fear of cracking or unstable spoke design. This new wave of multipiece wheels brought many companies to the table, many who hadn’t been in the business before but knew their way around a machine shop and knew how to construct cool, new wheels. But this wave was bigger than the market could support and many names got lost in the sea of new companies. iForged was one of these companies, competing in a ever growing market they knew it was going to take more than a few nice wheel styles and competitive pricing to grab a buyers attention.
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With competition on the mind, in 2009 iForged Wheels started a subsidiary company called Forgestar, the main goal of Forgestar was to bring all the customization and modulability of a multi piece wheel to a price point that most enthusiasts could live with.They did this by using a new and innovative process called “Rotary Forging”.

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SKIP TO 3:50 to see a good example of this process

This manufacturing technique allowed them to make varying concave faces and widths. While still letting these blanks sit until the customer had placed their order for exact offset, bolt pattern and center bore. An added benefit to this was the availability of not having to bulk order a set order of specific wheels and finishes, allowing the customer to choose virtually any finish. By 2011 Forgestar was offering a 12 inch wide forging.  In 2012 offering a Super Deep Concave option, a staggering 3.5 inch concave from center cap to wheel lip. The innovations kept coming, in 2013 they released the world’s first Modular construction 2 piece Rotary Forged wheel. This wheel is called the M7.S which features a traditionally forged inner barrel and a Rotary Forged face.  By 2016 Forgestar had enter into the drag wheel market, making them the first Rotary Forged drag race specific wheel, with offerings in 15 and 17 inch diameter. What had started by iForge as a way to reach a bigger market, had become 10 time larger than the Multipiece company could have ever been. As of 2017 Forgestar has been sold to WELD racing and companies. Where will this venture lead Forgestar? What new innovations will they achieve with the help of WELD? Who knows, keep a eye on them to find out!
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I wanted to write about Forgestar today to bring some attention to the great variety of product they sell. Forgestar has started a somewhat annual sale called the “Fall Classic Sale” which grants a $200 rebate to each set of wheels sold so long as the wheels are 18″-22″ diameter. This rebate offer is good til October 11th and can be compounded with our normal percentage discounts. Contact us at DH Designs to take advantage of this rebate. Sales@Dashengst.com or (405) 256-8156
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For your viewing pleasure here are some customers Forgestar equipped cars!

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What does a LeMans Legend and a Orange Mustang have in common?

Yesterday I told you about the late great Hugh Hefner and the Playmate Pink cars.
Today I’m going to tell you about one of America’s greatest racing drivers and his orange cars. trust me you’ll like this one.
IMG_187399-01 Mustang GT prepared for Bondurant Racing School^

The Legend is Bob Bondurant, but ill be talking about many famous people today. Paul Newman, Carroll Shelby, Robert Wagner, James Garner, Dan Gurney, and lastly Bob Bondurant. A quick bio on Bondurant to bring you up to speed, he was born in 1933, and is still alive. Like most of the male generation then speed and searching for speed was at its peak after WW2 in America with huge names like Vic Edelbrock setting up shop and teens and 20 somethings everywhere, Bondurant included, searching for ways to push the boundaries of fast. In 1951, Bob Bondurant found himself racing Indian motorcycles around dirt oval tracks in Los Angeles, at the age of 18. From there his interests fell on 4 wheels and by 1959 he had won the West Coast “B” Production Championship and the Corvette Driver of the Year Award. Before I can go on I have to tell you about another American pushing the envelope of speed but coming from a very different background.
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Bondurant’s early years on his indian and in is C1 Corvette^

Carroll Shelby, a now household name, but most people cant say why. Shelby born in 1923, in Leesburg, Texas… Google it. Google “Leesburg, Texas” the information is SERIOUSLY limited. Growing up my mom would always tell anyone with ears where she was from she would always say,” I am from Okemah, Oklahoma. We didn’t even have a stoplight!” Ok sure mom, you were from a small town but atleast it was a town! Leesburg, Texas isn’t even a incorporated town. Shelby was born with a heart valve leakage, but that didn’t stop him from joining the Army Aircorp at age 18, and served during WW2 as a test pilot and instructor. While stationed at what is now Lackland Air Force Base, Shelby got married and had 2 children, after reaching the rank of staff sergeant pilot he was honorably discharged.  Bouncing around jobs from 1947 til 1952, Shelby would try his hand at a few things, first being a Oil field roughneck, and later a Chicken farmer, Carroll couldn’t quite find his life’s calling. That was until one day when his friend Ed Wilkins invited him to take a trip to a road race in Norman, Oklahoma. They both took the 3 hour drive with a MG-TC racecar in tow. Shelby, now 29 had never raced anything much less a British sports car. Shelby was out armed, most of the field being Jaguars and other high end high powered cars, but he won. twice. Soon he was driving Jaguars and racing as much as his wallet would allow. Then he was noticed and a team owned by John Wyer put him in their Aston Martin DB3S racecar at the 12 Hours of Sebring, a HUGE break for Carroll. Although he lost that race at Sebring, his signature look of wearing farmers overalls and being a great on track driver solidified his racing career and opened up a HUGE window of opportunity, he would go on to drive the hottest and most iconic sports cars of all time, Jaguars, Cadillacs, Allards, and Maserati Birdcages as well as Ferrari 375 GP roadster. But the biggest accomplishment of Carroll’s life was yet to come. the reason Shelby is a household name came in 1959, he won the biggest race in the world, the 24 hours of LeMans. Shortly after the race and after many nitroglycerine pills, Shelby hung up the driving suit and retired from racing.
But he wasn’t gone yet.

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The MG that Carroll Shelby drove to a win in Norman, OK^

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Carroll Shelby in a early Maserati racecar^
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Carroll behind the wheel of the DBR1 car as he wins the 24hours of LeMans^
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Shelby, Wyer and team celebrating their win at LeMans^
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Photo that Shelby signed, of him in the winners circle of LeMans^
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Wyer and Shelby
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Shelby in his normal chicken farmer attire^
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In action photo of Shelby behind the wheel of the DBR1^
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Early photo of Carroll
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Shelby wins^

Shelby knew that he had shocked the world, and he knew that the American public wanted to celebrate with him and maybe even a few American drivers. So he got to work. Shelby wanted to beat the corvette in the SCCA championships. He found a company in England named AC, and struck a deal with ford to have them supply the new 260c.i. V8 and voila he had a winner. But he knew he needed drivers if he was going to take it further, in 1963 Carroll had convinced Bob Bondurant to come race for him.
They won everything. Shelby and Shelby American was unstoppable, in 1964 and 1965 dan gurney and Bob Bondurant behind the wheel of a 289 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe won their class at LeMans, beating out all of the Ferrari 250 GTO cars. THIS was huge. *1964 was also the first year of the Ford GT, but was not yet refined by Shelby.
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Early AC Bristol^
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AC Bristol Coupe^
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late Shelby Cobra, this particular one has a 427 Ford in it^
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After winning LeMans, Shelby rubbed elbows with all of the Hollywood elite including Steve McQueen as seen here^
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Bob Bondurant behind the wheel of this Shelby Daytona Coupe^
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Shelby Daytona Coupe racing at the 24Hours of LeMans
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Daytona Coupe blasting around the LeMans race track^
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Bob Bondurant being coached up by Carroll Shelby^

American pride was beaming and Shelby with the help of his racers was at the height of his game. in1965 Ford was upset that their GT40s had not even finished the race at LeMans and handed the reigns over to Shelby, would Shelby have enough time in the 4 months to fix all that was needed to get a overall win at the BIGGEST RACE IN THE WORLD? sadly no. Carroll had changed a few things, like the powerplant to a 289. and put Bob Bondurant behind the wheel but even that wasnt enough as the cars overheated and did not finish. now not only was Ford upset, Shelby was too. and in 1966 everything would change.
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Bondurant on in the paddock at LeMans ina GT40 MKI^
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GT40 and Ferrari P2 on track^
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Bob Bondurant and a GT40 Spyder, as well as some of the testing done on the car^

Bob Bondurant wasn’t sure if the Ford crowd would figure it out, and he wanted to win, I’m sure he was persuaded by many teams but Ferrari ultimately pinned him down. was it a bad choice or the right choice for him? its hard to say what history might have looked like today. But Shelby DID figure it out and 1966 was the most historically significant LeMans race since its beginning. Ford brought out 3 Ford GT40s each powered by a 7.0 liter, 427 cubic inch MONSTER. Shelby and his cars won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Bondurant’s Ferrari didn’t even finish. Ford went on to win the race for the next 3 years.
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Bob Bondurant being coached up by Legend Enzo Ferrari^
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Bondurant behind the wheel of a Ferari 330 P2
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Bob Bondurant in his prime^
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Bob Bondurant and Shelby American teammates
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the Ferrari Bob drove at the 24 hours of LeMans^
Bob Bondurant took it as a sign to find other avenues to show his love of racing and later that year found a job as a driving instructor on a movie set, Gran Prix, starring James Garner. Bob went back to LeMans in 1967 in a corvette, but yet did not finish. Still thirsty for a victory he entered into a Can-Am series driving a McLaren. This didn’t fare well for Bob as we broke a steering arm at 150MHP and the car went into a flip, some 8 times. Suffering from ribs, legs, feet, and back injuries, doctors said he would never walk again but he overcame the injuries. If leaving Shelby and not finishing LeMans twice wasn’t enough of a sign to stop racing a crippling 150mpg wreck certainly was.
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Bob on the scene of Gran Prix^
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James Garner in Gran Prix^
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McLaren Can-AM racecar^
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Bondurants 150MPH wreck^

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With no career behind the wheel left, what was he going to do? in a time where he couldn’t retire to be a racing commentator, especially for a sport unpopular in america he was forced to find another means of bringing in the money. He thought back to when he was a instructor for that racing movie, Gran Prix, and thought if he could teach James Garner he could teach anyone how to drive. And so he started the Bondurant Racing School, his first 2 students being Robert Wagner and Paul Newman, who needed to learn to drive for their upcoming movie “Winning”. This was the first spark in Paul Newman’s LeMans destined racing career.
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Bob’s first year in business at the racing school^
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Bob Bondurant and Paul Newman chatting at racing and cars in general^

Bob moved his track a few times in the 70s and 80s but in 1983 Ford Motor Company signed on to sponsor his school and later in 1990 Bob built his own facility in Arizona.
In the early 90s Ford began supplying a few safety race prepared mustangs and other offbeat quirky cars to the school. V8 fox body mustangs, SN95 V8 powered cars, Later overhead cam models of the mustang including the elusive Cobra DOHC powered cars. all with similar modifications, They were painted orange, received a panhard bar and torque arm from Roush, a window safety net, a race seat on the drivers side, a fire suppression system, a 6 point roll cage, a seat harness, 2 piston cobra 13 inch rotor brakes, Monroe GP shocks and struts, Eibach springs, a 8 quart oil pan, and upgraded cooling system. Even the 99-01 cobras which came with independent rear suspension from Ford got the straight axle with panhard and torque arm treatment.
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Former Bondurant race school car sent to Saleen for even further modification^
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SN95 Bondurant racing school car prepared by Roush and finished in orange^
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New Edge Bondurant racing school car prepped by Roush and finished in orange^

Sometime after 01 Ford withdrew their sponsorship of the school. I and others think this was because ford instructed the school to crush all the mustangs used at the school as none were sold to the school and none had any paperwork, besides the obvious reason that if sold to consumers they would eventually end up on the street. Despite Fords demands to crush the retired cars the school did sell them. all of them.
How much was a Bondurant race prepared car? Cheap. Just today a owner of one told me he paid $10000 for a 1998 cobra with a clean log book, meaning low miles and no accidents or over abuse. I didn’t ask him when he bought it but I have to assume in 2000 or so as they had to make room for the newer New Edge body style cars. unfortunately these cars have gone up considerably in value and some owners have even found legal routes to make the cars street legal and acquired titles and even insure them as daily drivers.
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Bondurant 01 Cobra engine bay^
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Bondurant 01 Cobra interior^
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Bondurant 01 Cobra prepared by Roush^

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Many stories have been told to me about some quirky ford experimental cars that ended up at the school and wow there are some WAY out there examples.
like this Mercury Marauder, which in itself its already a weird car, using a 320hp Cobra C head DOHC v8, traditionally using a 4 speed automatic. This Bondurant car found using a 5 or 6 speed manual and a Cobra intake manifold as well as a harness bar and R compound tires. although i can not find any other pictures I’ve heard of a Mercury Sable SVT, and flying laps in Ford 16 passenger vans full of students at the school.
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One thing is for sure, these racing legends have left their mark, weather it be a coiled cobra or a traffic cone colored car they will be remembered.
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Shelby team next to Daytona Coupe^
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Team Shelby American in their prime^