What Is the Mustang GT 390?Last Updated August 8, 2023 | Andrew Boyle
The Highland Green Mustang GT 390 2+2 driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 movie Bullitt helped make the car chase an action film staple for years to come. During the movie’s climatic seven-minute chase scene, McQueen’s character, Lt. Frank Bullitt, frantically maneuvered his Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in hot pursuit of a 1968 Dodge Charger 440 R/T.
Respectfully referred to as the “Bullitt,” this classic vehicle served as the inspiration for numerous special-edition Mustangs that were available in later years. McQueen’s Bullitt was ranked at #26 on Complex Rides' list of “The 100 Best Mustangs of All Time.”
Mustang GT 390 Versions
The 1968 Mustang GT 390 version that Ford offered for sale to the public was equipped with a 390-cubic-inch V8 engine and a choice of either a two-barrel or four-barrel carburetor. The former delivered a horsepower output of 270 hp, while the latter featured 325 horses under the hood.
This was not the first year Ford produced a Mustang GT 390 — it also offered a 1967 four-barrel version with a 320 hp rating. Additionally, Ford offered a four-barrel 1969 GT 390 that also delivered 320 hp.
Return of the Bullitt - Without the 390 Engine
In 2001, Ford paid homage to the original Bullitt by introducing a new Mustang GT package featuring the Bullitt nameplate. Ford also re-fired the Bullitt in 2008-2009, and again in 2019.
While the 21st century Bullitt versions did not include the 390 engine, they were reminiscent of McQueen’s Bullitt in terms of style. The 2008-2009 models were even equipped with a special exhaust system that accurately captured the sound of the Mustang GT 390.
Image Credit: Motor Trend