Is there another actor – either living or dead – who is more closely associated with cars and motorcycles than Steve McQueen? An inveterate car guy, McQueen owned his share of amazing rides, including a lust-worthy Jag SS and a questionably brown Ferrari 250GT Lusso. He was also famous for wanting to do his own stunts, including much of the driving for the genre-defining chase scene in his 1968 film, Bullitt.
That chase scene, between McQueen’s Frank Bullitt in a ’68 Mustang fastback, and a pair of hit men in a Dodge Charger became the exemplar against which all others that followed would be compared. The funny thing is, while the movie has been remembered for that scene alone, it’s also a really good procedural on top of having one of the greatest car chases in film history. McQueen based his character of a San Francisco detective on a real-life cop named Dave Toschi whose penchant for a shoulder holster he adopted for the role. Toschi himself was played by Mark Ruffalo in the David Fincher-helmed Zodiac, and he was also the basis for Clint Eastwood’s character in Dirty Harry.
Despite all that, what made Bullitt memorable to most of us was the cars, and the ’60s streets of San Francisco. Check them out in the original trailer, right after the jump.