Forget the blues* with China!
(*Not to be mistaken for the mighty blues who, despite an $8m waste of Queensland taxpayers’ funds, tropically tortured (to quote Fox Sports) the maroon cane toads by an AFL (Victorian football) score in Mt Isa by the sea on Wednesday night.)
No, our former friends and colonial masters, the soap dodgers, have thrown 414 years of the US relationship and 251 years of the Australian one down the gurgle hole, through the S bend and into the stinking sewer of feculent history.
Yes, this week, the unofficial arm of the British secret service, the online and telephone comparison and switching service Uswitch.com, put Steve McQueen’s car chase in Bullitt near last in their list of best car chases of movie history! First, The Dark Knight Rises (DNR). So, when ScoMo beards Boris in his Downing Street den this Monday his first words should be: “McQueen last? You’re pushing your luck little man. No trade deal for you.”
As Mike Magda wrote in MotorTrend about the 104-minute classic petrol head film with no plot starring two cars in a 10 minute 53 second car chase: “Bullitt did more than excite audiences.
“It changed the way Hollywood looked at cops at a time when policemen were being called pigs. It paved the way for more movies to be shot entirely on location and outside of the Hollywood mentality. It was a cutting-edge film that premiered in a turbulent year that shaped a socially conscious generation’s values, music, and lifestyles.”
Compare that to the all Hollywood, partly animated, three million car and one weird Bat vehicle so-called chase in DNR that runs for 4 minutes 50 seconds with about three seconds of actual chasing.
Did Christian Bale (aka Batperson) actually drive the Bat-Pod? Of course not. Did Steve McQueen actually drive the two identical green Ford Mustangs in Bullitt? You’re not serious? This is the man who said: “Racing is life. Everything else is just waiting.”
Of course, he also pinched one of the Sultan’s favourite sayings: “I believe in me. I’m a little screwed up, but I’m beautiful.” And in the same vein channelled both my immediate boss and the ultimate boss when he said (I’m told without vomiting): “Every time I start thinking the world is all bad, then I start seeing people out there having a good time on motorcycles. It makes me take another look.”
Now because this is a motoring column (albeit in the Business section, where apart from my boss, stars like John Durie ride a bike – worse, a bicycle), not the arts section, let me just tell you that the most featured of the two 1968 Mustangs sold last year for about $4.4 mill which is not bad for a piece of metal the owner paid $4 grand for 45 years before.
Get ready for a tear attack. When Ford was introducing their latest Bullitt Mustang in 2018 they invited Steve’s granddaughter Molly McQueen to the launch. Molly got a shock in the week before when they unveiled the original Mustang Grandpa Steve had driven.
After being told she was about the eighth person ever to sit in the car she said: “I think it creates the most tangible connection I’ve felt to my grandfather. He helped plan out the car chase in the film. One of the studio’s historians said that on the shooting script it just said, ‘car chase’. And he came up with everything else because he loved cars so much.”
She says McQueen selected the Mustang because “firstly, it was incredibly important to him to pick a car the average American could afford, especially on a detective’s salary. And second, it’s bad ass”.
If you haven’t got a lazy $4 or $5 mill in the cunning kick the V8 Mustangs on sale here in Oz are not only great value but just as bad ass (a donkey) as Steve’s old ride. This month’s Wheels magazine journos test drive the new manual Mustang Mach 1 ($84k) and rave. You can save over $10k and be just as quick to 100km/h by buying the auto V8 GT and badder ass by finding a Rob Herrod-built Mustang R- Spec for about $110k.
I’m a huge fan of any of the V8 Mustangs. They’re nearly as quick most BMW M series, most Porkers and just about every Mazer. And you look much cooler particularly if you get back on the gaspers, drop by Vinnies for the second, worn-in, leather jacket, splurge on the Persol sunnies, skinny jeans, white sandshoes and white T shirt.
If you must have an oldie, next week at the Barrett Jackson Las Vegas auction you can bid on Henry Ford’s own Raven Black 1966 high-option Mustang convertible he drove when he went to France to see his cars beat Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. No idea on price and no interest.
Anyway, the rest of the completely wrong list from soap dodger central has the Dark Night second on the best chase list followed by Drive, Baby Driver, Captain America, Mad Max: Fury Road and the Blues Brothers. Batperson fans will know he was very fond of Lambos and the product placement fees that went with them.
The Lambo in DNR is on show when Covid ends at the Lambo Museum and factory in Bologna. But if you want a cheapie and proven road runner then the Queensland coppers have a purple Lamborghini Huracan with only 1k on the clock up for auction next week. These are around $450k new so this should be a steal although you’re probably up for unpaid speeding tickets.
The maroon cane toads who dress in blue tell me that “after spotting the distinctive purple Lamborghini Huracan travelling at high speeds and then subsequently evading police interception, officers seized the luxury sports car under Queensland’s tough anti-hoon legislation. In total, the driver has been linked to 20 traffic offences including evading police and disqualified from driving offences”.