The year in classic car finds started off with a Bullitt and ended with a bang. Some of the most sought-after long-lost cars in history came to light in 2018, while plenty of other gems were pulled out of barns, garages and fields. Here are a few of the incredible cars that Fox News Autos readers were most excited about this year.
Last year a car collector stumbled upon a rusty old Mustang in a Mexican junkyard that turned out to be one of the stunt cars used in the Steve McQueen film “Bullitt,” but the whereabouts of the other one remained unknown…except to the man who owned it. His name is Sean Kiernan. His late father had bought the car from a classified ad in the 1970s and the family used it as a daily driver until it broke down and was put away. After his dad died a few years ago, Kiernan decided it was time to get it running again, and did just in time to share it with the world for the 50th anniversary of the film.
Another far less famous Mustang popped up on Ebay this year, but it turned out to be literally more unique that the two Bullitts. The 1970 Mustang Mach 1 428 Super Cobra Jet Drag Pack didn’t have an engine, transmission, hood, seats or really anything but its rusty body, but it was one of just 23 like it that were built without a Ram Air option and the only one of those painted Lime Green. That made it a "one of one" car, and the seller didn’t even know it. Once word got out, the bidding jumped from an asking price of $3,000 to $10,900.
“American Pickers” host Mike Wolfe has a thing for old VW vans, but when he came across a 1964 International Harvester Metro in the Massachusetts woods with a rock and roll past he knew he had to have it. It was Aerosmith’s tour van before they hit it big, and still had the band’s logo on the side. "If you had the opportunity to buy one of the biggest and most iconic pieces of rock and roll history for $25,000 — hell yes you would," Wolf said.
Next to the Bullitts, the most famous missing Mustang was a 1967 Shelby GT500 prototype called “Little Red” that Ford was supposed to have sent to the crusher a half-century ago, but accidentally shipped to a dealer instead. After being sold to a returning Vietnam War vet and living an anonymous life, it ended up in a yard in Texas, where car auction house owner Craig Jackson tracked it down after stumbling upon its vehicle identification number while researching another Shelby prototype he owns that’s worth over $2 million.
“Bullitt” may be Steve McQueen’s most iconic film, but his last one was “The Hunter,” in which he plays a bounty hunter whose rented Trans Am gets blown up by dynamite during a chase scene. The rental agent in the movie may not have been too excited, but the local farmer that the production company let keep the wreck if he hauled it away sure was. That is before he got it home, put it in the back of his barn and forgot about it until he got a call a few weeks ago from a couple of Trans Am fanatics who'd heard of it and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.