Both cars were treated to magnafluxing of the car’s suspension components and the Mustang had its shock mounts reinforced, heavy-duty coil springs added, and Koni shocks fitted to the car. Crossbeam support bars were included, as well as tubes running underneath the car for mounting camera equipment. Roll bars were tucked into the interiors to help protect the drivers at every turn, especially the ones they missed! A set of Firestone F100 radials were installed on American Racing 15x7 wheels to give the car a more intimidating demeanor. Also, McQueen had the car’s backup lights removed, the grille blacked out, as well as removing all the car’s badging to give the star car a more rugged appearance.
Many of these changes, as well as the many less-glamorous modifications needed to make the cars usable for filming, are still on the vehicle. Camera mounts still hang from the rocker panels, mounts and holes still reside in the trunk, allowing the necessary wires and mounts for other cameras used during filming, and there’s even a touch of adhesive still clinging to the tachometer for a long-unrecorded purpose.
The green machine served the Kiernan family well until 1980 when the clutch finally gave out – time and daily-driver service doing what three weeks of intense driving and filming couldn’t. The Kiernan’s purchased the car with 19,000 miles on the odometer, which now shows 65,000. The car sat from that time in a silent obscurity.