Carter's Custom


Our favorite Mustangs from the Friends of Steve McQueen show

Having established himself as a legitimate movie star, such that he earned the nickname the King of Cool, Steve McQueen cemented his legend with Ford fans with the film Bullitt, which featured the car chase scene by which all others are measured.

Longbefore his star shone bright, however, the young Steve McQueen foundhimself on a troubled path and end up at Boys Republic,a private, non-profitcommunity for at-risk boys and girls ages 13-17. His stay there turned his life around and he never forgot the impact his stay there had on his life.

“I don't think a lot of people realize that my grandfather actually attended these grounds. In 1946 where we were standing, my grandfather walked these roads and walked these, these same distinct streets were on and he brought my dad back here when he was 15 years old he told him if it wasn't for this place that he would have been dead or ended up in prison,” Chase McQueen, Operations at McQueenRacing, and grandson of the big-screen legend, explained. “And he said this place totally turned his life around, and I think that just really resonated with my dad and you know he's made it very clear that it wasn't for this place there would be no Steve McQueen, and there’d be no McQueen family. So it's important to us that we continue to honor his legacy and honor how much this meant to him…”

Chase,his father Chad, and his sister Madison continue to support Boy’s Republic much like their grandfather did when he was alive.

“He'd always make sure that he was showing up in a suit or nice so the boys here understood, you know, what they can make something of themselves and he would do crazy things,” Chase shared. “When he worked on a movie, he’d order 500 pairs of Levi's and he sent to the BoysRepublic, or order 5,000razors and had them sent here.”

One way the McQueen family gives back to Boys Republic is by actively participating in the Friends of Steve McQueen Car & Motorcycle Show,which began 15 years ago as a way to generate revenue to further the efforts of the Boy’s Republic. Thus far the show raised millions of dollars for this worthy cause, and the 2023 installment added hundreds of thousands more to that tally.

“Another thing that's really special is you don't always understand where that money goes…” Chase told us. “What I really love about this place and why my family is only attached to this charity. You can see where that money is going. So, you know this year you're here you're attending, and hopefully, you'll come next year and you'll see exactly where that money went and the growth that is coming from this car show.”

We made our first trip to this year’s show and left impressed with the wide array of hardware on display — from cars and trucks to motorcycles and airplanes. However, given our mission here, we focus on the Ford Mustangs on the property, of which there were many. Here we have narrowed it down to our 10 favorites, but there are many more in the gallery below if you’d like to choose your own.

As you might expect, the Friends of Steve McQueen show attracts a strongcontingent of production and reproduction Mustang Bullitts. With thetheme in mind, we included several of these machines in our Top 10list.

The show also served as the debut of the new McQueen Racing package for Mustang Bullitts painted in the unusual black color. McQueen Racing and partner Steeda Performance Vehicles plan an expansion of offerings, including a McQueen Racing package for the 2024 Mustang.

10.2012 Boss 302

Playing favorites at a car show is an exercise in personal bias, so it’s no surprise that a personal connection to the Boss 302 led to this pick.Your author drove this car at the storied Laguna Seca raceway in NorCal and documented that experience in the pages of the 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazineyou see displayed next to this car’s Road Runner engine. Seeing Jack Hazelrigg’s car and classic magazine together brought a smile to this writer’s face.

9. 1967 Mustang Coupe

This scribe’s favorites tend to lean toward the modified side of the scale, and Albert Dominguez’s 1969 Mustang checks those boxes courtesy of a Kenne Bell-supercharged 5.4-liter engine from an S197-era GT500 filling its engine compartment.  

8. 1970 Mach 1

A’70 Mach 1 is a sweet ride in stock form, but Russell Miyashiro’s example has to be an absolute blast to drive thanks to the ProCharger boosting its build small-block via a blow-through carburetor setup.

7. 1989 Mustang LX Coupe

You can’t go wrong with a clean Fox coupe, and Edgar Palmer’s 1989 Mustang LX rocks the sweet, period-correct mods that take you back tothe glory days of these cars. It sports a Vortech supercharger breathing deep through a Pro-M mass air meter feeding a polished Cobra intake manifold with plenty of boost. Don’t call yourself a Fox fan if those words don’t make you smile.

6. 1965 Mustang Coupe

Few things are more classic than a ’65 Mustang, and William Wolsieffer’s red coupe fuses the spirit of the original Mustang with the powertrain tech that made the Fox era famous. Underhood is a pushrod 5.0-liter topped by a polished intake and is boosted by a Powerdyne centrifugal blower. It feeds power to the rearend via an AOD automatic.

5 . 1965 Mustang Fastback

Another OG classic caught our eye, and it was Jim Farley’s beautiful blue ’65 Fastback with a tricked-out, 347-cube stroker small-block underhood. It supplies 450 horsepower to a 9-inch rearend via aTREMEC five-speed manual transmission. Riding low over Cragar wheels wrapped in BFG rubber, its Global West suspension is controlled by Koni dampers.

4. 2001 Mustang Bullitt

Though there weren’t many on hand at the Friends of Steve McQueen show. This stocker didn’t have any identifying markings, but your author has found memories of these cars. They featured a smidge of extra power and sharpened handling to go along with that Bullitt styling, and they were a cool step up from the Mustang GTs of that era.
Ford brought back the Bullit style from 2008-2009 and it meshed perfectly with the call-back styling of the S197 Mustang. Dwayne Lowe’s example is stock, but cool because it has been driven through 49 states and Canada.

2. Steve McQueen Edition 2019 Mustang Bullitt

McQueen Racing and Steeda Performance Vehicles first joined forces to create the Steve McQueen Edition Bullitt. Equipped with unique wheels, a Whipple supercharger, a full Steeda suspension, and more, this 2019 model fit right in at the Friends of Steve McQueen Car &Motorcycle Show.

1. 1968 Mustang Bullitt Replica

Though the movie features a Highland Green ’68 Mustang, there was no official Bullitt Mustang back in the day. However, Jeremy Scott built this great replica powered by a nicely detailed 390 underhood. It fit with the theme of the day at the Boys Republic campus.

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