Digestible Collectible: 2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

I’ve stumbled down a deep and dangerous rabbit hole, and it all started with a jerk nearly hitting me. The jerk in question was driving a tuned SN95 Mustang, swerving in and out of lanes on the interstate without signals, and timed his maneuver around my slow van poorly.

It was hard to stay angry, however, as he dropped a gear and the Modular V-8 snarled enticingly. I drove home and opened up some browser tabs. And more. And more still. As I write, I have twenty tabs open, filled with cars for sale, suspension setup tips, and performance parts catalog houses.

I need help. Or winning lottery numbers. That’d be just as good.

I’m rather ashamed, actually. I’ve never driven any sort of pony car. For years, I’ve read about the awful handling, horrendous interior materials, and terrifying winter performance, and never really gave them a serious look when car shopping in the past. That needs to change.

The car that caught my eye is a 2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt, here in an unusual deep blue, which is apparently the limitedest of the three limited colors offered in the movie-inspired special edition. The Bullitt got an uprated suspension over the standard GT, a bit extra power, and those gorgeous Torq-Thrust-inspired alloys.

I’m not sure if the upgrades — that I’m sure are available for a couple grand at the performance parts sites I have open in another tab — are worth the premium over the base GT, but it may pay off down the road for collectors.

Like I mentioned last week, it’s remarkable how the sound a car can affect buying decisions. In this case, the Mustang is great at making bad decisions seem reasonable.

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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16 of 58 comments
  • APaGttH APaGttH on Nov 23, 2015

    Half-assed attempt to dress up the engine bay and after the loving cleaning from the make ready department it still looks like ass - that says, "danger Will Robinson" to me. Run hard, hang up wet to dry.

    • See 1 previous
    • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Nov 23, 2015

      @dal20402 "Ouch. Those engine-bay mods are worse than anything on the outside of the car." Agree, how can anyone think that looks good. Deduct 2K right there to get it back to stock.

  • RogerB34 RogerB34 on Nov 23, 2015

    Several years ago considered a 2002 Bullitt for purchase. Issue is the engine doesn't have knock sensors and it knocks on regular gas. Ford did have a ECM software fix that fixed the issue for some and not for others. The general solution was premium gasoline.

  • SomeGuy SomeGuy on Nov 23, 2015

    You have to raise your standards man. The New Edge Mustangs with the exceptions of the 4V motors are terrible cars. All of them have bad interiors, so I'm just speaking to the drivetrain, which the gearbox isn't even that good. Especially on the 2V cars. I believe it was a T-45 or something, but they have cable clutches so if you are in traffic you will be building up some calves. Not a bad idea if you have a container of beefcake in the passenger seat. As for the automatic... Just don't. I've driven both 2V & 4V motors. Here are the only New Edge cars you should EVER consider: Mach 1 99-01 Cobra if the deal is right 03-04 Cobra That is it. Otherwise save your money for a 2011+ 5.0L.

  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Nov 23, 2015

    I could turn my Thunderbird into a monster that would kick a Bullit's ass for $12k... Especially if I ripped out the 4.6 and went Windsor instead. Hi-po Windsors are just...easier.

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 23, 2015

      @bball40dtw Nah the way I see it, the world needs more unicorns.