The Bullitt Page

International Bullitt Mustang Replica and Look-alike Collection

©  Wolfgang Kohrn 1993-2015

EUROPE United Kingdom
David Redhead breathes "Bullitt" every other day.

He is into this for as long as he can think and we enjoyed his Bullitt sequel already as well as his appearance with his mate Chris' Charger at the Silverstone 2014 50th Annniversary of the Mustang.
The commercial of the event went viral and collected millions of hits. You can review it in our Bullitt news from 2014.

David has spent considerable time to make his Bullitt Mustang replica one of the outstanding samples, so he and his mate Chris with his Charger can perform Bullitt style in the public.

David has even a set of the correct American Racing rims, that are not easy to find. His came from a Shelby, but let's tell him his story in his own words:

"I bought my wheels about three years ago from a guy who had purchased a Shelby Mustang fitted with 1960s Torq Thrust ‘Ds’ and fortunately for me, wanted to change them for the ‘proper’ Shelby wheels.

 Before and since buying them I did quite a bit of research, which was hard going and usually finished with dead-ends.

 In 1965 American Racing, to accommodate the new disc brakes fitted to Corvettes, started producing aluminium Torq Thrust ‘D’ crow’s claw wheels with a GM, 5 x 4.75 lug nut pattern in two sizes, 15 x 6 and 15 x 7. (Also known as ‘bear’s claw’ and ‘eagle’s beak’ wheels).

 I have never been able to establish conclusively that American Racing produced these crow’s claw wheels with Ford lug nut patterns and why would they, the wheels they already had in production fitted Fords. The ‘D’ wheels were introduced specifically to fit Corvettes. 

Putting together some of the relevant information from my research, I gather that Carroll Shelby purchased this particular style of Torq Thrust crow’s claw ‘D’ wheel to put on some of his racers. 

Bob Grossmanns 1967 Shelby notchback racer had crow's claw D wheels mounted

Another Shelby race car with the same crow's claw AR D rims.

I have seen pictures of Shelby and other racing Mustangs with these particular 60’s wheels but apart from the set I purchased which came from a Shelby Mustang, I have never seen another set of crow’s claw ‘D’ wheels for sale with the Ford 5 x 4.5 lug nut pattern and talking to most of the vintage wheel dealers, neither have they. 

It may well be that Carroll Shelby experimented with larger discs on his Mustangs or perhaps he just liked the ‘new look’ wheels and with his clout was able to purchase Torq Thrust blanks which he then had drilled out to the Ford pattern.

 Coincidently, Carroll Shelby was friendly with Steve McQueen and without much stretch of the imagination, it would be reasonable to assume that he supplied the ‘Bullitt’ wheels to McQueen.

 There is no doubt that crow’s claw wheels with the Ford lug nut pattern existed and were used on some Mustangs including Frank Bullitt’s 68 Fastback.

 One pair of each size in aluminium was acquired for the ‘Bullitt’ car and even though

15 x 6’s were used on the front and 15 x 7’s were used on the rear, all four wheels were shod with the same size Firestone tires. See comparison photograph. 

The rims on the new wheels back then, came polished leaving the hub, spokes and inner spoke rim in light gray cast aluminium. The hub, spokes and inner spoke rims were then, according to Bud Ekins, sprayed matt black as were all the lug nuts because no masking was used, any black overspray was then (usually but not always) cleaned off with paint thinners. 

Run the Bullitt DVD between frames 1:11:14 and 1:11:16, look at the rear wheel center cap and you will see what I mean. See split frame photograph.

The crow’s claw wheels and the vintage Firestone bias-belted Poly/fibreglass (Polyglas) tires were fitted to my car for the 2014 Silverstone Classic but were not on the car when we filmed the Silverstone Bullitt Homage video...

 At over 100 mph in a 46 year old car and on those tires would have been a bit too risky.

 The tires fitted to the actual ‘Bullitt’ Mustang were derived from Firestone racing tires used on single seat open wheel racing cars. Compare the picture of the tire on the Bullitt Mustang to the Firestone tire on Derek Bell’s Formula 2 racing car that Steve McQueen is sitting in. Also check out the Firestone tire on Jim Clark’s Formula 2 Lotus.

 Sadly Jim Clark was killed in this car in a 170 mph crash at Hockenheim on May 7th 1968. Filming on Bullitt started on 3rd April 1968.  


Silverstone 2014:
Davids Bulitt replica and Chris, the owner of the Charger behind the Mustang

Want to see more Bullitt Replicas?

Germany Page 1 USA - Page 2    Europe - Page 3  Japan and others - Page 4
If you know of another look-alike or BULLITT alike other model year Mustang, you want to see here, send a picture and a short description

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