The Chargers were purchased for the movie by stunt driver Bill Hickman. These cars were originally blue and yellow, as Dodge didn’t offer the 1968 Charger in black, with the former being used for stunt shots, and the latter was designated the hero car for close-ups. After shooting was complete, the surviving hero car was returned to the dealer, who repainted it yellow and sold it. And so it was for a few decades.
But in 2002, 51-year-old Mopar fanatic Arnold Welch purchased what he believed to be the “Bullitt” Charger, in Tucson, Arizona.
Welch says the Chrysler Historical Museum “indicated that I knew more about the car than they could physically provide to me,” and Warner Brothers’ archive department said any documents relating to the car would have been lost or destroyed. Welch noted that the car is highly original, had only 62,000 miles on it when he bought it, and hadn’t been driven since 1973.
Since there was no official channel to confirm the car’s identity, Welch turned to the Bullitt movie itself. First, the blue color of the stunt car is visible in a scene when a door handle comes off, thus proving that it was the yellow hero car that survived.