Video: Recreating The “Bullitt” Chase In Animated Stop-Motion
Any car guy and gal worth their salt would be furious to hear anyone make claims there’s a better car chase scene than that in the movie Bullitt. Starring a ’68 Mustang GT and Dodge Charger R/T (and co-starring Steve McQueen), they tumble through the streets of San Francisco, culminating in a spectacular crash.
Now there’s a “remixed” version of the chase scene courtesy of a chap named Steve Day. By day, he’s a graphic designer in the United Kingdom. By night, he’s been recreating the chase scene using stop-motion animation.
When Steve was a kid, he played with his Scalextrics slot car racing system. In recent years it began tugging at his heart, so be bought a new one and went racing. His fun had just begun when he discovered that Pioneer Slot Cars were making replicas of the Mustang and Charger. Steve then created his own slot car version of the chase scene, sending some test shots to Pioneer. In an admirable gesture of goodwill towards Steve’s endeavor, they sent Steve several vehicle extras plus figurines.
But something funny happened when he posted a trailer on SlotForum.com in November: The video took off. It spread like gangbusters to a myriad of automotive sites plus The New York Times. This labor of love has now become a lot bigger – he’s building eight different sets/scenes, and he’s going to shoot at a higher frame rate.
Of course, we can’t chat about Steve’s neat project without mentioning the two stars of the movie. The Mustang GT was modified with a few personalized touches, then banged up because Steve McQueen’s character was supposed to project a Blue Collar image. Motorvation came from a 390, which wasn’t known for outrunning 396 Camaros and 400 Firebirds, so some mild mods were made to make it competitive with the Charger R/T.
And that Charger? From all appearances, it was a stripe-delete black 4-speed car, but it’s now believed that it originally was Sunfire Yellow. The engine in the Charger was the standard R/T 440 rated at 375 horsepower. Max Balchowsky, the man who maintained the cars for filming, was quoted as saying, “The Dodge, which was practically stock, just left the Mustang like you wouldn’t believe.“
To keep up with Steve’s progress, visit his YouTube channel: emigre100