Molly McQueen, the granddaughter of the late movie star Steve McQueen, might not be a major household name just yet. But the actress just proved she’s deserving of the spotlight.
In one of the most buzzed-about rollouts at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, McQueen showed off some of her own skills behind the wheel of a Mustang Bullitt GT Fastback, which her grandfather made famous back in 1968.
The LA-based actress flew into Detroit to help unveil the new 50th Anniversary model of the Mustang Bullitt with a special video clip, in which she dramatically races a Dodge Charger for the last available space in a parking garage…
OK, so maybe it’s not as epic as the legendary movie car chase her grandfather delivered on the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt. Then again, considering the actress just learned how to drive a manual before shooting the Ford clip, we should probably cut her some slack.
“I don’t know why, but Ford had this preconceived notion that I already knew how to drive a stick,” she says. “So, when they ran the concept by me, they were like, ‘We’re going to have you do this J-turn, we’re going to have you do this handbrake turn.’ And was like, ‘I think you’re confused. I do not know how to drive a stick shift, let alone do a J-turn.’ ”
McQueen says it took her roughly three hours of training, with a professional Ford driver, to get a handle on the new manual-equipped 475-horsepower Mustang Bullitt before taping the clip.
The Detroit unveiling included another special touch—a surprise appearance from the original ’68 hero car that Steve McQueen actually drove in the movie. Many presumed it had been lost forever, but Sean Kiernan, whose family has owned the iconic hero car since 1974, long considered the Holy Grail of Mustangs, was also on hand for the event.
McQueen says the entire experience has given her a new level of appreciation for cars.
“I live in L.A. so for me, the car has always been a means of transportation,” she says. “It’s never been anything more. This is a whole new world to me. Before I filmed the video, I had never been to Detroit. And now, I get it. I truly get why people are motorheads and why they are obsessed.”
Sounds like she is revved and ready for a bigger starring role in the car world. Maybe Ford will let her cut loose in a more true-to-form movie car chase scene, in the new Mustang Bullitt, for a chance to claim her own spot among the legends.
Photos: A.J. Mueller Photography