Follow that car 

Every good detective needs a cool set of wheels. And, speaking of Steve McQueen and Bullitt, I ran across a model car of Bullitt’s famed ’68 Ford Mustang at Autorama last month. (By the way, there are two kinds of people in Detroit: those who go to the North American International Auto Show and those who go to Autorama.) The funny thing about this model car is that it is not old — it was made within the last year ($22.50 at

There is such a lack of contemporary detective heroes, people are going back to the classics. If you remember, McQueen played Detective Lt. Frank Bullitt, one of those antihero cops like Dirty Harry, who pursues a ’68 Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco. It’s not that this was the first cinematic car chase by any means, but it was one of the first examples of the car chase as an art form. Like jazz or lovemaking, a car chase involves a standard pattern of essential elements (bad guys chase good guys and vice versa) that can only become great with precise amounts of tension, rhythm and improvisation.

Playin' a hunch
Wise guys
Tough looks
Nothin' like a dame

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