Next

Lexani Motorcars Channels Inner Trump With Latest Creation


Prev

July 10, 2019

By: Sinjin

CARS

One-On-One With The Driver Of GMG’s Bullitt Mustang: Chris Forsberg

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s Gas Monkey’s 1968 Bullitt launching through the hills of San Francisco! By now most of you have seen, or at least heard, we were building a 1968 Bullitt Mustang and recreating the most famous chase scene to ever cross the silver screen. However, what most of you probably don’t know a lot about is the man behind the wheel. No, it wasn’t Steve McQueen, but another cool dude and Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg.

We sat down after the whole craziness of filming, and actually pulling off something most of us only dreamed about, to ask Chris a few questions about his experience:

 

First things first, what’s your driving background? Both in terms of motorsports and stunt driving?

I actually have no racing experience and taught myself how to drive stick in my friends Honda when I was 14 in my parent’s backyard. From there I eventually sold my truck and bought a Mazda RX7 when I was 17. I learned about drifting and was eager to become a better driver so I taught myself how to control the car by watching in car videos of drivers from Japan. In 2003 we started the first organized events on the east coast where I was able to hone in my skills. I moved to California to enter into the first season of Formula Drift in 2004 where I finished on the podium and continued to compete to this very day, holding the records for the most championships, most podium finishes, and most head to head wins. My stunt driving background stemmed from my competitive side as I was approached to take my sideways driving skills to the production side of the world where more and more agencies wanted to see their cars sliding through corners.

Growing up, had you ever seen Bullitt before? Was an icon and motorsports enthusiast like Steve McQueen an inspiration to you?

Yes, I have seen Bullitt as well as many other Steve McQueen movies. He was inspirational in the fact that he performed many of his own stunts which makes him way more bad ass.

So, you get the call and you’re asked to drive the Bullitt Mustang and recreate the famous chase scene, what runs through your mind first?

The first thing I thought of when I got the call was, I cannot wait jump a car in San Francisco! Haha. I mean, I am pretty sure that is every driver’s dream. Then it started to sink in what he whole project was, and I was honored to even be considered for such a role.

You’re used to driving an over a 1000hp Nissan, how was it transitioning to a classic Ford Mustang?

I have driven drift cars in all shapes and sizes but yes, my competition car is a 2700lb 1000hp 370Z which is designed to withstand extreme drivetrain abuse. With zero time in the car before the first production shots for the chase scene, my biggest hurdle for the classic Ford Mustang was to ensure that I did not damage the drivetrain as we did not have a plethora of spare parts if something were to fail. The Gas Monkey team did an amazing job at being thorough throughout the build to keep it running all week long with zero failures.

For those that will never get a chance to know what it’s like driving a car like this through San Fran, which is everyone, how would you best describe the experience?

I was trying to not get caught up in the moment as it was all happening. It is my job to stay focused on the goal of each shot and location to make sure we are achieving the director’s vision. However, once each take is locked in and we get to watch some playback, that is where I was getting goosebumps as I stood beside Steve’s son Chad who was on location with us.

Now that it’s all over, the Bullitt survived, and episode aired, do you have any lasting words for all the fans watching across the world?

The Bullitt chase scene is one that will go down in history as one of the greatest car chases of all time. To relive those moments on the same streets in basically the same car was an unforgettable experience for me and is easily my favorite driving job that I have ever done.

 

This wasn’t cinema for cinema’s sake, this was about honoring a legend, a piece of Americana that has stuck with many since the first time they saw it. No matter how many years pass since the original Bullitt jump, it’s safe to say that the King of Cool will live on forever.

Trending Articles