Original Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang sells for $3.4million at auction 46 years after owner's father bought it for just $3,500

• Sale was conducted on Friday 10th January 2020 by Mecum auction house in Kissimmee, Florida 
• McQueen's car from Bullitt sets record for most expensive Mustang ever sold 
• The sellers are the Kiernan family. Robert Kiernan bought it in 1974 for $3,500 
• Bidding for the car surpassed $3million in the first minute of the auction

The Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang GT featured in the film Bullitt was sold Friday at a Florida auction house for $3.74 million.

The sale at Mecum Kissimmee marks the most expensive Mustang ever sold, surpassing a 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake that sold last year for $2.2million, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Owner Sean Kiernan, with his sister Kelly Cotton riding shotgun, drove the car across the auction block at Silver Spurs Arena and then addressed a crowd of about 25,000 before the bidding started.

'This car had sold twice in its life, it's been in my family for 45 years. Each time it has sold, it was $3,500,' Kiernan said. 

'So we´re going to start it off at that price and go from there.'

The auction house posted an 11-minute video of the auction on YouTube.

Bidding surpassed $3million in the first minute. 

The top bid went back and forth between someone present and a bidder on the phone for several minutes before the mystery buyer on the phone won, agreeing to pay $3.4million plus a 10 percent buyer's premium.

Kiernan's father, Robert, bought the car after seeing an ad in a 1974 issue of Road & Track magazine. 

The New Jersey family used it as a daily commuter until the clutch gave out in 1980.

In the late 1970s, Steve McQueen, who played the title character in Bullitt, tracked down the Kiernans and asked if he could reclaim the muscle car in return for a similar Mustang. 

In the movie, the Mustang was made famous during a ten minute high-speed car chase. 

McQueen had raced it through the streets of San Francisco in pursuit of ill-fated characters in a black 1968 Dodge Charger. 

'I would like to appeal to you to get back my ’68 Mustang,' McQueen wrote to the Kiernans in a 1977 letter.

'I would like very much to keep it in the family, in its original condition as it was used in the film, rather than have it restored; which is simply personal with me.'