Even with all the traffic zooming along the coast this summer, it isn’t every day the image of a 1968 Mustang Fastback with BULLITT on its Maine license plate rises into view in your rear-view mirror.
“I bought this car the same year the Steve McQueen movie came out,” says Rich Whittlesey, 72. “I’m the original owner.”
Though he has “a small business repairing and selling vintage guitars,” his career was “working on the Hubble Space Telescope as well as spy satellites,” in Danbury, Connecticut, for firms like Hughes and Raytheon. “They’ve just declassified what I did. I’m not a spook anymore!”
Mystery car aside. “People pull in my driveway in Blue Hill and ask to look at it.” As for what his second-favorite McQueen movie is, he says, “Baby the Rain Must Fall.” McQueen, guitars, we get it.
Is muscle-car lover Whittlesey’s other car a bland econobox like a Nissan Leaf? Naw… “It’s a 2008 Mustang GT.”
To view a PowerPoint graphic of his 2005 keynote address at the The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’s Third Responsive Space Conference (something right out of The Big Bang Theory), see “Reconnaissance Payloads for Responsive Space,” www.responsivespace.com/Papers/RS3/SESSION%20PAPERS/SESSION%205/5004-COX/5004C.pdf.
On top of everything else, Whittlesey has come up with an algorithm for blending into Maine if you weren’t born here, the book A Flatlander’s Guide to Surviving in the State of Maine: Scientific Methods for Determining If You Are From Away, available on Amazon. It’s essential reading–we hear there’s a monstah re-entry burn in Blue Hill.