Featured Question with Forrest: The Bullet

thrill of the chaseI was first introduced to The Bullet in Forrest’s Too Far to Walk book. I loved how Forrest tells in his story that Peggy named it The Bullet because she thought his (new to him) 35’ Plymouth was shot.

Every time I think about that it makes me smile and feel better about my own first car. It was also shot; but aren’t first cars supposed to be? Peggy’s clever name makes the memory of those ‘bullets’ ever more special for all of us who had one. I can now say, my ‘blue bullet’, and feel some pride. A name can do much…lol…

As the question below mentions, Forrest wrote a scrapbook recently about the Return of the Bullet. Forrest had shared in Too Far to Walk how ‘The Bullet’ had mysteriously gone missing and he wanted it back!  A double for it was wonderfully found!

The past and present photos of the car display a true joy in both.  I love the similar poses.

thrill of the chase

thrill of the chase

Now the question:

Mr. Fenn,
I saw the scrapbook and pictures of Bullet’s return home, and was wondering if you have any plans of driving down memory lane… so to speak. And where would you and Bullet most like to go?


Thanks Mike.

We searched a year for the bullet (actually its twin brother) and finally found it in Maryland. We shipped it to Santa Fe because the tires are 48 years old. Although the treads are good, the rubber has hardened and we thought it imprudent to drive it to this distant place.

I helped Peggy into our new 1935 Plymouth. Without a word, we turned left and drove out The Old Santa Fe Trail toward Canoncito. It had been 65 years since the two of us had ridden in the Bullet. With no power steering or power brakes, and no air conditioning, it brought back memories of our first ride in the Bullet.

It was about 1946 when I was 16 and she was 14. Although we are now 85 and 82, the thrill still lingers unabated. Thanks Mike, for reminding me. F



If anyone has any more questions about the Bullet, you have the opportunity to ask them at Forrest’s book signing on September 14th.  Another amazing event and book for sure!!

The book is entitled: Leon Gaspard- The Call of Distant Places
Written by Forrest Fenn and Carleen Milburn

Autograph Party
Monday, September 14th
At the La Fonda Hotel
Santa Fe Room
5-7 PM


And I thought it would be interesting to know what everyone’s ‘first cars’ or amazing ‘Bullets’ were- if you would like to share and even include a story about it if you want? 


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75 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Such special memories! Thanks for sharing them and the new photo of you with The Bullet, Forrest. Just excellent!

    My Blue Bullet was a Dodge Omni…lol….but it was a turquoise like blue and I actually really liked the small thing….

    • JL says:

      Mine was a 1963 Buick Lesabre 2 door hard top with the 455CI wildcat motor and a factory manual 4speed on the floor Hursh shifter, I paid 350.00 hard earned cash for it. It had 60000 mi when I purchased it with the factory plastic seat cover still attached. Surprisingly I never got a speeding ticket in that car. Yes I would like it back.

  2. Thrillchaser says:

    Neat stories. I had a Nova. Should have kept it. I want it back. Maybe that how it is when we get older.

  3. Katie says:

    Forrest, did you take your drive on a Sunday? Sounds like it would be the perfect Sunday drive with Peggy. I know nothing about cars. I first drove my parents station wagon. Remember when they had those and not mini-vans? Good times.

  4. JC1117 says:

    I Love this! Thanks again, Jenny and Forrest and Mike. It’s awesome to see the old and new in those photographs. I reckon that Forrest didn’t want to re-create the scene to the detail by kicking in the front grill on The New Bullet…or by getting some duct tape and making a letter on his shirt to match. What is that, anyway? Looks like a T. Anyway, that is soooo cool. How many people get that kind of opportunity? I am happy for Forrest and Peggy. They deserve it. I love all those pine trees, too.

    My first car…or rather the first car I got to drive…was a green, diesel Volkswagen Rabbit hatchback. My parents bought it back in the early 80’s when diesel prices were really low. I didn’t have a cool name for that car, but because it was green-colored…and ugly…and noisy…and blew black exhaust out the tailpipe…I affectionately called it The Booger.

    On especially inclement days…or when the Sunday/holiday newspaper was overly large…my mom would let my brother and me put the newspapers from our paper routes into the back of The Booger and she would drive us around to deliver our newspapers. I still remember sitting on the back of The Booger with the hatchback up…throwing newspapers out…and gasping on thick, black clouds of diesel exhaust that became trapped in the hatchback’s swirling eddy as The Booger lovingly belched on down the road.

    Think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…but replace the Ch letters with Sh letters…and you got it!

    The thrill still lingers unabated. :/ Thanks a lot Mike, for reminding me.


  5. Church hymns says:

    Nice car, love the grill.

  6. Mr.Brown says:

    The Bullet looks like it belongs there. It’s a very nice treasure.

  7. 23kachinas says:

    Lookin’ good Bubba.

    • E* says:

      Forrest – Correction from your radio interview on 9/14: you do NOT have new tires yet. And I don’t think you have seat belts either. Be careful out there!!! :-O

      • 42 says:

        The Bullet is tired. With new white walls, it’ll be retired in style.

        I loved my first car, a used 1972 yellow convertible VW named Breezy. Thought she would attend college with me, and was heartbroken when my dad traded her for a Twitter-blue Chevy K5 Blazer. Looking after my safety, he figured I would spend more time snow skiing than going to class. Gallatin Canyon’s icy roads are no place for the meek, so a 4WD was practical. Winter semester I skied with 3 nice guys who aptly named my suv “the BLAZE”. Can you believe it? As we passed the Spanish Peaks “the Blazero” adroitly carved turns on slick roads. In May 1980 when the slopes closed we crossed the Flying-D ranch in the Blaze, and hiked 11 miles to ski Blaze Mountain. Pretty ironic but all true.

  8. Mark J says:

    Has Peggy forgiven you for mentioning her age in your answer?

  9. spallies says:

    Geez Forrest! You took Peggy for a ride with out putting new tires on! What if they blew up on you while you were driving!!! I guess she could say then that it really was Bullets twin. The Bootlet… Since it boots fell off… 🙂

  10. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for the question and answer and forum! My first car was given to me by my mom and dad after they had finished driving it everywhere and it was far from new. It was a blue Oldsmobile Delta 88. I had it my senior year and then one day my brother’s car broke down and it went in the shop and he was allowed to drive mine by mom and dad and then a day or so later mom and dad picked me up and said they had something to tell me. I said, brother wrecked my car didn’t he. They said, yes, but he is very sorry about it. Anyways, I loved the car, but it is just a material thing and easy come, easy go.

  11. Carolyn says:

    Wish I was at the book signing. I always wanted to meet Forrest. It saddens me that I couldn’t be there.

    • spallies says:

      Me too 🙁 Sorry to hear about your car… I forgot to mention my first car was a very blah yellow Datsun B210 hatchback. Not cool at all but it got me back and fourth to wherever I was going 🙂

  12. Eliza says:

    Forrest’s reply contains eleven sentences, but all of them start with one of only four letters.

    W A I T

    Not a clue for sure, but some kind of message?

  13. 23kachinas says:

    My first car was a Superior Metallic Blue Honda CRX. Had my eye on a lifted truck on that day but the Air Force Master Sergeant and former CIA spook stepfather of mine objected so the CRX is was. He was probably smarter than me at that point.

    Funny, I paid for it you would think I got to choose.

  14. E* says:

    Jenny – It was fun to remember that this was SUPPOSED to be my first car:


    My talented Uncle (who was not MY namesake,…like Forrest’s Uncle in Atlanta, GA was HIS),…lovingly restored what looks to be this same car,…and on MY 16th birthday,…I offered to buy it (since I was born the same year the car was!). Instead,…he kept it for several years,…naming it “Giddyup”,…then sold it for BIG BUCKS to his close car-loving friend (an avid collector,…who has a multi-car garage,…just like Forrest’s astrophysicist friend does,…the one who found him the Bullet Tudor Twin).

    It’s nice to know,…that if I EVER am able to retrieve the Bronze Chest,…there is a Red Ferrari Twin waiting for me. And I don’t think it will have ANY problem negotiating the hairpin turns on La Bajada Hill,…when I FINALLY drive to Santa Fe to meet Forrest. 🙂

  15. Raven says:

    Love the question and the pics! It would be great to see a picture of Forrest driving his sweetie around in the “new” one. My first set of wheels was a AMC Rambler Classic. I loved that car although I’m lucky it didn’t suffocate me from all the smoke and exhaust that would bellow out into my face from the steering wheel whenever I hit the sonic speed of 35 mph. That purchase gave me an “education” on the perils of buying a car from a sweet old man who insisted that the car be sold “as is”. Live and learn!

    • JC1117 says:

      Sounds like you had to deal with similar exhaust issues, Raven. You didn’t necessarily have to be going 35 mph to get your fill of silly fumes…I reckon. Say, for example, you were driving north at only 17 mph but there was an 18 mph headwind blowing straight south (and a train leaves Toledo headed west at 300 mph…LOL…just kidding). I’ll bet that was enough to have you gasping for air. I’d give an east-west example also, but I think that should suffice for te two of us. I had to make sure the hatchback was closed on my diesel rabbit if I wanted to drive with the front windows down…because the open windows would pull the diesel exhaust straight into the cab. The fumes were nearly unbearable at almost any rate.

      • Raven says:

        A “sweet” elderly man sold me the car for $700 (a fortune at the time!) and during the “sale” told me he was the original owner and had really taken care of the car. When I asked to take it on a test drive, he insisted that HE drive. So, consistent with his slow, frail, elderly persona, he kept on residential streets and claimed that due to his age he didn’t feel comfortable “opening it up” on the highway. I was young and naïve and thought he must be honest–he’s a grandpa for goodness sake! Anyway, I didn’t get the full gassing until I drove it home for the first time. After realizing I had been “had” I went over to his house and asked him to at least tell me what the problems were with the car so I could at least avoid charges from the mechanic to diagnose the issues. He poked his finger in my face and said “…I told you that it was sold AS IS and I’m not tellin you nothing”. It still makes me laugh AND taught me a valuable lesson about assuming too much about folks until I get to know them. 🙂

  16. Jim says:

    Anyone ever hear of the Whites TM808 treasuremaster. Can detect a buried car at 15ft…great for covering large area quickly.

    • Hi Jim just doing a random Google search about the Fenn hoard and noticed your question. Yes as a matter of fact an Indonesian searcher on our board posted a list of things he’s found.

      Some of my finds :
      – bronze vessel (9″ diameter x 12″ height) at 5 foot deep.
      – Hoard of bronze chinese coin (5 pound weight) at foot and half
      – Horse riding accessories (chain, mask made of bronze/brass) at 2 foot deep.
      – Sword (iron) at 1 foot deep
      – Crown attribute (Javanese dragon handcrafted bronze) found inside ming dynasty bowl ceramic) at 1 foot deep
      Etc. . . etc. . . and stil counting. . . . .

  17. Timberwolf says:

    57 Chevy. Bel Air Hardtop. I sure remember the back seat… that was my first also…

  18. deb says:

    Way back in the 70s, my first car was a dune buggy built from vw. It was so much fun to drive! Not practical at all, but driving it across mesas and arroyos gave me confidence that I needed. I bought it from a police officer and sold it after I realized how cold winters are with no heater! Hahaha

    I dont regret buying it at all. 🙂

  19. E* says:

    Jenny – Since you mentioned the Leon Gaspard book signing above,…I was wondering if anyone posting here attended it? Maybe Deb? Did Forrest mention how he and Carleen Milburn came together to write the book? I know Forrest mentioned in the Santa Fe radio interview that morning,…that he had worked on that book for nine years.

  20. anna says:

    E* lia asked me to try posting her message about Forrests Gaspard book.

    hello E* you’ve been quite quiet. Are you doing well?

    This may be how Forrest knows Carleen:
    Her husband was an AF jet pilot right after F retired. Forrest may have trained him. Good Montana people with love for the land and our states best interest at heart. She writes for Art and Montana magazines. I wonder where her interest in Gaspard came from. I haven’t purchased the book – do you have a copy?


    • anna says:

      E* that’s all from lia. We haven’t heard from you lately.

      • E* says:

        Hi anna and lia – Thank you for that well researched reply,…you know I LOVE that sort of thing! But I’d also like to hear from deb,…to see if Forrest gave the back story at the book signing. And no,…sadly,…I do not own any of Forrest’s books. And I am fine,…thank you for asking. And my silence is not voluntary. 😉

  21. Bards Tale says:

    What are we going on 6 years now?? With winter approaching rapidly the odds aren’t looking good might it be that somebody is staying mum. F said recently his candle is burning ever lower he is approaching 84 what if he passes without an official claim will people say of his legacy “THE MAN WHO SAID HE HID A TREASURE SOMEWHERE NORTH OF SANTA FE”

    • Jdiggins says:

      Many have found treasure(s) in these past “what, we are going on six years…”, just not THE treasure.
      Perhaps many finding little is better than one finding a LOT.

      • Kathryn says:

        Good point, jdiggins. It has been fun and there were little treasures along the way. Most importantly good time spent with husband outdoors which is good because my vision at certain distances is vanishing. We have plenty of pictures and I wish I could have seen the chest. It’s beauty will have to entertain my imagination only.

    • Saul says:

      Sadly and more than likely this is how it will end; there have been other unresolved treasure hunts in history. The Secret is one such hunt where the author died and most of the buried objects have never been found.

      • Harv says:

        The Secret was studied by many thousands and only two of the 12 buried casks were ever found. The whole Forrest Fenn hunt perplexes me, thousands are going out combing the Rockies…searching under bushes, rocks, waterfall etc…I wonder why so many think that Fenn found a special cave or spot somewhere…a leopard doesn’t change his spots…his book states that he buried bells all over the western mountains…ask yourself why he would do any differently with the chest…if he did bury it, this should radically change the way people view the poem. Recently a character by the name of Andrew Briggs has spiced up Dal’s blog with alot of cipher/riddle talk…more than likely he is onto something with his analysis….Dal’s blog is filled with searcher stories of people going out and returning empty handed, many of these folks employing very poor search tactics….not to be too negative though, I guess they had fun.

        Not far, but too far to walk. Forrest Fenn

        Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T. S. Eliot

        The Secret:

        Since the publication of the book over thirty years ago, only two of the 12 casques have been found. The first was located in Grant Park, Chicago in 1984 by a group of students. See the original image (image 5) and the corresponding verse (verse 12). An annotated image and walk-through of the riddle can be found here.
        The second was unearthed in 2004 in Cleveland by two members of the Quest4Treasure forum. Image 4 linked with verse 4, which in turn lead to the discovery of a casque in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. See an annoted version of the image and verse explanation here. Sadly, Preiss was killed in an auto accident in the summer of 2005. This means that the keys will no longer be exchanged for jewels but the hunt for the ten remaining buried casques continues. I really want them to be found!


    • Tiya says:

      If he buried it to deep then no one can have confidence to dig there, most of us can’t afford ground penetrating radar systems SO yes more than likely this hunt will become a thing of legends. One thing is for certain it won’t happen till next year if ever, most ppl are done searching for the season…expect the snow to start flying in a few weeks.

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  23. passenger says:

    Forrest… I wonder what happened to the original Bullet? Is it a rusty tin can somewhere?


    • pdenver says:

      This is a good question, passenger. I thought with his knowledge of the VIN #, he could trace it with the help of his auto insurance company, and they could possibly locate the original Bullet for him.

    • BW says:

      Wouldn’t it be amazing if he arrived at the viewing of The Lure riding in the Bullet!

      I hope somebody takes pictures.

  24. passenger says:

    “I went in my car both times and the sun was shining” f

    pdenver.. I’d bet he has found it. By the way: Did you ever figure out what “ecstasy” meant? Say it slowly.

  25. SL says:


    I think Passenger might be referring to ‘X’ ?

    • pdenver says:

      Hello SL. I kept trying to say the word slowly, and I heard “eck-sta-see”, or “X-ta-see,” but not knowing which. Is it the “X”? What of the remaining of the word? Gosh, I’m confused.

  26. SL says:


    Not sure. “X to see”, maybe? Confused as you are!

    BTW, Have seen my last 5 comments disappear over at D’s. Talk about confusion.

    • pdenver says:

      Hello SL. This may be. You’ve had posts that did show up, but then were removed? Mind if I ask what your posts were about? I’ve read the one you posted at 5:09 a.m. under “Colter’s Hell,” but I don’t know if there have been others.

      • passenger says:


        I’ve mentioned things to you in the past…

      • SL says:


        Examples are ‘Introductions’ – Wanted to offer positive recognition to a poster. Others were ‘Quitting the chase’ – I posted how nice it would be for school children to view Forrest’s “The Lure” during a school field trip. Coulter’s Hell and Odds and Ends.

        No big deal. The intentions were good.


        • pdenver says:

          Gosh, I’m sorry to hear this happened. I know with “Introductions,” Dal had stated comments weren’t allowed, but as for the others you’ve mentioned, I’m not sure why they were removed. I think it would have been a great idea if school kids were able to view the movie. It seemed the tickets were selling quickly, and there may not have been enough tickets for the kids to get in. I read a post that there were just around one hundred or so tickets available for the viewing. I hope it’s a big success. I wish I was able to have read your posts. I always look forward to seeing what you have to say, and enjoy looking up the information. As far as, ‘The intentions were good.’…you have a kind heart, and I have no doubt.

  27. SL says:


    I remain grateful for the depth to your understanding, my friend.

  28. SL says:

    And you would be correct, Strawshadow.

    Our kind and dear friend.


  29. SL says:


    Where has my vision gone?

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