Hollywood have been producing iconic movie cars for decades by radically modifying what we drive on the daily. Well in the late 1990’s the concept for what would be the most copied and reproduced movie “character” ever created.
There are many pieces that go into making your mustang fastback into an Eleanor. Most of the parts and fabrication are minor but there are a few modifications that will change your fastback forever. After you have done all this work, you may have to legally give your car up! Yes, due to possible trademark infringement you may not own your mustang after you have transformed it.
What is an Eleanor Mustang? An Eleanor Mustang is a modified 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 in the movie “Gone in Sixty Seconds” as the primary target in a plot to steal 50 cars. The creators used a 1967 Mustang Fastback as the foundation to customize the body, and interior touches to achieve the iconic Eleanor movie car.
The Specs for the Mustang Eleanor
The creation of Eleanor is a combination of a popular classic mustang, with the use of original performance parts from the era, and the talent of two designers.
Who designed the Eleanor Mustang? The Eleanor concept of a modified 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 was first illustrated by Steve Stanford. Famous car builder Chip Foose elaborated on the original drawings to create clay models that would be used in the production of 11 original Eleanor Mustangs, built by Cinema Vehicle Services.
Chassis: 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback
Color: The Paint color of Eleanor is Pepper Grey Metallic (Dupont color code Fleet 44490) with Black Metallic LeMans Rally Stripes (Dupont color code 44435.
Engine and Drivetrain: Under the hood of Eleanor was a 400 horsepower 351w engine. A 4-speed top loader manual transmission connected the power to the rear end.
Wheels: 17×8 Shelby Cobra wheels with knock off center caps were mounted on all four corners.
Exterior Body: The iconic look took shape with custom designed body panels. Most notably is the front end, with the chrome bumper being replaced with a one-piece fiberglass bumper that incorporated a lower spoiler, wider opening for air flow, and includes the custom headlight bezels. The side of fastback receives fender flares on the wheel openings, lower side skirts with side exit exhaust, and side scoops on the B pillar and rear quarter panel. The gas cap was moved from the rear below the trunk to the driver’s side B pillar by the rear glass. The race inspired filler cap was contained by a chrome pop open door.
At the rear of Eleanor is a Shelby deck lid with molded spoiler and Shelby taillights. The chrome rear bumper is replaced with fiberglass, fitted much closer to the bodylines and color matched with the pepper grey metallic.
Front Headlights and Fog Lights: When the design of the mustang’s front end was complete it required 8 individual lights. Headlight kits for Eleanor includes 5 ¾” headlights, 5 7/8” Piaa Fog lights in the center of the grill, 2 ½” amber turn signals, and 3 ½” upper inboard lights mounted by the headlight.
Suspension and Steering: Total Control Products front coil over kit eliminating the coil spring and replacing the upper and lower control arms. Their tower brace kit and subframe connectors were installed to stiffen up the chassis for the demanding chase scenes. Both manual and power steering rack and pinion systems were used depending on what they intended to do with the mustang. For the high-speed scene’s, the mustang was fitted with a 1 1/8” sway bar.
Interior: The designers of Eleanor left the timeless look of the 1967 fastbacks interior almost untouched with no major modifications. Instead, they chose to include accents like a Shelby wooden steering wheel, 4-inch-wide racing lap belt, and the “Go Baby Go” knob on the shifter.
Gone in 60 Seconds Eleanor Chase Scene is the Greatest of All Time
Disney’s remake in 2000 of Gone in 60 Seconds delivered one of greatest action-packed car chases in a Hollywood movie. The 1967 Mustang Fastback, Eleanor, was in the front of a high-speed pursuit that tore through the streets of Los Angeles. The cinematic camera work following Eleanor through crowded streets, narrow back alleys, and the canals of the L.A. river.
This chase led to Memphis escaping the pursuit by lining Eleanor up to a ramp. He accelerated and launched the Mustang up and over stalled traffic, escaping the authorities.
Here is a clip of Eleanor’s Chase Scenes from Gone in 60 Seconds
Who owns the Mustang Eleanor Trademark?
Denice Halicki is the sole owner of the copyright and trademark, that protects her rights to the design and name use of the Mustang Eleanor under the company Eleanor Licensing LLC. Denice became the owner when her late husband, H.B. “Toby” Halicki, died in 1989.
H.B. Halicki was Hollywood director, actor, and stunt man in the 1970’s who directed the original Gone in 60 Seconds movie from 1974. While filming Gone in 60 Seconds 2 movie in 1984, H.B. Halicki was fatally injured in the car stunt gone wrong. Due to that accident the sequel was left unfinished.
How much is an Eleanor Mustang?
A true original Mustang Eleanor was last sold in 2013 for $1 million dollars. It is estimated that if 1 of the 3 fully operational Hero Eleanor’s were to be offered today it would sell closer to $2 million dollars. A licensed Eleanor replica can be purchased for $180,000 to $300,000.
Can building an Eleanor Mustang legal issues?
Yes, thankfully you have every right to modify your mustang fastback with the same parts as seen in the movie. However, you cannot buy the Eleanor parts, build a clone, badge the mustang as an Eleanor with the intent to profit from your work.
The Eleanor fiberglass body panels are reproduced as exact copies that anyone can purchase to bolt on their fastback. The Eleanor Licensing LLC has a copyright that manufacturers use, by financial compensation, allowing them to produce the body panels so they can be resold. The copyright protects the overall design and name for misuse by builders not licensing these rights.
A lot of the parts you used to build the car back in 2000 already existed and were not what the Eleanor unique. When the designers were creating this movie icon, they incorporated Shelby parts for the late 1960’s. Most notably are the 17” Shelby Cobra wheels and the Shelby hood that was customized for Eleanor. Additional parts are the rear taillights and steering wheel.
Unfortunately, a popular YouTuber that is known for video documenting his outrageous car builds had his mustang seized. The YouTube Channel “B is for Build” was documenting his plan to a modify a modern 2015 ford mustang into the shape Mustang Eleanor. During his videos on YouTube, he had referring to his build as Eleanor. Since he produces YouTube for monetary gain, paid for ads on his channel, the courts ruled that was infringing on the copyrights of Eleanor Licensing LLC.
The worst part of the story is that he had to hand over and transfer the title of his mustang build to Eleanor Licensing LLC. I would have though he would just need to stop the build, dismantle it, and stop any further videos but that was not the case. He also needed to remove from the internet any videos and photos of the mustang from all online channels.
He does seem like a stand-up guy that just made a mistake. This is just one of those chapters in life that you grow from. He posted a humbling video on his channel that is worth a watch.
Eleanor was the last target of a 50-car heist that had to be delivered to the docks of the Long Beach Pier in the final 25 minutes. The previous 49 cars and trucks were successful, but the law caught up with Memphis, character of Nicolas Cage, while he attempted to get Eleanor delivered.
The Mustang Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds elevated cinemas high-speed car pursuits. You may not be a fan of mustangs, or corny movie CGI, but Eleanor is entertaining.
Eleanor is still gain interest even after 20 years from her introduction in 2000. Car enthusiasts are putting down their deposits to have a Mustang Eleanor built for their collection. They draw large crowds at car shows and when one happens to come up for sell.