Eleanor (automobile)

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1967 Ford Fastback Mustang (customized)
1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT-500 Eleanor.jpg
The 1967 fastback Mustang from the 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds film.
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1964-2014
Body and chassis
Class Pony car/Muscle car
Body style 2-door fastback

"Eleanor" is the trademarked name given to a 1971 Ford Mustang Sportsroof (redressed as a 1973[1][2]) for its role in independent filmmaker H.B. "Toby" Halicki's 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds. "Eleanor" is the only Ford Mustang in history to receive star title credit in a movie.

The "Eleanor" name is also shared with the customized 1967 Mustang fastback in the 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds remake.

Eleanor - 1974 film[edit]

1971 (as 1973) Ford Mustang Sportsroof from the 1974 film Gone in Sixty Seconds

Though four Mustangs are portrayed in the film as "Eleanor" targets, only two cars were used for filming the movie, with license plates and tires alternated as necessary. Of these two, one car was modified for the stunt driving necessitated by the final chase and wrecked in said process, while the other was kept intact for all external "beauty shots." The latter car was also used for all but two interior shots.[3]

Prepping 1971 Mustangs for the film[edit]

Both 1971 Mustang Sportsroofs used in the film (neither car carried Mach 1 trim, as often assumed) were bought in 1971, but - as it was three years before Halicki could raise sufficient funds to start filming - each car was facelifted with 1973 grilles for the film. Both cars retain their 1971 front bumper and valance panels, as retrofitting the 1973 parts to the car would have required swapping the fenders as well.[4]

As with the liberties taken with the body modifications, Halicki's paint scheme on both cars were similar - but not identical - to Ford factory offerings. Both cars received blackout treatment to the lower bodyside - resembling Mach 1's and base models equipped with the Decor Group - and a unique blackout treatment to the standard hood not seen on any factory 1971-1973 Mustang. Additionally, neither car wears any identifiable badging spelling the "Mustang" name in type, though the pony badge and "Ford Motor Company" hubcaps are visible in the film.[5]

Despite suggestions that both cars were painted in Ford's Medium Yellow Gold, Halicki - in a 1974 interview - stated that the cars were painted "generic school bus yellow" to save money.[6]

Stunt Eleanor[edit]

The modified car required 250 hours of labor before it was ready for the film.[7] All body panels were removed[8] in order to install a roll cage throughout the Mustang's stock unibody. The transmission was also chained in for safety. An adjustable camera rig was mounted in the back seat to capture footage from the internal “driver's point of view.”

The wrecked Eleanor was equipped with a base interior and no instrumentation package, but utilized seats from the Mustang's deluxe interior package; sourced from the beauty car. Unsurprisingly, the beauty car had deluxe interior, with the standard seats from the stunt car swapped into it.

Other safety modifications included:[9]

  • Heavy duty Simpson shoulder harness
  • Deadbolt door locks
  • Aftermarket hood pins
  • 24-volt electrical system
  • On-board first-aid kit
  • Electrical kill switches
  • Individual locking rear brakes
  • Fish plating of the undercarriage - 3” x 3/8” steel

The interior of the stunt car is seen only once in the film, when Halicki - as Maindrian Pace - places his hands against the windshield when cornered by the Long Beach police. The rollcage is clearly visible against the A-pillar. All other interior shots are executed with the "beauty" car.

Denice Halicki owns the Number 1 Eleanor.

Beauty Eleanor[edit]

The second car was left absolutely stock - as noted by cinematographer Jack Vacek in the film's DVD commentary - and was not modified extensively other than the obligatory matching paint job, grill change, and seat swap with the stunt car.

Though this car was not damaged during filming, Halicki stated (in 1974, at the film's premiere) that the car was crushed.[10]

Additional history[edit]

The stunt car survives to this day,[11] despite two serious incidents during filming:

The first occurred during a stunt wherein "Eleanor" cuts across multiple lanes of freeway traffic. The stunt driver leading the "traffic" overshot his mark during the take, clipping the Mustang and causing it to careen into a nearby light pole. Halicki was rendered unconscious from the impact, but filming resumed the following week - utilizing this accident as part of the final film.[12] Halicki's first words - upon regaining consciousness - were "Did we get coverage?"[13]

Following the incident with the light pole, Halicki compressed multiple vertibrae after performing the impressive 128-foot jump in the closing minutes of the film. The modified Mustang survived, despite the rough nose landing.[14]

Plates worn in the film[edit]

California[edit]

  • 869 FLA
  • 613 HSO (Airport Eleanor)
  • 614 HSO (Hal McClain[15] Eleanor)
  • 359 JRA
  • 820 FUA (Eleanor at car wash)

New York[edit]

  • RMH 100 (Fake plates affixed to car wash Eleanor)

Eleanor - 2000 film[edit]

1967 custom Fastback Mustang Eleanor from the 2000 Gone in Sixty Seconds

In 1995, Denice Halicki licensed some of her rights of 1974 film to Disney and produced the Remake 2000 Gone in 60 secondswith Jerry Bruckheimer. Both films share plot similarities about a crew of thieves' order to steal 48/50 cars and deliver them to the Long Beach docks. Once again, the "Eleanor" name applies to the featured car, now a pewter 1967 Customized Fastback Mustang.

The popularity of the Remake 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Movie star car character Eleanor, as a custom 1967 Mustang. A number of car shops started to produce the Copyrighted Character "Eleanor" image & trademark name and Denice Halicki again had to resort to legal action to protect the trademark and the copyrighted Eleanor's image. In 2008, Halicki won a case against Carroll Shelby, who had been selling "Eleanor" using Eleanor's Trademark name and Copyrighted image.[16][17][18]

One of the actual "Eleanor" Mustangs from the 2000 film sold on May 18, 2013 at Mecum's Indianapolis auction for $1,000,000 USD.

Appearances[edit]

After the filming of the movie, "Eleanor" has been on display in theater lobbies, car shows, fairs, auto races, and shopping centers, and has been featured on television news shows across the country. The car was included in the "Greatest Cars of the Movies" event at the Petersen Automobile Museum, the "California Classic Car Rally" on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and "Cars Are the Stars," among others.

Toys, models, and die-cast replicas of "Eleanor" have been produced, notably by Racing Champions ERTL and Playing Mantis Johnny Lightning under a license by Denice Halicki. In 2014 GreenLight Toys is Releasing both "Eleanor" 67 "Eleanor" and '73 Eleanor under a license by Denice Halicki through her Eleanor Licensing LLC.

Legacy[edit]

The one-of-kind custom 1967 Mustang Fastback from the 2000 film remake was cited in Hot Rod magazine's February 2009 issue as one of 100 most influential vehicles in the history of hot rodding, as it commanded non-car people's attention and inspired the building of numerous replicas.[19]

The popularity of the Remake 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Movie star car character Eleanor, as a custom 1967 Mustang. A number of car shops started to produce the Copyrighted Character "Eleanor" image & trademark name and Denice Halicki again had to resort to legal action to protect the trademark and the copyrighted Eleanor's image. In 2008, Halicki won a case against Carroll Shelby, who had been selling "Eleanor" using Eleanor's Trademark name and Copyrighted image.[20][21][22]

License plate numbers[edit]

California[edit]

  • LYN 274

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gonein60seconds.com/elenor.htm
  2. ^ http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_4972-Ford-Mustang-1971.html
  3. ^ http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle.php?id=4972#Comment1586093
  4. ^ http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_4972-Ford-Mustang-1971.html
  5. ^ http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_4972-Ford-Mustang-1971.html
  6. ^ http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-gone-in-60-seconds-1974-eleanor-observations-was-halicki-really-a-car-thief-etc?pid=177688#pid177688
  7. ^ http://www.gonein60seconds.com/elenor.htm
  8. ^ http://www.mustangmonthly.com/featuredvehicles/1305_gone_in_60_seconds/photo_03.html
  9. ^ http://www.mustangspecs.com/movie/73eleanor.shtml
  10. ^ http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-gone-in-60-seconds-1974-eleanor-observations-was-halicki-really-a-car-thief-etc?pid=177688#pid177688
  11. ^ http://www.mustangmonthly.com/featuredvehicles/1305_gone_in_60_seconds/photo_02.html
  12. ^ http://www.mustangmonthly.com/featuredvehicles/1305_gone_in_60_seconds/picking_a_mustang.html
  13. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071571/trivia
  14. ^ http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/g/Gone-In-60-Seconds-1974.html
  15. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1183088/
  16. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/11/13/idUS192963+13-Nov-2008+BW20081113
  17. ^ http://www.gmsr.com/news_win.cfm?id_news=1321
  18. ^ //www.67mustangblog.com/2008/11/denice-halicki-wins-dispute-with-carroll-shelby-over-eleanor-name/
  19. ^ http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/hrdp_0801_top_100_hot_rods/viewall.html
  20. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/11/13/idUS192963+13-Nov-2008+BW20081113
  21. ^ http://www.gmsr.com/news_win.cfm?id_news=1321
  22. ^ //www.67mustangblog.com/2008/11/denice-halicki-wins-dispute-with-carroll-shelby-over-eleanor-name/

External links[edit]