The star of the original 1974 movie epic, ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ was undoubtedly the 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 named “Eleanor.” The amazing chase scene in that movie by HB Halicki is absolutely unforgettable. Many considered the best car chase sequence the best in cinematic history. (However, the movie is definitely not!)
When the producers of the 2000 remake were looking for a car to feature in a climactic chase sequence, another mustang was the natural choice. In order to stand out amongst the array of exotic sports cars also featured in the movie, it was decided that the 1967 Mustang GT500 would need to be unique.
Steve Stanford, the famed Hot Rod illustrator, was tasked to create a 1967 Mustang GT500. Chip Foose, the well known hot-rod builder, was hired by the production company to turn Stanford's work into a real car.
Working from Stanford’s drawings with Ray Claridge of Cinema Vehicle Services, wings with new wider wheel arches, a bonnet with a prominent bulge, a deep front valance and side skirts and a spoiler incorporated into the boot lid were designed. PIAA lights were installed in both the nose and tail and a distinctive billet grille was specified. The Schmidt 17x8-inch wheels that finish off the cars external appearance were sourced while the interior was kept as a standard Shelby interior with a monster tachometer and a subtle roll hoop.
Twelve cars were built for the 2000 remake. Sadly, some stunt cars didn’t survive the filming. The car being sold is one of the twelve that did survive the production.
More specifically, this is one of the three ‘hero’ cars, built not just to be functional but also to be used for scenes involving the actors themselves. Meaning Nicholas Cage was actually in the car! This Mustang's is “7” and would have been used for driving shots or, with a camera mounted, for dialogue or interior action shots featuring the actors.
According to the supplied copy of the build sheet, in addition to the bodywork modifications, the preparation of this particular 1967 Mustang fastback involved replacing the 289 cubic inch V8 with a 351 cubic inch Ford Racing crate motor fitted with a ‘big’ camshaft and 700cfm Holley 4-barrel carburettor. Total Control Products lowered the suspension with coil over front suspension and Willwood disk brakes all round with 6 piston callipers on the front. Though not functional in the movie, the side exhausts were made functional by Cinema Vehicle Services when filming was completed. The Fuel Safe tank is filled through a Mach 1 cap on the C-Pillar.
The 1967 Mustang 500 ‘Eleanor’ is essentially unchanged today from when she completed her starring role. Instantly recognizable whether a movie aficionado or not, the Mustang is in great condition overall. The paintwork, resplendent in metallic Grey with Black stripes, is in excellent condition. The interior is equally fine with carpets and seats clean and free from significant wear or damage.
The engine noise on this is still wonderful! (At least for a car enthusiast.) The side exit exhausts make a satisfying and potent rumble, which sets hairs on end. As seen in the movie, the switch to arm the Nitrous Oxide system and ‘go baby go’ switch on the gear lever are all there and work.
'Eleanor' will be sold by COYS, the international car auctioneers, at the Autosport International show in Birmingham, UK on Saturday January 14th. It is estimated the Mustang sell for $150,000. I have a feeling it will go for a lot more than that though.
“The Eleanor Mustang is one of only two original cars in private hands. We are offering an unrepeatable opportunity to acquire one of the cars that actually appeared in the movie and which will undoubtedly increase in value in years to come.” said Chris Routledge Managing Director at COYS.
This is one of the most famous movie cars in the world. If you have the cash, I would keep next Saturday open for bidding!
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