Eleanor (automobile)

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1973 Ford Mustang "Eleanor"
Original 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Eleanor.jpg
Original 1971 Mustang (restyled as 1973) Eleanor from the original 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1964-2014
Body and chassis
ClassPony car/Muscle car
Body style2-door fastback
Powertrain
Engine351 Cleveland
 
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1973 Ford Mustang "Eleanor"
Original 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Eleanor.jpg
Original 1971 Mustang (restyled as 1973) Eleanor from the original 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1964-2014
Body and chassis
ClassPony car/Muscle car
Body style2-door fastback
Powertrain
Engine351 Cleveland

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

'"Eleanor" is also the name of the 1967 custom Mustang in the 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds remake.

Creation[edit]

California based automobile scrap-dealer H.B. "Toby" Halicki created, wrote, and directed the Gone in 60 Seconds (1974). He also trademarked the terms "Gone in 60 Seconds" and "Eleanor".

Two "Eleanors" were created for use in the movie: one was modified and used for stunt driving; the other was used in the external "beauty shots" and for hanging cameras on for shots of Toby behind the wheel or external driver point of view footage. All the Mustangs (none were Mach 1s, as many people believe) were bought new in 1971, but as it was three years before Halicki could raise sufficient funds to start filming, all three Mustangs were modified to resemble 1973 model year cars.

The modified car required 250 hours of labor before it was ready for the cameras. It was fitted with a roll cage, and the transmission was chained in. An adjustable camera was mounted in the back seat to record from the internal “driver's point of view”. Other safety modifications included a heavy duty double strength Simpson shoulder harness and seat belt and deadbolt door locks.

Filming[edit]

The main car survived, despite two serious incidents during filming. The first occurred when another driver overshot his mark, clipped "Eleanor" in the rear, careened into a steel light pole standard in excess of 100 mph, and caved the left front fender in. After two hours of repairs, filming resumed. The second occurred after an impressive 128-foot jump in which the car soared over 30 feet. “Eleanor” survived, despite the rough landing. Halicki was injured in both incidents.

Eleanor's locations in the film[edit]

Eleanor is first placed at Los Angeles International Airport by the crew, so that Toby Halicki can try and steal her.

Eleanor was earlier "stolen" from 18504 Mariposa, which was Vacek's address at the time.

Much of the crowd at the gas station where Harold Smith is pulled over after the nighttime Torrance chase were part of a real biker gang, who verbally abused the police officers "arresting" the actor and demanded they leave him alone. As an independent production, the film used real civilians who happened to be wherever they were filming. It was the police officers' bad luck that a real biker gang was filling up at that gas station.

Eleanor was later placed in a warehouse containing 48 exotic cars, all "stolen" in the movie.

When Pumpkin tells Maindrian they have to give Eleanor back because the car is uninsured, Maindrian reads the owner's address from a newspaper – 18511 Mariposa, Gardena. This was in fact director/star H.B. Halicki's own home address at the time.

According to people on the set, Halicki missed a mark and caused Eleanor to hit a real telephone pole at 100 mph. The first thing Halicki was quoted as saying when he regained consciousness was, "Did we get coverage?"

Halicki compacted ten vertebrae performing the "big jump" in the Mustang at the end of the movie, which reached 30 feet high and cleared 128 feet. Fortunately, the injury was not serious, although according to director of photography Jack Vacek, Halicki never walked the same again.

After filming[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.

"Eleanor" was also featured in The Junkman and Deadline Auto Theft, and a modified custom silver 1967 Mustang Fastback with black stripes reprises her role as "Eleanor" in the Gone in 60 Seconds 2000 remake.

Toys, models, and die-cast replicas of "Eleanor" have been produced, notably by Racing Champions ERTL and Playing Mantis Johnny Lightning.

2000 Remake[edit]

1967 Mustang Eleanor from the 2000 Gone in Sixty Seconds

After his recent marriage to Denice Halicki and death while producing Gone in 60 Seconds 2 in 1989,[3] Halicki's estate faced a number of legal challenges. After seven trials, in 1994, the court released Halicki's films and the associated copyrights to Halicki Films,[4] owned by Denice Halicki.

In 1995, Denice Halicki licensed the remake rights from her late husband, H.B. Halicki's, Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) with Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer to produce an eponymous 2000 remake. Both the 1974 original and the 2000 remake were about a crew of thieves' receiving an order to steal 48/50 cars and deliver them to the Long Beach docks. "Eleanor" was the featured car, with its lengthy, action-filled chase scene. Filming began in 1999, with Denice as Executive Producer. The movie premiered on June 5, 2000.

The second film revived "Eleanor"'s popularity. A number of car shops started to produce "Eleanor" (custom Fastback Mustang)-tagged replicas.

One of the actual "Eleanor" cars used in the 2000 movie sold at the Mecum auction in Indianapolis on May 18, 2013 for $1,000,000 USD.

Legacy[edit]

Whilst the Mustang from the original 1974 film was a 1971 Mustang Fastback modded as a 1973 Mustang Fastback, 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.[5]

Technical details[edit]

Measurements[edit]

Eleanor was powered by a 351 Cleveland engine, secretly modified by Halicki. Features included:

License plate numbers[edit]

California[edit]

New York[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]