1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor

When Ford Mustang Become Shelby GT500 Eleanor: the Story of Unicorn

Do you know, what Shelby GT500 was never be Eleanor before “Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000) staring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie… and Ford Mustang rebuild to Eleanor?

1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor
1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor Front View. Photo: Gregory Moine

By the way, the key to unlocking the secret of Eleanor is in the film, when the main character refers to the car, “unicorn” – a mythical creature that does not exist in nature.

Well, and now in order. “Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000) – a remake of the cult film of the same name an independent director and film producer Henry Blait HB Haliki. Eleanor was Ford Mustang Mach-1 in the original HB Halicki “Gone in 60 Seconds” (1974). And this was not some special modification of the vehicle, but is the stage name of a machine to act as a movie star. “Staring Eleanor” – this was said in the credits.

In the 90th, the film rights to “Gone in 60 Seconds” were at the studio Disney Pictures, and those few rethink Eleanor, revealing the world something new and appealing, but also gave rise to disputes among connoisseurs of classic American cars.

However, against the background of contemporary Ferrari and Lamborghini classic Ford Mustang would look like a poor relation, and Eleanor – this is a car which has to be focused all the attention, and the spirit of the original film would be completely lost if it acted in the role of, say, European sports car. Therefore, the studio began to look for options, with a stature commensurate with the Ferrari and Lambos.

And what about Shelby? Shelby Automotive brand owes its appearance to legendary racer Carroll Shelby, which were the words of the motto «performance is my business» and this – a real American classic sport cars. Most of the cars were homologated Shelby GT versions of the legendary Ford Mustang.

By the way, all stock Shelby GT500 models registered in the register of Shelby Worldwide Registry, and valued, are usually very high, and the cost of the individual and the most rare instances can be estimated at several million dollars. For example, the only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake, with an engine of 520 hp – By 120-160 hp more than ordinary GT500 those years was put up for sale for $ 3 million without bargaining.

Than cars that played Eleanor in “Gone in Sixty Seconds” and there were more than a dozen, of course, is not stock Shelby GT500. They were created at the factory Hollywood Cinema Vehicle Services of the usual 1967 Mustang Fastback. However, to Eleanor on the screen looked no less steeply than, say, Ferrari 550 Maranello – Angelina or the 1999 Porsche 996 – Tina, each of the “Mustangs” was subjected to a kind of plastic surgery.

The new look of the car came up the famous illustrator Steve Stanford, and embodied in the metal and plastic known Californian designer Chip Foose, made from a fiberglass prototype hood, front trim, side skirts, overhangs and other elements Eleanor.

By the way, one of the contenders for the role of Eleanor was another expensive and very rare American sports car – Ford GT40, but due to the fact that the car would have to perform difficult stunts option was rejected. But still, something from this car still borrowed – wheels with Eleanor in “Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000) are the same as the Ford GT40.

Some funy facts about cars, filming of “Gone in 60 Seconds”:

– 12 cars Ford Mustang was directly involved in the filming, and only one of them was actually a Shelby GT500-personal vehicle Jerry Bruckheimer.
– The most powerful of all Eleanor involved in the film, was one of the very last scene – it was powered by the Ford Motorsport 351 (volume of 351 cubic inches, or 5.8 liters) – all the other cars were equipped with Ford’s weaker engines in volume 289 cubic inches (4.8 liters), as in a conventional Mustang V8.
– When was Jerry Bruckheimer’s car engine first start, containers of spices fell to the floor in the studo kitchen so was his powerful low sound.
– Eleanor Grill – Shelby GT500 from the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” was made from parts intended for vans Chevy Astro.
All the cars that were used in the film the wheels are the same as in the Ford GT40 – 17×8-inch wheels Schmidt, c tires P245/40ZR17 Goodyear Eagle F1.
– In the scene where the hero shifts gears attentive viewer will notice two types of scenes.
– Side exhaust pipes and fuel cap side of the body were not functional.
– One of the surviving Eleanor auctioned at Barrett-Jackson for 216,700 U.S. dollars in 2009.

The image of Eleanor from “Gone in Sixty Seconds” turned so attractive that it caused a huge surge of interest in the Shelby GT500 and the Ford Mustang 1967. Tuning companies one after another began to build a Shelby GT500 Eleanor replica Eleanor remake the classic “Mustang” or produce a body kit of the car from the movie. Some firms, for example, the U.S. Unique Performance, was licensed Shelby Automobiles, but was unable to fulfill obligations to customers and become bankrupt.

In 2008, Denice Halicki, co-producer of “Gone in 60 Seconds” remake wins lawsuit against Carroll Shelby licensed replica Eleanor as a “continuation pattern” of the original Shelby GT, as Eleanor – was a registered trademark owned by the company Halicki Films. Its sole licensee is by far the company Classic Recreations, which produces replicas of classic Shelby. Official replica Eleanor issued licenses instead of Halicki Films «Shelby GT500E» had badges “Gone in 60 Seconds”. However, the production of “official” replica Eleanor was discontinued in October 2009 after the Classic Recreations has signed a license agreement with Carroll Shelby to produce Shelby GT500CR, a new extension of its original cars.

On the technical characteristics of the replica Shelby GT500 in a few words to say – they are highly individual, as these hand-built cars are manufactured to order. As for the classics, the most high-performance version of the 1967 Shelby GT500 equipped with the 427 Cobra Jet engine (6.9 liters) or 428 Cobra Jet (7 liters), and sometimes Police Interceptor engine with comparable characteristics. Most commonly stated in power 355-360 hp, while the Ford Mustang with a 289 Windsor V8 engines (4.8 liter) had a maximum power of 271 hp Acceleration to 100 km / h in these cars – within 6 seconds and a top speed in the range of 225 km/h or higher.

Modern replicas Shelby GT500 is usually equipped with engines of a 427 cubic inches (about 7 liters), but charged more than those produced in the late 60’s. For example, the vehicle may be equipped with engine 427 CI Crate Engine capacity of over 700 h.p. and have a more impressive performance characteristics than the cars of the 60’s, driving a car up to 300 km/h.

Most of modern replicas Shelby GT500 are equipped with 5-speed manual transmission Tremec. Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h from 5.4 to 4 seconds.

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