The Ford Eleanor Mustang is a bonafide movie star. This custom Mustang was built for the film “Gone in 60 Seconds” and has taken on a life of its own ever since the 1974 hit movie. Rare, elusive and bloody cool, we love the Ford Eleanor Mustang.
Never heard of her? Far out! Let’s learn more about this movie star of a classic car.
The Ford Eleanor Mustang is more unique than almost any other classic car you can find.
Similar to the famous DeLorean from “Back to the Future”, the Ford Eleanor Mustang became famous from the film “Gone in 60 Seconds”, originally created by filmmaker H. B. “Toby” Halicki in 1974. In short, the film named this custom Ford Mustang “Eleanor” and a new icon was born.
Customised from a 1971 Ford Mustang Fastback/Sportsroof, later known as the Eleanor, this classic car was only one of two made for the film.
One was used in the action scenes as a stunt car for chase scenes and more while the other was kept looking good as new for “beauty shots”.
Then, in 2000, Disney purchased the rights to the 1974 film for their remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds” starring Nicolas Cage. The Ford Eleanor Mustang appeared again, except this time, the custom cars were customised from a 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500.
While the original Eleanor Mustangs are nothing more than stunning film props, their customisations continue to inspire replicas for their blend of vintage and modern vibes. A real beaut, she is!
To get into the history of the Ford Eleanor Mustang, we can approach it in two ways: automobile history and film history. Let’s start with the history of the car.
The first Ford Mustang was released at the World’s Fair in 1964. The 1965 Ford Mustang was a massive hit with customers and it outsold all projections.
Truly the first of its kind that inspired a new generation of sports cars in the late 60s, the Ford Mustang is, without a doubt, an iconic American sports car.
Most classic car collectors and enthusiasts are keen on the Ford Mustangs of the late 60s or early 70s. As these beauts were built before there were restrictions put on much of the automotive industry, these gorgeous cars were able to achieve legendary status in a way that we don’t often see these days.
Some of our favourite Ford Mustangs include:
We’ve given away all of these Ford Mustangs (and many more classic cars from Ford) to lucky Classics for a Cause VIP members.
As one of our most popular car giveaways, Ford Mustangs are a true icon and anyone with half their wits would want to get behind the wheel of one of these stunners.
For the original 1974 “Gone in 60 Seconds” film, the Eleanor was customised from a 1971 Ford Mustang Fastback/Sportsroof.
With an extended roof, as its name suggests, this Mustang model offers iconic 70s vibes while still keeping the hint of late 60s legendary status that we love in a Mustang.
In fact, the 1971 Ford Mustang was the last restyling of the first generation Mustang, lengthening more than two inches front to back and almost two and a half inches side to side compared to the 1970 Ford Mustang.
So, while these cars had the same feel as the original Mustangs, there were certainly larger and heavier.
Also, on the Fastback models (from which the Eleanor was customised), the rear window was only fourteen degrees away from being completely horizontal.
So, while this did help with aerodynamics, it was bloody difficult to see out of and not all that functional. In short, this Mustang model wasn’t the most popular at the time, but it’s still undeniably cool.
The 2000 version of the film “Gone in 60 Seconds” also starred a Ford Eleanor Mustang but this time it was customised from a 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500.
Shelby Mustangs are high-performance Mustang models built by Shelby American from the years 1965 to 1967 and later by the Ford Motor Company from 1968 to 1970.
The GT500 variant was added to the Shelby lineup in 1967, just before Ford took over Shelby’s manufacturing.
The first Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 was known as the 0100 and these rare models are every bit as legendary as they seem. Maintaining much of the original Mustang’s cool factor with upgrades in all the best ways, we love a Shelby.
Second- and third-generation Shelby Mustangs have been produced starting in 2011, but these newer models don’t even come close to the pure rubber-burning magic of a 60s classic car.
The undeniable cool factor of the 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 definitely shines through in the 2000 “Gone in 60 Seconds” film once it was customised into the Eleanor we all know and love.
Now, let’s talk a little about the history of “Gone in 60 Seconds”, the film that made the Ford Eleanor Mustang famous.
The original film called “Gone in 60 Seconds” was released in 1974 by independent filmmaker H.B. Halicki who also wrote, directed, produced and starred in the film. The plot focuses on a group of car thieves who are on a mission to steal 48 cars within a matter of days.
The original film features one of the longest car chase scenes in the history of film – a whopping 40 minutes for a single chase! It’s said that a total of 127 cars were destroyed or otherwise damaged during filming. Holy dooley!
The film grossed an incredible $40,000,000 and only cost Halicki $150,000 to make. Not a bad profit there, mate.
One of the breakout stars of the film was codenamed “Eleanor” who was none other than a 1971 Ford Mustang Fastback that was customised specifically for the main character. This classic car became such an icon from the film, that it was used again in the 2000 remake featuring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie.
This more recent version of “Gone in 60 Seconds” is loosely based on the original film’s plot. It wasn’t as widely beloved as the original and with some of the changes in the writing style and direction, it received mixed reviews.
Still, the film brought in a massive $237 million. Although it did cost around $90 million to make. Not as impressive as the 1974 film, hey?
The main difference between the Ford Eleanor Mustang in the 2000 version of the film was that this time, she was customised from a 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 instead of a 1971 Ford Mustang Hatchback.
Lovers of classic cars surely knew the difference but we love both Ford Eleanor Mustang customisations all the same.
While still a rare car in its own right, owning a Ford Eleanor is a massive conversation piece and has the most interesting history, don’t you think?!
Own a classic car like the Ford Eleanor Mustang by becoming a Classics for a Cause VIP Member. Each month, you’ll get entries into our latest giveaways and you’ll be supporting Aussie veterans along the way.
Save heaps on essential auto parts with our VIP club membership, which provides access to discounts from over 200 Auto retailers and services providers within Australia; as well as getting exclusive access to classic car giveaways.
Be sure to sign up today! Join now and I’ll see you next time.