Presented by Mecum Auctions – In 1995, the idea began circulating about remaking H.B. “Toby” Halicki’s legendary 1974 film, “Gone in 60 Seconds,” but polishing it up and heightening the experience. Enlisting Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer, Halicki’s widow, Denise, entered into a licensing agreement to produce the remake with Denise acting as the executive producer. Filming began in 1999 and “Gone in 60 Seconds” premiered on June 9, 2000, with an all-star cast including Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall and Will Patton among many other gifted actors blending with edgy cinematography, spectacular stunt work, a tremendous musical score and a revised story from the original with a lot of heart wrapped in tough packaging.
Like the original, the film depicts a band of car thieves led by Memphis Raines (Cage) out to score an impossible heist of 50 cars in just several hours. As in the original, for identification purposes, each car was given a lady’s name to keep the cars under the radar while the crew communicated on radios with transmissions that could be heard by others, including police.
The movie was packed with an array of stunning and stellar cars, but it was a 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 in Pepper Gray Metallic with black stripes riding on Halibrand-style wheels with a host of subtle and not-so-subtle enhancements that would become the hero car and an instant dream car—this was Eleanor. Sketched by Steve Stanford, Eleanor’s design was refined and crafted by Chip Foose, who implemented what he thought Carroll Shelby would want to see as a modern day GT500. It’s rumored Bruckheimer wanted Eleanor to be black with gray stripes and that a painter mixed up the order, creating the gray with black stripe motif that became so famous.
Cinema Vehicle Services in North Hollywood, California, was brought in to build 11 cars for production, and according to the studio car list, this Eleanor is labeled as “The Dream Car.” Used for a number of interior and exterior sequences including the chase scenes through the shipyard, city and along the Los Angeles River, this is the car that made Eleanor a household name, rocketing her into the imaginations of car guys all over the world. This is the car that outran a helicopter. This is the car that rocked the theater sound system with her ferocious exhaust. This is the car that Memphis Raines is scared of. She even has the famous Hurst shifter with the “Go-Baby-Go” button and daringly beautiful 18-rivet French-made Lecarra wood-rimmed steering wheel.
Cinema Vehicle Services recently performed a full rotisserie restoration on Eleanor and has cruised with her for approximately 90 miles since the completion. Powered by a blueprinted HiPo 351 CI V-8 engine topped with aluminum heads and an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, a roller camshaft, headers with stainless side-exit exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers, and an MSD ignition system are just part of the powertrain make up. A Tremec TKO 5-speed manual transmission and a hydraulic clutch with Quicktime bellhousing and a Wenco driveshaft delivers power to the 3.70 Positraction differential, while power steering and Wilwood disc brakes along with a Total Control Products suspension all conspire to make this car a truly riveting ride. But, the NOS system, which lends the engine an additional 100 to 125 HP, takes it over the top, just as anyone would expect from Eleanor. Keeping things in check include an aluminum radiator with electric fan, an Auto Meter Sport Comp 10,000 RPM column-mounted tachometer and hefty racing-style lap belts that nod back to the glory days of racing.
All things told, Eleanor is one that can not only run with the best of them, but also be somewhat docile and easy to use in traffic. Unlike her on-screen persona, she’s a pretty nice gal to hang with. A trunk-mounted fuel cell, PIAA lights, TCP aluminum pedal covers and infamous custom 10-spoke spinner wheels round out the package. The best part of all: this is a real-deal, screen-featured Eleanor—and it doesn’t get much better than this.
THIS CAR WILL BE AUCTIONED OFF AT THE MECUM KISSIMMEE 2020 EVENT (JANUARY 2-12) AS LOT S135.
Presented by Mecum Auction
Mecum Auctions is now headquartered in Walworth, Wisconsin, and since 2011 has been ranked No. 1 in the world with number of collector cars offered at auction, No. 1 in the world with number of collector cars sold at auction, No. 1 in the U.S. with number of auction venues, No. 1 in the U.S. in total dollar volume of sales, and is host to the world’s largest collector car auction held annually in Kissimmee, Florida.