|Nicholas Cage and crew released a remake of a
"B" movie from 1974 called "Gone in Sixty Seconds." I have been getting numerous and daily requests for
information about one of the cars in the movie, Eleanor, a 1967 GT 500. So
here is some information on the car, the movie and answers to some
questions I see repeated.
The story goes something like this. Cage's character, Randall "Memphis" Raines, was the number one car thief in his home town. But his mother didn't think he was a good role-model for his younger brother and asked him leave town. No role model is better than a bad one. Well, his brother choose to steal cars anyway. He got involved with a bad guy that was doing business with a South American "business guy" that had need for 50 specific cars from Ferraris to a Hummer to a Cadillac and a Porsche. (List below) Lots of unique cars. A deadline was imposed as to when the cars had to be at the docks to be shipped. Well, the younger brother's operation is raided by the police. An old friend of Cage's contacts him to give the message that if Memphis doesn't accept the job of acquiring the cars and delivering them by the designated time, the brother will be killed. Devil and the deep blue sea story. So what's a brother to do? He agrees to deliver the cars.
One of the cars, the one Memphis/Cage leaves for last, is a highly modified 1967 GT 500. Memphis has a lot more than respect for the 67 Shelby GT 500. He had tried to steal on before with bad results. He and this team locate the one GT 500 in the area, check it out and make the necessary preparations to steal it and the other cars. The local police, who know Memphis well and are on to the deal, locate the list of cars to be stolen, including the 1967 GT 500. And there is only one in the area. Memphis calls this car Eleanor. The cops get there just as he drives off in the GT 500. The chase is on. Cage, who did all but the most dangerous stunt driving, races through the streets with the police hot on his tail. There are some great scenes. He flips on the nitrous to outrun a police helicopter. Flies down streets and alleys. Drives backwards at speed. Whips the car around and takes off. The top stunt is on a bridge, with the police just behind him. An accident has stopped traffic. The bridge is two way, so the opposing lane is empty. Memphis sees that there is no way to get around the traffic. He also sees a truck getting ready to pick up one of the disabled cars and he sees the cops coming behind him. It just happens the bed of the truck is down, like a ramp. The cops know they have him, pull their guns and tell him to stop. He backs the GT 500 up towards the cops, to get some running room, and hits the accelerator. The Shelby hits that truck ramp at speed, flies over a number of cars, remember this is Hollywood, and lands on the other side in a clear area. Then drives off in the car. (Two Eleanors were totaled in this scene. In the original movie the Mach 1 used did survive the landing and actually did drive off. The driver, H.B. "Toby" Halicki, was injured with a compressed spine.) If you want to know what else happened and how it ended, see the movie.
(I've gotten a lot of emails on this movie and Eleanor, one I got from "Paul" offerred some additional information. "The real jump was only made at about 40 mph and Eleanor landed in a huge pile of boxes. The jump in the movie was computer animated. To make the landing seem realistic, a real stunt driver jumped a car from a 15 foot landing at about 50mph, but was not able to regain control of the car. He lost control and rammed into the concrete wall between his lanes and the opposing lanes." thanks, Paul. Crunch! One less Mustang.)
I have also received several comments asking it the the Mustang used was actually a Shelby. There were 13 Mustangs used in the movie, they were all Mustangs not one was a GT 500. Read below about the cars used in the movie.
If you are a car buff or Nicholas Cage fan, this movie is worth seeing. Check out the Shelby GT 500, it comes at the end.
On the links below you can read and see much more about the movie and the GT 500. Check out the Recon section on the movie studio for some QuickTime clips from the movie.
Questions and Answers
I want to answer some to the emails I am getting on the bottom of this page and give you some links. The hits on my pages tripled after the movie was released. America is being reintroduced to Shelby Mustangs. By the way, if you are reading this because you saw the movie and think the car was neat, Shelby American manufactured Shelby Mustangs from 1965-1969 (1970 if you count the carryover 69's that became 1970's.) The 1967 GT 500 was the first big block Shelby Mustang. Big block Shelby Mustangs were offered from 1967-1970. Check out some of the other years. All Shelby Mustangs are unique cars. Each year had its own design. Read about the 1968 GT 500KR if you are a big block fan.
A: Yes and No, an original 1967 GT 500 was used for the motor sound affects, but not as a model for the movie car. The actual cars used were just 67 Mustangs, all customized to look like Eleanor in this movie. Most of the cars were 289 Mustangs with automatic transmissions. Originally the production designer, Jeff Mann who is also a professed car fanatic, proposed this car be a GT 40 then when that didn't fly he suggested a Shelby Series I Cobra. Eventually they settled on a 67 GT 500. According to SAAC, the 11 Mustangs were each chosen for specific duty. Some had highly modified suspensions for the high speed slides. Some were cosmetic models used for close ups and PR shots. Others, the ones crashed and crushed didn't even have engines. In Shelby American issue #70, the latest copy, the article explains that the car used for the close-ups of Cage actually had two steering wheels. Someone else was driving the car allowing Cage to focus "acting" rather than driving. The car used to record the sound affects is a 500 horsepower 428 1967 GT 500 with a great lumpy cam sound. The car is Brittany blue with white LeMans stripes. Corvette side exhaust pipes were temporarily added for taping the sounds of the car. The movie car had side pipes and side pipes produce a different sound than rear exhaust. George Watters, a long time SAAC member and top sound editor for Hollywood, obtained the GT 500 and took it to Willow Springs. He and his sound people spent six hours doing different things with the car, recording the sound of it for the movie soundtrack. So the only original GT 500 used in the movie produced the sounds you hear.
To make the "67 GT 500" more unique, modifications were made from the original, stock 67 GT500. Among the modifications: custom "Corvette" side pipes were added, a front air dam similar to the one on the 1965 GT 350R replaced the front end, the gas cap was located behind the top scoop instead of the rear of the car, the hood was replaced with one that has a definitely non-stock hood scoop, and nitrous was featured. Oh and least I forget to mention those huge mag rims and sports tires. I understand the producer took one of cars home after the movie, and that he is afraid to drive it. Those were not options in 1967.
So what is a Shelby Mustang? The web site this page is part of has a lot of information on the Shelby Cars. Simply put, Ford asked Carroll Shelby, whose firm Shelby American, had been having some great success with the Cobra roadster, to campaign the Mustang and give it a performance image. In 1965 Shelby American offered a very limited production, highly modified Mustang GT he called a GT 350. The 350 had little meaning except it sounded like a larger number than the competition offered. To race that car, the rules said the street car, and there had to be 100 of them, either had to have the same suspension or the same engine. Shelby opted for selling the GT 350's with the racing suspension and the hot stock Ford 289 Hi-Po. Things legends are made of. Shelby American offered Shelby Mustangs into 1970. The cars changed as Ford and the buyers dictated what they wanted. By 1968, the hi-po engine was gone, power steering was standard, air was an option. The cars were more cruisers than race cars. 1965 was the only year, except with some left over 65's that became 1966 GT 350's, that the Shelby Mustangs were all out sports cars. But all the Shelby Mustangs were and are very unique and rare. Less than 15,000 Shelby Mustangs were built in total. Compare that to the fact that Ford built over 3,000,000 Mustangs. Yes, very rare. By 1970 Ford was offering its own competition to the Shelby Mustang GT's, Boss Mustangs & the Mach 1's. Plus other car manufacturers were also trying to get a piece of the market. The 1970 Shelby Mustangs were left over 1969's.
On this site is a large amount of information on the Ford powered cars of Carroll Shelby. Each year has its own section and stories. The Carroll Shelby story is more than just interesting. And his Shelby Mustangs and Cobras changed the way we think of sports cars in this country.
A: Sure looked like it except it had a bench seat. No Shelby Mustangs had bench seats. In fact very few Mustangs had bench seats. However, a bench seat will fit a Mustang.
A: You can find them for sale with some effort. The prices I see range from $30,000 to $60,000. (By spring of 2005 that price went over $100,000.) In the movie Cage says that car is worth $80,000. Willing buyer and seller. Just because a car is modified doesn't necessarily hurt the value. A 1970 Mach 1 set an auction record recently. It was more than modified. The prior owner updated the car with rack and pinion steering, new engine, etc. The new owner wanted an up to date driver. A purist Mustang enthusiast wouldn't have even considered the car. Beauty in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I would prefer an updated model. I want to drive my cars, not leave them in the garage only to see a car show once in awhile.
A: Good luck, Remember people have been looking for these cars for many years. They have been collectable and highly sought after cars since the sixties. It is possible to find an un-restored Shelby Mustang but not likely. Shelby Mustangs are collectable cars to a lot of people. Especially after this movie. With the baby boomers expected to have more spendable income, the demand for these cars is going to increase and so will the prices. Big block Shelby Mustangs bring more than small block ones.
A: People post pictures of themselves in the car galleries. I post what I receive. If you own a '67 GT 500, or 350 or any Shelby Mustang let's put your car and you on these pages. People want to see your car. If you have one that you want to sell, by all means post it in the classifieds. I get a HUGE number of requests to buy one.
The cars were given ladies names as code names to protect what they were doing to what cars.
A: For this "Eleanor" ...the 1973 Mach 1 Ford Mustang, a true lady both
Check out the official web page for this movie, click here.
A: No, Ford offered an automatic transmission. The GT 500 could be purchased with a Ford C-6 automatic transmission.
A: The best place to find some are on these links. Check out the current movie web sites in the links menu above. Or go to these sites.
A: "No. According to the July issue of Car and Driver ( "Gone Again"), Jerry Bruckheimer retained one authentic GT 500, outfitted to resemble the movie's Eleanor, for his own use. The other twelve vehicles were customized 1967/68 Mustangs. One was chopped up for camera work. Two were destroyed for The Jump along with others for the scene at Calitri's wrecking yard. Seven Eleanors survived. Some were modified for high-speed driving, others for sharp turns. Engines ranged from stock 289 to crated 351's. Keep in mind the actual GT 500 used the Ford big-block 428 cid mill which produced an advertised 355 horsepower. The "350" and "500" model designations were numbers chosen almost at random by Carroll Shelby and bore no relation to engine displacement or power."- Tom Cotrel "The Unofficial Fan's Web site" for the original movie
|This page was built in July 200 after I got back from Japan. While I was gone the movie was released. When I returned and had a chance to check my emails, I was deluged with questions about the movie and Eleanor. I promptly did some research to try to answer the questions and satisfy my curiosity. And I went to see the movie. It was updated on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 .|