Is Eleanor From ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ the Best Movie Mustang Ever?
Hollywood loves Ford Mustangs. That’s not a surprise given the incredible library of spectacular ‘Stangs in everything from cult classics like “Bullitt” to modern, niche car movies like “Need for Speed.” However, one of the most iconic movie Mustangs ever belongs to the 2000 interpretation of the crime-spree classic, “Gone in 60 Seconds,” and its striped Eleanor. So, is the 1967 Shelby GT500, lovingly monikered “Eleanor,” the best movie Mustang of all time, or is it just another brilliant pony car in the Hollywood archives?
What model car was Eleanor in ‘Gone in 60 Seconds?’
The Eleanor Mustang in “Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000) is a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Moreover, the car’s eye-catching striped gray and black livery and aggressive skirting make for an instantly recognizable hero car.
In the film, Randall “Memphis” Raines, brought to life by famed car enthusiast and actor Nicolas Cage, leaves the GT500 as the final target on his list. Of course, Memphis didn’t purposely leave Eleanor for last; his history with the car always ends in heartbreak. Consequently, viewers get a sense of a tenured relationship between Raines and Eleanor right up until the film’s end.
What was Eleanor in the original ‘Gone in 60 Seconds?’
In the 1974 original “Gone in 60 Seconds,” Eleanor was a 1973 Ford Mustang Fastback, not a Shelby. The late H.B. “Toby” Halicki used a set of Fastbacks and added 1973-spec grilles and Mach 1-inspired liveries.
However, Eleanor’s updates weren’t just skin deep; Mustang Specs reports that Halicki and the team subjected the Fastback to 250 hours of surgery and prep to get it screen-ready. Specifically, Eleanor from the original film required the team to remove the body and install extensive roll cage work. Of course, the safety features were necessary to create one of the wildest car chases in cinema history. Still, most younger fans will recall the gray and black Shelby over the yellow Fastback.
How much is the car Eleanor worth?
Today, a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has an average value of around $171,000, per Hagerty. However, getting your hands on a screen-used car, like a Roush 427-powered Mustang Shelby GT500 like Eleanor from “Gone in 60 Seconds,” could cost you closer to $2 million.
Is Eleanor the best movie Mustang ever?
It’s easy to call the bafflingly beautiful striped Shelby GT500 one of the best movie Mustangs ever. However, Hollywood’s affinity for the Blue Oval’s pony car has resulted in larger-than-life contenders.
For instance, the epic near-11-minute chase in “Bullitt” might be the only part of the film that ages well, but it establishes the 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 as one of the best movie Mustangs ever. Furthermore, the yellow Fastback in the original “Gone in 60 Seconds” might not have the same screen presence as the 1967 Shelby GT500, but it certainly earned its spot in history. Get this: the yellow Mustang in the 1974 film took part in a 40-minute chase; it’s the longest chase in Hollywood history.
As for modern Mustangs, the widebody Shelby in the 2014 film “Need for Speed” is a shouty reminder of the Mustang’s relevance and potential. So, while the gray and black Eleanor deserves its own Hollywood star on the Walk of Fame, it’s up against serious competition.
What do you think is the best movie Mustang of all time? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Also, keep up with MotorBiscuit for the latest content covering historic Hollywood cars!