Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Where is the Iconic ‘Eleanor’ Mustang From ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ Now?

Where is the Iconic ‘Eleanor’ Mustang From ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ Now?

One of the most memorable muscle cars in all of cinema is the fabled Eleanor Mustang featured in 1974’s Gone in 60 Seconds. The 70’s film achieved cult status in large part due it its iconic featured ride. Of course, this led to a 2000 remake starring Nicholas Cage (and a brand new version of Eleanor).

Back in ’71, H.B. “Toby” Halicki spun a tale of car thieves, turning a Mustang into the legendary Eleanor. Eleanor featured as a yellow 1973 Mach I in the 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds, was actually a customized 1971 model.

According to Hot Cars, Halicki got the Mustangs in 1971 but didn’t have the funds to trick them out for the film he had in mind. By 1973, he had the resources and revamped his cars to mirror the 1973 Mustangs. The main car, used for stills and gentle shots, remained unchanged under the hood.

However, the other car, used by Halicki for all stunts, required 250 man-hours to rig with a roll cage similar to the infamous killer car in Death Proof. The cockpit was equipped with reinforced shoulder harnesses and seat belts. The engine also underwent modifications, and the automatic transmission was securely welded to the frame to prevent any disruptions from bumps or jolts while driving.

A three-inch skid plate was installed to protect the car during the stunts. Surprisingly, the hero car was destroyed, with Halicki keeping mum on the details. The stunt car miraculously endured the final 128-foot jump in the film, despite being crushed and misaligned. Halicki himself sustained spinal injuries and was left somewhat battered, much like Eleanor, until a stunt mishap in the late ‘80s tragically claimed his life.

Where the Original ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ Eleanor Mustang Ended Up

The car, despite its trials, endures. Denice Shakarian Halicki, Halicki’s widow, now holds possession of the iconic, battered car. This vehicle has been showcased at events like the Mustang Show at the Peterson Museum. Denice has taken legal action against entities like Shelby and other companies for unauthorized use of the “Eleanor” name, asserting her ownership of the copyrights.

However, the legacy of Gone in 60 Seconds Eleanor Mustang endured. In 1995, Denice Shakarian teamed up with Jerry Bruckheimer to link the Eleanor name with a remake of the original movie. Nicolas Cage took over from the late Halicki, with many stuntmen part of this version.

In the 2000 version, Eleanor was portrayed by a stunning 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 500 fastback, custom-built by hot-rod icon Chip Foose in collaboration with Steven Stanford. The car featured a stunning gunmetal grey exterior and twin black racing stripes that added a touch of elegance.

Where the ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ Remake Eleanor Mustang is Now

In typical movie fashion, several copies of the car were produced. Reportedly a total of eleven cars were featured in the film. Of these, only five were hero cars, boasting true power under the hood, and notably, three of them made it through production.

In 2013, a hero car was sold for $1.1 million at a Mecum auction. Despite the movie’s underperformance at the box office given its high production costs, Eleanor’s cult following has continued to grow. Fast forward seven years, prices have slightly decreased, with another hero car from the movie auctioned for $852,000 in 2020.

More recently, a hero car has emerged for sale in Germany through classic car dealer Chrome Cars. This is the same car that was sold at Mecum in 2013. Despite not being genuine Shelbys, the legacy and allure of the Eleanor cars have continued to grow. Eleanor is like a rare gem in the model world. Collectors gladly dig deep into their pockets for a chance to call her their own.