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Gone in 60 Seconds Eleanor
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True or false.
The 2000 version of Gone in 60 seconds is a remake of the 1974 Gone in Sixty seconds?
False!
If you look closely, and actually watched both of them from start to finish, you will notice that its more of a sequel than a remake. In HB Halicki’s original, Memphis Raines has no brother and is stealing 49 cars over a period of time!
In the Bruckheimer version, Memphis Raines is a retired car thief who takes the job on because his brother Kip, fumbled the job and 50 cars are stolen in 24 hours. Memphis’ crew are also retired and are all called back to pull the job.


Creating Eleanor

When the movie started production, Eleanor wasn't necessarily going to be a Mustang at all. "We really wanted to see a GT40 blowing through down town L.A., flying down the L.A. River, doing all that [expletive deleted]," says production designer Jeff Mann. But even for a movie that cost a reported $90 million to make, a fleet of GT40s was prohibitively expensive. So it was back to Mustangs.

"We were looking at a '67 GT500. It's a bitchin' car, no doubt, "continues Mann, "but does it really stack up against these other vehicles?" This is a pertinent concern in a film that would be overstuffed with Ferraris. "In the context of all these other cars, it's not necessarily going to be the hottest thing going down the road (That depends on who you are--Ed.). That's when Jerry kind of opened the doors for me to come up with a variation on it . . . ." Building that variation that didn't suck started with famed Hot Rod illustrator Steve Stanford, who drew up an illustration of an over-the-top '67 GT500.

Former Boyd Coddington designer Chip Foose was hired by the production company to turn Stanford's work into a reality. Foose fitted the car with PIAA lights in both the nose and rear backup areas. He also prototyped the hood, the front valance, the side skirts, the scoops, and other fiberglass parts that would be used for the car. That billet grille is based on aftermarket pieces originally developed for Chevy Astro vans and Foose found the Schmidt 17x8-inch wheels that would be sheathed in P245/40ZR17 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires.

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Neither the side-exit exhausts nor the C-pillar-mounted fuel fillers ('71 Mach fuel doors) were functional on the cars seen in the movie. Why? First, because actually making the side exhausts work is tough, considering how the '67 Mustang is built. And second, because they didn't need to be functional.

Once the prototype pieces were completed and the molds were made, the project moved into the hands of Ray Claridg's Cinema Vehicle Services(CVS), where construction of the actual Eleanors took place.

Building Eleanor

"In all my time in this business," explains Ray Claridg, "this was the toughest show." Because of the screen time the Eleanor Mustang would have and the stunts it would be asked to do, several Eleanors would have to be built. The occasional improvisation of the production of the film itself further complicated the issue; script changes were constant and the needs of the filmmakers practically changed daily. Ultimately, there would be 12 Eleanors built for the film, including the prototype that didn't appear in the movie.

Construction of the Eleanors started with the CVS staff scouring the Southern California want ads, searching for '67 and '68 Mustang fastbacks. The cars CVS acquired ranged from clapped-out machines with leaky 289s to at least one Mustang GT powered by a 390. All the cars in the movie are '67s, and none were actual Shelbys.
Because certain cars were required to do different things in the course of the film, no two Eleanors were alike. Many of the Eleanors remain in CVS' inventory, but they've all been twisted, fiddled with, and rebuilt so many times, it's hard to determine their original condition when they appeared in the movie. And apparently, CVS didn't take any pangs to catalog all the cars.

Some of the cars received Lincoln Versailles rear ends, and at least one of the cars was geared for high-speed running along the concrete canals of the Los Angeles River. All the cars were lowered, but some of them received a Total Control rack-and-pinion steering system and engine bay


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bracing. Some of the cars were built to slide around corners, some were built to survive a jump, and others were built to be crushed in a junkyard. Up close, the Eleanors are a mix of sweet design work and expedient engineering. These cars weren't built to last a lifetime, win a car show, or go extremely fast; they were built to look good in a movie and do their particular task well.

Of the 12 Eleanors built, 7 survived the filming to end up back in CVS' possession. Two of the cars were destroyed doing the climactic jump on Los Angeles' Vincent Thomas Bridge at the end of the film. That jump was done in segments: in the first segment, a car jumped off a ramp and was destroyed during the landing. Another car had a longer jump, and it landed in a pile of cushioning boxes. That car, according to stunt coordinator Johnny Martin, actually came out in surprisingly good(though still damaged) condition. Another car was suspended from wires for the portion of the jump between the takeoff and the landing. A computer-generated Eleanor was used for a few seconds during the jump as well. And finally, another Mustang was destroyed when it jumped off a platform and back down onto the bridge's unforgiving tarmac to complete the jump. That car was definitely totaled.

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Two more Eleanors were destroyed in the film's final scenes when the car is seen being snatched up in a junkyard and put into a crusher. Destroying that many Mustangs seemed like an utter waste of perfectly good cars. But it's all in a day's work for Hollywood.

The best Eleanor of those used in the film actually plays the least pristine of the bunch. CVS was in the process of building an Eleanor with a new Ford Motorsport 351 crate engine and all the best mechanical pieces (Versailles rear end, rack-and-pinion steering) when the production put out a call for a car to play Kip's gift to Memphis at the end of the film--a ratty Shelby. The car that was in the process of becoming the nicest Eleanor of them all--finished in primer, fitted with a derelict front bench seat, and mismatched steel wheels--was chosen to play that car. So the nicest Eleanor you see in the film, is actually the cruddiest looking.

Technical Specifications

Engine Location Front
Drive Type Rear Wheel
Body / Chassis Unit Steel
Production Years for Series 1967 - 1968
Weight 3521 lbs (1597.099 kg)
Performance
0-62 mph 7.2 seconds.
1/4 Mile 15.5 seconds.
Top Speed 132 mph (212.388 km/h)
Engine
Engine Configuration V
Cylinders 8
Aspiration/Induction Normal
Displacement 7051 cc | 430.3 cu in. | 7.1 L.
Valves 16 valves.
2 valves per cylinder.
Valvetrain OHV
Horsepower 355 BHP (261.28 KW) @ 5400 RPM
Torque 420 Ft-Lbs (569 NM) @ 3200 RPM
HP to Weight Ratio 9.9 LB / HP
HP / Liter 50.3 BHP / Liter
Standard Transmission
Gears 4
Transmission Manual
Final Drive 4.30:1
Production Figures
Total Ford Production for 1967 1,730,224
Coupes 335

Source: www.carsession.com
  www.mustangmonthly.com
  www.67mustangblog.com
www.autoonline.blogspot.com
 
Check out the official Halicki website at www.halicki.com


Limited Edition Prints

A0 Print

 

Limited Ediition A0 Canavs Print

Number of copies available: 1 only
Price: R4000
 

A3 Print

Limited Ediition A3 Print

Number of copies available: 5 only
Price: R500
Email me on review@karink.net to purchase these limited edition prints.


..and I'll leave you with the scene that inspired my illustration above.

 


 
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