If you are a movie fanatic like me then you remember the 2000 movie “gone in 60 seconds” starring Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage and another star “Eleanor”…a vehicle star if it is even right to say so. Well, the role of Eleanor was played by the 1967 Ford Mustang GT 500.
In fact, before the 2000 movie, the Shelby GT500 was never referred to as Eleanor. The 2000 movie was a remake of HB Halicki’s 1974 movie with the same title. During the original movie, a Ford Mustang Mach-1 was used. Unlike the 200 movie, the Eleanor of the 1974 movie needed no special modification since it was among the best muscle cars of the time.
The making of Eleanor
In the 2000 movie, things were a little different, using a classic Ford Mustang amid the likes of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, the Mustang would have looked out of class and the European supercars would end up stealing the show. All attention needed to be focused on Eleanor and though the producers could have chosen a European muscle car to act the role without the need of any modification that would have lost the spirit of the original movie. The role had to be played by an American born and blend muscle car.
Before selecting the 1967 Ford Shelby GT 500, the producers had toyed with the idea of using the very rare and expensive Ford GT40. However, they shelved the idea of using the GT40 due to the difficult stunts that needed to be performed. However, the wheels of the Eleanor were borrowed from the GT40.
The original Mustang wasn’t good enough to fit the bill on its own and had to undergo a rigorous transformation. The models were “souped” up at Yukon, Oklahoma where you can still get your GT500 transformed to the Eleanor at a cost of around $ 109,000.
To create an Eleanor, the GT500 is fitted with a 401 c.i racing engine featuring aluminum heads up front, ,an aluminum cross-flowing radiator, a pair of 12-inch cooling fans ceramic coated headers, a Mass Flo fuel injector system, and a Concept 1serpentine belt drive system,
The base model pumps out 535 hp while the reworked engine comes all out with 770 hp but the more potent models attract an $189,000 price tag. The power is channeled to the rear wheels via a 5-speed Tremec or an automatic system. To ensure the vintage body doesn’t quake under all this pressure, the body is held in check by plenty of bracing.
1967 Ford Mustang GT 500 Eleanor Interior styling
The cabin of the GT500 has been overhauled. The new interior features new seats with 5-point harnesses, a wood and aluminum trimmed steering wheel as well as deluxe trimmings from the 1967 models. New features you could not get in the 60s are a NOS system and a red button fixed on the dash and shift knob respectively. At the back there is no trunk space as the space is occupied by a humongous tank of nitrous.
Its windows and doors are operated manually and though the vehicle has an air con it does little to ease the temperatures.
Simply put, there is nothing else interesting about the Eleanor apart from driving it. You can imagine it features a single button in the entire cabin which operates the stereo. Unlike the modern machines, here there are no connectivity features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or USB ports. Its dual exhaust pipes barely contain the engines explosions and it is in fact one of the loudest cars around. It can in fact set off parked car alarms.