Eleanor (1973 Ford Mustang)

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1971-1973 Ford Mustang - Eleanor
The iconic yellow Mustang, Eleanor
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1971/1973
ClassPony car/Muscle car
Body style(s)2-door fastback
Engine(s)351 Cleveland
ManualsService Manual


'Eleanor' is the name given to a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 for its role in the 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds. "Eleanor" is the only Ford Mustang in history to receive Star title credit in a movie.

Two "Eleanors" were used in the movie: one was modified and driven, the other was used in the "beauty shots".

The modified car required 250 labor-hours by H.B. Halicki before it was ready for the cameras. It was fitted with a NASCAR roll cage. The transmission was chained in. An adjustable camera was mounted in the back seat to record from the “driver's point of view”. Other safety modifications included a heavy duty double strength Simpson shoulder harness and seat belt and deadbolt door locks.

The car survived despite two serious incidents during filming.

The first occurred when another driver overshot his mark, clipped "Eleanor" in the rear and sent it careening into a steel light pole standard in excess of 100 mph, and caved the left front fender in. After two hours of repairs, filming resumed. The second occurred after an impressive 128-foot jump in which the car soars over 30 feet. “Eleanor” survived, despite the rough landing. Halicki was injured in both incidents.

After the filming of the movie, "Eleanor" has been on display in theater lobbies, car shows, fairs, auto races, and shopping centers, and has been featured on television news shows across the country. The car was included in the "Greatest Cars of the Movies" event at the Petersen Automobile Museum, "California Classic Car Rally" on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and "Cars Are the Stars," among others.

"Eleanor" was also featured in The Junkman and Deadline Auto Theft; a Shelby Mustang 1967 GT500 also named "Eleanor" was used in the Gone in 60 Seconds Remake.

Toys, models, and die-cast replicas of "Eleanor" have been produced, notably by Racing Champions ERTL & Playing Mantis Johnny Lightning.


Eleanor's Locations

Eleanor was first placed at the Los Angeles International by crew so Ronald Halicki can try and steal her.

Eleanor was later "stolen" from 18504 Mariposa which was Vacek's address at the time.

Much of the crowd at the gas station where Harold Smith is pulled over after the night-time Torrance chase were part of a real biker gang, who verbally abused the police officers "arresting" the actor and demanding they leave him alone. Being an independent production, the film used real civilians who happened to be wherever they were filming. It was the police officers' bad luck that at the gas station there was a real biker gang filling up.

Eleanor was later placed in a warehouse of 48 exotic cars, all "stolen" in the movie.

When Pumpkin tells Maindrian that they have to give Eleanor back because the car is not insured, Maindrian reads the owner's address from a newspaper - 18511 Mariposa, Gardena. This was in fact director/star H.B. Halicki's own real home address at the time.

According to people on the set, Halicki missed a mark and caused "Eleanor" to hit a real telephone pole at 100 mph. The first thing that Halicki was quoted as saying when he regained consciousness was "Did we get coverage?"

Eleanor's Measurements

Eleanor was powered by a 351 Windsor engine, which was secretly modified by Halicki. Features included:

  • Four-barrel carburetor
  • Cruisomatic transmission
  • H-D-7 in wheels
  • Goodyear rally GT tries
  • Double white wall tires
  • 24-volt electrical system
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First-aid kit
  • Electrical kill switches
  • Individual locking rear brakes
  • Fish plating of the undercarriage 3” x 3/8” steel
  • Removable bullet plating

Eleanor's License Plate Numbers

California

  • 869 FLA
  • 613 HSO (which is supposed to be Eleanor's real plate number in the movie)
  • 614 HSO
  • 359 JRA
  • 820 FUA

New York

  • RMH 100
  • DMC 2623