Tips for Building an Eleanor Mustang from “Gone in 60 Seconds”
The Ford Mustang has enjoyed major acclaim on the silver screen in its five decades, capturing the hearts of audiences in Bullitt, Charlie’s Angels, Goldfinger, and newer films like War of the Worlds, Need for Speed, and I Am Legend. But in 2000 the world got another taste of ‘Stang it wouldn’t soon forget. That car was the 1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor Mustang, hailing from the blockbuster Gone in 60 Seconds remake. It was the last car that Nicholas Cage would snatch in the film, and arguably the prettiest. Understandably, it’s a car Mustang and movie fans alike would love to own…though considering only 11 original versions were built (and three featured on screen with the cast) it’s not an easy car to get a hold of. Luckily, you can build your own, and save yourself quite a lot of money for that sleek Eleanor look. RELATED: Take a Closer Look at an Original Eleanor Mustang
If you already have a running, driving donor car…part one of your build would be to check online and research any number of the Eleanor-style fiberglass body kits available. Undoubtedly some are better than others, and prices tend to vary accordingly. Current Eleanor Mustang owners can provide the best advice for which kits work the best.
A quick look at an original Eleanor Mustang (pictured above at Mecum Auctions) will give you an idea of the body parts you’ll require and receive in your kit, which include the iconic front bumper, raised hood, side skirts and fender flares, rear end caps, rear bumper, side scoops, and taillight panel.
The fiberglass body parts should (hopefully) line up accordingly and lay flush with the body, however fiberglass can be a fickle material and sanding as well as trimming may be needed to ensure a solid fit. Trimming, mounting, and bonding these parts is best undertaken with the mentality “measure twice, cut once.” More fiberglass can always be sanded off, it can’t be added quite as easily.
RELATED: Check Out This 2,500-HP "Helleanor" Mustang
Jack stands may come in handy when lining up and addressing the fit of the side skirts and bumpers. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions as some unseen fiberglass lips and bevels may be necessary for later fitment of parts.
It’s also important to remember that once everything is complete…your Eleanor will still need to be painted. Make sure to factor that cost into your overall build. Before embarking on this process, it’s best to become familiar with the Mustang and Eleanor online community as they offer a wealth of information on these cars. If you have a problem, someone there has likely experienced it too and has an answer...or at least a suggestion.
If this is beginning to seem a little too daunting for the occasional tinkerer, there is good news. Given the popularity of the 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds film, many Mustang fans have already undertaken and completed an Eleanor Mustang build, which inherently means at any given time there are usually a handful of Eleanor Mustangs cruising the online car classifieds.
Part of the fun is certainly building your own, but for those not looking for another project, a few clicks may be all you need to score a sleek-looking Eleanor Mustang. Just be careful. These are essentially custom cars that someone you don't know has built.
RELATED: Take a Look at the Original Shelby GT500 Mustangs
Photo Credit: Nick Ares/Flickr