Eleanor. That was the name given to the Ford Mustang in both versions of the classic car heist flic Gone in 60 Seconds. The original film showcased a yellow 1971 Mustang, but most people recall the 1967 Shelby GT500 from the 2000 remake. In the movie mythology it's the hardest car to steal, and it seems that played out recently in real life, to a certain extent anyway.

Not one, but four brand-new Shelby GT500 Mustangs were nabbed late on December 12, straight from the factory at which they're built. That would be Ford's Flat Rock assembly plant, located approximately 25 miles southwest of Detroit next to the I-75 interstate highway. According to Metro Detroit News, at approximately 10:25 p.m. local time a single Shelby GT500 smashed through a security gate, opening the path for three other GT500s to follow.


Despite being a security gate, the report states no video footage of the brazen breakout is available. However, two of the cars didn't get far, as they were recovered along I-75 roughly 10 miles north. One of those was apparently the gate crasher as it had heavy front-end damage, but the other two cars are still missing. The report also states the recovered cars were unoccupied, and there's no mention of any suspects in the case.

Stealing vehicles directly from the manufacturing plant certainly is a bold move, especially considering new vehicles at plants seldom have more than a couple gallons of fuel in the tank. That could explain why two of the cars were abandoned not far from the factory. Additionally, high-powered cars like the 760-horsepower (567-kilowatt) GT500 often have some form of transport or delivery mode that limits power until unlocked at dealerships. That doesn't explain how a security gate was breached, nor how two of the cars were apparently able to escape police.

Gallery: Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant

In any case, if you happen to be in southeast Michigan and catch a black Shelby GT500 with some scuffs and a guy behind the wheel listening to Low Rider, you may want to give him some space before calling the cops.

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