In 2000 a movie was released which carried the enthusiasm for Shelby Mustangs over to a new generation and revived the general interest in these cars. It was titled "Gone in 60 Seconds" and was a remake of a movie which appeared in 1974 under the same name. Like in the original the new movie featured a lot of action involving fast cars. A star role was played by a Mustang named "Eleanor" by the lead character. In the original movie this was a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, but in the remake it was replaced by a more exotic 1967 Shelby Mustang GT-500.
In fact, the makers of the new movie decided not to use an original, classic Shelby Mustang but opted to create a restyled interpretation of the 1967 GT-500. Production designer Jeff Mann created a flashy, much modified GT-500 finished in metallic light grey with dark grey racing stripes, so that it would look good in both the evening and night scenes of the movie. Most noticeable modifications were the side pipes, the competition-style front air dam, the new hood with a big powerbulge, the large alloy wheels and of course the addition of nitrous injection.
The result proved to be very appealing and together with the cool presentation of the car in the movie, accompanied by the brutal soundtrack of an original 1967 GT-500, it impressed a huge audience world-wide. And so this car became an icon in a very short time, leaving a lot of people wanting a similar car. Individuals set out to recreate the movie car for themselves, and within a few years there were even companies offering an "Eleanor" look-alike, usually referred to as clones.
Best known company manufacturing Eleanor clones is probably Unique Performance who revive derelict fastback Mustangs into high quality Eleanors with the seal of approval of Carroll Shelby as the GT-500E. But there are a number of other companies keeping busy supplying to the Eleanor demand and also quite a number of individuals have assembled their own Eleanor, often to the highest standards.
This all leads to the question: are the Eleanor and its clones true Shelby Mustangs? The Eleanor enthusiasts regard this car as a model in its own right and Carroll Shelby himself seems to be quite happy with the attention the Eleanor has generated for his products. Given the facts that the Eleanor is constructed in the same fashion as the original Shelby Mustangs, that practically all Shelby paraphernalia which distinguished an original Shelby Mustang from its Ford counterpart is readily available on the market and fitted to the car in all the right places and the special looks which set it apart from the original models it can be regarded as a Shelby type car. But essentially the Eleanor remains a movie prop, a fantasy car, albeit a very realistic one.
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