Something I promised myself when I began my Eleanor project that was I would try my hardest to have the car look as close as possible to the movie car. I’m still a long way off yet as you all know but it’s really exciting when you come across another project that has gone down the same route. That’s just what Dave has done.
Restoring a car such as a Mustang is a very personal thing. There’s many Eleanors out there with their own unique touches, but for me the movie car is still the best looking one I have seen and as Dave explains he too has the same feelings.
“Ever since I saw the movie (Gone In 60 Seconds) in theaters back in 2000 I fell in love with the GT500 that Memphis stole running from the cops. I was hooked! However only being 10 years old it was a far off dream. As I got older I made models of the car and in 2003 I got to sit in one of the original movie cars in Las Vegas and eventually started working saving money for my first Mustang, a rio red 99 cobra.
After owning that for 2 years I sold it and purchased a DSG 03 cobra as a gradation present for myself. A few years later I was approached by someone about buying the car, so I sold it to him and began looking for a 1967 Fastback shell.
I saw so many Eleanor clones out there, however none of them captured the look of the car that captured my interest almost 10 years ago. My goal was to build the most movie correct Eleanor out there, PERIOD. I made probably 100 phone calls to the guys at Cinema Vehicle Services to find out everything I could on how to make the car as accurate as possible. I had spent years doing research on part numbers, paint codes, tire sizes etc. I went as far as having them measure the grilles for me and how many bars were in each, little details like the lower grille bars being further apart then the upper. I found out what mufflers were used on the movie cars, which were flow master 40 series. This is a straight through muffler unlike the in/out muffler many people run.
In order to get the movie correct sound it would take a one off system. The exhaust tips on the car not “movie correct” however they are the ones Borla made for Cinema Vehicle Services when the movie cars were redone after the movie in order to make the exhaust functional. These were a limited production run and were not available to the public unless you purchased the body kit from Cinema Vehicle Services.
I spent days staring at pictures of the original 12 cars trying to find out what made them have that movie look. There are some nice cars out there however every single car I found has something that was off whether it be the chrome bullet mirrors or the taillight frames not painted black, molded body kit, incorrect front lighting, incorrect grilles, and of course the all important movie hood.
The interiors were the same way, many cars use the white faced shelby gauges, pro car seats, or a center console. The “correct” Eleanor is a stock back 1967 Fastback deluxe interior with comfortweave upholstery, a non padded Shelby roll bar without shoulder harnesses and they all had a 18 rivet moto-lita steering wheel (not the commonly used 6 rivet wheel), an Autometer monater tach with built in shift light, 120MPH speedo (not the shelby 140 MPH speedo), the Total Control Products pedal covers, and the “go baby go”/ nitrous armed switch.
Another thing that I also found incorrect was the color, the color is commonly known as pepper gray. However I talked to Bruckheimer and found out that the chase scene was shot with a yellow tint lens to give the scene a morning look. Therefore this would throw off the color, in order to correct this and make the car appear as it did on screen the color had to be altered to compensate for the polar filter being absent.
Another thing that makes or breaks these Eleanor cars is the stance, the movie hero car has total control coil overs. In person I was surprised how low the car was, the car tucked tire all around. Once again It took me a couple tries with different setups but I finally got the car sitting nice. I tracked down the correct PIAA lights which had been out of production, the handmade PS engineering wheels and the correct body kit pieces. Eventually I got all of the stuff I needed to make the car the car it is today.”
I’m speechless. The level of detail and the amount of research Dave has gone into is astonishing. The photos below are of Dave’s actual car. I had to look at these a few times as he has even gone to the touble of positioning the car in movie like positions.
If you want to build a car similar or just want to see the detail Dave has gone to you can check out his build thread HERE. It is a must for any Eleanor builder.
Thanks to Dave for sharing this with us.
Photos courtesy of killerblackbird
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