‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ Ford Mustang replicas get the green light | Daily News Byte


Anyone can now build a replica of ‘Eleanor’ – the Ford Mustang V8 star of the film Gone in 60 Seconds – without fear of legal action.

The car known as ‘Eleanor’ – the modified Ford Mustang V8 that starred Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie in the 2000 remake of ‘Gone in 60 Seconds‘ movie – has been freed from copyright restrictions that previously prevented people from making car replicas.

A California court ruling has settled a dispute between the Shelby Trust – which trademarked the 1967 Shelby GT500 used as the basis for ‘Eleanor’ – and Denise Halicki, the widow of the director of the 1970s original ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ movie.

The court ruled that there was no justification for copyright protection on the ‘Eleanor’ package, giving the green light to anyone who wanted to make a replica of the car.

Ms Halicki won the copyright in 2008 in a court case against the Shelby Trust – as reported by Motor Authority – after a dispute over licensing rights to the ‘Eleanor’ design.

It followed the remake of ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ in the year 2000, where ‘Eleanor’ replaced the bright yellow 1971 Ford Mustang used in the original 1974 film.

The film’s release in June 2000 was a year earlier than the highly successful first. ‘Fast and Furious’ series of films, with similar themes of street racing and car theft.

There were three ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ films, although one was never released.

The original was written and directed by Henry Halicki, who was killed during the incomplete filming of Gone in 60 Seconds 2 in 1978, before his widow rekindled the franchise with producer Jerry Bruckheimer – whose long list of credits includes the original ‘Top gun‘film and the’C.S.I‘ television shows – and production company Touchstone Pictures.

Nicholas Cage’s character in the 2000 version of the ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ was obsessed with ‘Eleanor’, which was based on the original Shelby GT500 but modified with a body kit and styling tweaks and built by custom car designer Chip Foose in California.

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The record price for a classic Ford Mustang is held by another movie star car, the original 1968 Mustang GT driven by Steve McQueen in ‘Bullitt‘.

An unrestored Bullitt Mustang sold for $US3.4 million at a US auction in January 2020.

It featured in an iconic car chase through the streets of San Francisco, which was replicated in 2005 by stunt driver Ken Block in his Gymkhana Five’ movie.

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years, working in newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for motoring led him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racing driver as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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