Gone in 60 seconds Ford Mustang replicas get the green light

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

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

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

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

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

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

The launch of the movie in June 2000 came a year ahead of the first in the highly-successful ‘Fast & Furious’ series of films, which have similar themes of street racing and car thefts.

There have been three ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ movies, 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 the franchise was re-ignited by his widow with producer Jerry Bruckheimer – whose long list of credits includes the original ‘Top Gun‘ movie and the ‘CSI‘ television shows – and production company Touchstone Pictures.

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

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‘.

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

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

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years, working on 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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