John Pearley Huffman
November 14, 2000
Photos By: Randy Lorentzen

The Nicest Eleanor of All

Although it didn't appear in the film, the nicest Eleanor of all wasbuilt by CVS for producer Bruckheimer. It's an actual '67 Shelby GT500.The side-exit exhausts function, and so does the fuel filler in theC-pillar. The engine bay brace from Total Control and therack-and-pinion system were also installed, but the suspension itselfwasn't touched. "There's nothing we can't reverse," explained RayClaridg.

This 13th Eleanor is powered by a 428 with dual quads and was convertedfrom its original automatic to a four-speed by CVS. While the exhaustsystem hangs low (low enough to be impractical), it makes a sound thatrattled the condiments off the kitchen shelves at Bruckheimer Films whenit was started in the facility's garage.

It may not have been used in the film, but Bruckheimer's Eleanor has thebest claim to being the "real thing" of all the Eleanors.

Filming Eleanor

While star Nicolas Cage did a surprising amount of the driving in Gone,the heavy lifting was done by a team of Hollywood's best stunt drivers."We've had a lot of man days on this show," says stunt coordinatorJohnny Martin. "It's been nothing but weaving through traffic anddodging cars. And we did a lot of chase scenes in the middle of the day,through downtown L.A., so that pretty much causes a lot of traffic.We've had more than 350 guys work in it [the movie]." However, havingCage in the car most of the time allowed the director to better createthe illusion that he was driving all the time.

173_0011_11z 1967_Ford_Mustang_GT500 Gear_Select
Although the car is supposed to be a four-speed in the film, most of theactual Eleanors were automatics. Doing stunts or acting is easier whenyou don't have to manually shift gears.
173_0011_12z 1967_Ford_Mustang_GT500 Line_Lock_Switch
Each Eleanor was unique, depending on what it had to do in the film. TheEleanor photographed here had a line lock at one time.
Though they were once movie stars, parts of the various Eleanors endedup unceremoniously bundled for disposal at CVS. Haven't these guys heardof eBay?