Jim Smart
February 8, 2010
Contributers: Wayne Cook

Art and Debra Andrew's '67 Mustang Eleanor Replica
It's been awhile since Nicholas Cage starred in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds and nobody was surprised when he wasn't nominated for an award by the Motion Picture Academy. The truth is that the real star of the movie was the "Eleanor" Mustang he drove in the film, and it is this car that has endured in the minds of movie goers and Mustang lovers everywhere. Although we've seen many Eleanor replicas in our day here at Modified Mustangs & Fords, we're always struck with how good the Eleanor cars look and how well these modifications have withstood the test of time. While they may not be loved by some of the diehard Mustang fans, we can't fault the design for bringing many people into our hobby and many new parts to vendor's shelves.

When we saw this great-looking example belonging to Art and Debra Andrew of Huntington Beach, California, we knew that this exotic incarnation of the classic Mustang fastback was worth another look. All of the features used in the Eleanor modifications still appeal to us. From the metallic steel grey color to the contoured side exhaust, all of the styling cues still seem spot on. The Eleanor cars borrow styling tips from several sources. Much of the great look is owed to Carroll Shelby himself and his original '67 Shelby design elements. The on-center driving lights and sail panel inlet scoops, as well as the trunk lid and quarter extensions, are all borrowed from the Shelby design school, while the Thunderbird taillamps were another styling trick used on the original Shelby G.T. 350 and 500 models. The rest of the famous design came courtesy of the one and only Chip Foose through the hands of the original movie car builders at Cinema Vehicle Services.

Art began his project with a nice example of the breed. The '67 fastback was a GT version and had the 390 FE engine as original equipment. He disassembled the car and spent more than three years on the complete refurbishment and Eleanor upgrades.

He began the project by shaving the shock towers and adding a Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II frontend kit. This kit is a terrific upgrade because in addition to creating more room underhood, it addresses three other important frontend areas. The kit adds modern disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and completely updated suspension equipment and geometry. Before installation of the new Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) 392W crate engine, the car was completely rewired.

Next, Art had Pete Santini Auto Body of Westminster, California, complete all the required body modifications and apply the pristine paintjob. All bolt-on body components were smoothed into the main body for a seamless and smooth look. Altogether the effect is awesome and one of the nicest Eleanor projects we've seen lately. Art now enjoys taking his car around to various car shows and exhibitions throughout the Southern California area. He says that he and his wife, Debra, have had a great time at the shows and highlights include a First Place award at the famous Rick and Ronnie's car show in Torrance, California, and an appearance in the Shelby Corral at the Palos Verdes annual show. Although they have never run this car down the dragstrip the owners report that the car is both fast and reliable. With Art and Debra's car as an example, it's plain to see that the Eleanor belongs in that special category of timeless Mustang incarnations.

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