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1967 Ford Mustang Fastback - Build Your Own Eleanor
The Real Star Of The Modern Version Of Gone In 60 Seconds Was Eleanor, A Way-Cool '67 Fastback. It's Now Possible To Build One Yourself
To be honest, 2000's Gone in 60 Seconds was not Academy Award-winning movie-making. Was it movie-making at its worst? We'll let you decide. One thing we're sure about, however, is that the biggest star in the movie is a '67 Mustang fastback that goes by the name of Eleanor.
Loyal Mustang Monthly readers with a sharp memory will recall our in-depth look at the Eleanor Mustangs in our November 2000 issue. Back then, the movie was in theaters and the buzz was big in Mustang circles. Trouble was, while the car looked slick, it didn't do much good for those who wanted to make one of their own. Now, two years later, the solution is at hand. If you've dreamed of building your own version of Eleanor and have the '67 or '68 fastback needed to get the project underway, you're in luck. Of course, procuring said '67-'68 fastback is also an easy thing.
CVS And The Lady In GrayThe biggest visual hurdles in creating an Eleanor clone were the body panels. The company mainly responsible for making the cars for the movie-Cinema Vehicle Services-is offering the panels in a complete body kit. You can now turn any '67 or '68 fastback into an Eleanor look-alike using the panels and other components like the wheels and front lights. Our purpose here is to do more than just show you one of the cars that CVS has in its stable; we want to show what it takes to make a car look exactly like the ones you see in the movie.
You can install the kit on any '67 or '68 Mustang. We know of a convertible version being built and we suppose a hardtop would also look good. So, hardtop, convert, or fastback-any '67-'68 Mustang would be one trick Pony with the Eleanor touch. Finally, the kit won't work with any other year Mustang-it's '67 or '68 only. If you build one, send us photos for our Readers' Album section. We'd love to see the fruits of your time and effort.
Eleanor By The NumbersThe meat and potatoes of an Eleanor Mustang is the body kit available from CVS. We cover that in detail in the second part of this story, but first we'll go over the outside of the car. The car shown here was graciously pulled out of mothballs by CVS owner Ray Claridge and provided to us by one of CVS's main men, Josh Hancock-he's also the guy driving on the cover. What follows is a photo essay of what an Eleanor Mustang consists of and what you'll need to duplicate one for yourself. There's a lot to discuss here so let's get to it.
The CarFor the record, all the cars in the movie were '67 fastbacks that CVS found by searching classified ads. None of them were actual Shelbys, although a '67 GT500 served as the foundation for Eleanor. Just so we're clear on this, you can use a '68 fastback if you don't mind the side marker lights. A hardtop or convertible would, of course, also look cool with the Eleanor treatment, but don't expect true Eleanor status unless the car is a fastback.
Eleanor Paint Codes And Light InformationBesides the body kit, you'll need to know the correct paint brand, codes, and the PIAA lights to procure. For more on the PIAA lights, check out www.piaa.com.
Prime MotivationObviously, engine choice is an open book for your Eleanor-several engines including an FRPP 351W crate motor, a 390, and a 428 powered the 12 cars built for the movie. The car shown here makes do with this mild 302 that has cast-iron GT40 heads and a Holley 600 cfm carb. Behind it is a C4 trans. As with engines, transmission choice is also up to you. Although the car in the movie is supposed to be a four-speed manual, most of the 12 cars were automatics since much of the stunt work was easier with a slush box. Were we to build our own Eleanor, we'd opt for a T5 or Tremec five-speed manual gearbox.
Underpinnings Fit For A StarThe Eleanor Mustangs were able to perform on screen as well as they did partly because of a full front coilover suspension conversion as well as the addition of rack-and-pinion steering developed by Total Control Products and available from Mustangs Plus, (800) 999-4289, www.mustangsplus.com. This strut brace setup is part of the coilover front suspension.
Rollin' Rollin'Of course we suppose you could run just about any wheel on an Eleanor clone, but if you want to have that certain star-power look, you have just one choice: These 17x8-inch knockouts from PS Engineering, (310) 534-4477. Our photo subject car was shod with Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. You can run any make of tire you'd like, but the right size for Eleanor is 245/40ZR17 at all four corners.
The GutInterior appointments in an Eleanor clone are the lesser of your concerns. You could pretty much go with a clean black cabin, add a LeCarra steering wheel, maybe a set of body-hugging sport seats, and be done with it. Although this car doesn't have them, a set of Total Control aluminum pedal covers were seen in the movie, and are available from Mustangs Plus.
A Beautiful Body (Kit)Up to this point, you've seen what a complete Eleanor looks like and the ancillary pieces needed to make one. What follows is a look at the panels that comprise the kit. These photos were taken halfway through the construction of another Eleanor being built in northern California. This car's gonna be really nice and we plan to feature it in a future issue. Let's take a gander.
Besides the CVS-owned car shown in this story, Chris Umdenstock, who works at Big Valley Ford in Stockton, California, is building this '67 into an Eleanor. Thanks to him, we were able to see a work in progress and get a look at an Eleanor body kit before it's installed. As you can see, this car-taken down to bare metal-already has the 17-inch PS Engineering wheels. An EEC-IV EFI, 5.0 crate motor backed by an AOD trans will power this Eleanor.