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Build Your Dream Eleanor or Shelby Conversion - Cloning Around
These companies and their parts can help you finally build that dream Eleanor or Shelby conversion
Before the magic of movies made the '67 Mustang fastback a star with "Eleanor," the sexy sweeping body style was already a fan-favorite, due to that ingenious marketer and race car builder, the late Carroll Shelby, with his fleet of Shelby Mustang fastbacks. Of course, Lt. Frank Bullitt and his Highland Green fastback racing around San Francisco certainly hasn't hurt the fastback's image either. To this day, many of the Mustang coupe and convertible owners we know or have spoken with, while they love their cars, will often give us the "someday" speech about owning a fastback Mustang.
Few of us have the money to plunk down six figures on a pro-built Eleanor clone or a real Shelby G.T. 350 fastback, let alone the serious amount of cheese it would take to roll in an R-model Shelby or anything with some verifiable history/provenance. The only Essex Wire G.T. 350 we'll ever own is the die-cast sitting on the corner of our desk! Of course, that doesn't mean we should simply throw our dreams in the bottom drawer of our desk and move on--not at all. Shelby American offered many of the parts it used to build real Shelby Mustangs back in the '60s over the counter to Mustang owners to add to their cars, and still do to this day for the new '05 and up Mustang owners.
Whether it's those famous rocker stripes, the inboard headlights of the '67 Shelby, or that silver screen inspired nose with PIAA lighting, you can build a classic Mustang that pays tribute to your dream ride in exacting detail. These cars are commonly called clones, but we've heard the terms "heritage" and "tribute" tossed around as well. Whatever you want to call it, building a replica/clone/tribute model is not as hard as you might think. There are several companies manufacturing the fiberglass parts, emblems, lights, trim, and so on, to make your Mustang into the Shelby or Eleanor you've been dreaming of. Of course, some people only use bits and pieces from the Shelby or Eleanor movie car to build a custom ride that suits their tastes (much like our own Generation Gap fastback has a Shelby deck lid and hood, but Eleanor wheel flares and lower body scoops). Be it an exact copy of your dream Shelby, or perhaps just adding Eleanor's side exhaust setup, you have plenty of choices to make your Mustang your own. Now it's up to you to go out in the garage and do just that with the help of the following parts and companies that supply them.
Aeroform(800) 345-2376 www.aeroform.com
The folks at Aeroform offer an Eleanor body kit for the '67/'68 Mustang only, either fastback or coupe/convertible style. The fastback kit runs for $3,695, and features all the necessary pieces to do a full exterior fiberglass body conversion--21 items in all. The coupe/convertible kit will set you back $3,595, and features all of the same pieces minus the upper quarter scoops and a different trunk lid/endcaps. A third kit, for fastbacks only, is available with full fiberglass front fenders, flares, and nose as one piece, which really cuts installation and labor times, for $3,825.
Both fiberglass kits feature a low-rise-style hood. All pieces are available separately to mix-and-match with other aftermarket parts as well. Most parts are made from hand-laid fiberglass mat, with a few select items created via fiberglass chopper gun method. The Shelby-style taillight panel is available with or without the stock Mustang fuel cap opening (movie cars had the fuel fill on the driver side upper quarter-panel). Aeroform offers taillights, trim parts, quarter-panel fuel fill system, side exhaust kits, interior parts, and much more to complete your Eleanor look or custom Mustang build.
American Sports Car/Stinger Fiberglass(321) 268-1118 www.americansportscar.com
American Sports Car offers a '67/'68 Mustang Eleanor body kit for all three body styles--coupe, convertible, and fastback. The 17-piece kit features a low-rise hood with smooth finished underside, two-piece front nose/valance assembly designed for 5-inch headlights, all of the scoops, wheel flares, and side exhaust covers required for the look, and, of course, a trunk lid for the body type requested. The taillight panel features the stock Mustang fuel filler opening, and all parts are made from hand-laminated fiberglass and finished in a sandable gray gel coat. The kit's pieces are available separately as well, for those who just want to install the wheel flares or perhaps the trunk lid or taillight panel. The kit runs $2,499 for the Eleanor conversion.
Fiberglass Specialties Inc.(702) 293-5329 www.fiberglassspecialtiesnv.com
Fiberglass Specialties not only produces the full Eleanor look in fiberglass kit form, but it offers '65/'66 and '67/'68 Shelby fiberglass as well in individual pieces. The Eleanor kit for '67/'68 fastback is a full-featured, 17-piece kit that includes all the essentials--wheel flares, side exhaust, two-piece front nose, low-rise hood, trunk lid with endcaps, taillight panel with light buckets molded in, and upper and lower scoops for $3,795. The coupe/convertible version is $3,495. Fiberglass Specialties offers an optional 4.5-inch "high-rise" Eleanor hood, as well as all pieces individually. Just as we went to press, Fiberglass Specialties shared with us some early mock-up photos (shown here) of its revised kit for '65/'66 Mustangs with more aggressive wheel flares, a new one-piece nose, and larger sidescoops.
On the Shelby side of things, you'll find '65/'66 front valances for use with or without bumpers, R-model style valances, '67-'69 Shelby decklids and endcaps, and a plethora of Shelby hoods, including "merged" hoods ('66 hood with '67 scoop, and so on). Shelby scoops available from Fiberglass Specialties include G.T. 350 and G.T. 500 styles, GT/CS, and functional R-model scoops for all applicable Shelby model years '65-'69. Additional Shelby parts include '66 quarter window trim extensions, '65 R-model rear seat panel, and much more.