Modified Mustangs & Fords
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.
Mustang Depot(702) 262-0011 www.mustangdepot.com
You'll not only find complete Eleanor and Shelby conversion kits at Mustang Depot, but being a full-line Mustang and performance parts business, it has everything you need to finish off your build--right down to emblems, lights, and more. Mustang Depot is also one of the few places we spoke with that offers an Eleanor-themed kit for the '65/'66 Mustang body style, too. The '65/'66 kit is called an "E2" kit and starts at $3,100 for the coupe/convertible version. The 18-piece kit is made from hand-laid fiberglass and features Eleanor-type styling with a unique fiberglass headlight bucket arrangement. Mustang Depot offers the E2 in kit form also--with the billet grilles included as well. You don't have to stick with a standard Eleanor-style hood either, as you have your choice of six different hood styles to make your ride unique. Of course, the standard '67/'68 Mustang Eleanor kit is available as well, starting at $3,500 for the 15-piece coupe/convertible kit with four different hood options.
For the more traditional Shelby fans in the audience, Mustang Depot can help you build your '65/'66 or '67/'68 G.T. 350, or G.T. 500 tribute with the help of its fiberglass kit packages. Each package comes with all of the correct fiberglass front valances, scoops, spoiler trunk lids, and hoods for the year being replicated, and starts at just $1,800 for the coupe/convertible body. Optional parts, such as grilles, headlights, mounting brackets, and more are all available individually to help you create your dream Shelby.
Mustangs To Fear(877) 899-9021 www.mustangstofear.com
Mustangs to Fear is unique in this roundup in that its facility features a full installation, body, and paint center. So it doesn't just churn out Eleanor body kits, it installs them as well. MTF strives for a great fit with its fiberglass parts, and backs it with a free return freight program that has yet to be utilized by any customer. Eleanor body kits at MTF are made from premium hand-laid fiberglass and feature a one-piece nose section, versus the traditional upper and lower panels. This promotes a better fit and requires less work. The rest of the Eleanor kit features standard wheel flares, scoops, trunk lid spoiler (as opposed to the full trunk lid), and your choice of hood. The standard 15-piece fiberglass kit for a '67/'68 fastback body will run you $3,895. Coupe and convertible versions come in at $3,595.
MTF's new '65/'66 Eleanor kit should be ready by the time you read this and will feature the same classic Eleanor styling and MTF's one-piece front fascia, all properly scaled down to the '65/'66 body dimensions. Furthermore, MTF offers its own design front fascia called the "SR," which mounts in place of the stock steel valance and headlight buckets on your '67/'68 Mustang. The design offers a custom look that doesn't scream Eleanor and the optional billet grille insert uses '05 and up Mustang fog lights for a unique Shelby-esque center headlight configuration. MTF also offers stock '67/'68 style Shelby upper scoops, custom rear valances (with and without exhaust cutouts) and more to customize your Mustang.
Southwest Fabrication Services(903) 527-2006 www.southwestfabricationservices.com
If you're looking for the traditional Eleanor look, Southwest Fabrication Services has you covered with its 22-piece Eleanor conversion kit for '67/'68 fastbacks. The kit features hand-laid fiberglass components and includes upper and lower scoops, front fenders with integral flares, rear flares, lower rocker covers for side exhaust, taillight panel, trunk lid and endcaps, rear bumper, hood with raised center, headlight panel, and lower front valance. Unlike most kits, the purchase price includes the front valance and lighting bracket kit that usually makes your installation a smooth one. Like all vendors listed here, each piece is available separately if you are planning a custom build and wish to mix-and-match parts.
Tony Branda(800) 458-3477 www.cobranda.com
When it comes to classic Shelby Mustangs and all of their build nuances, Tony Branda is the man. His Tony Branda Shelby & Mustang Parts business has probably helped more people restore real Shelbys and build authentic tributes than anyone else. Besides being a full-line Mustang parts dealer, Tony specializes in classic Shelby parts, and has a dedicated section in the catalog just for Shelby parts, categorized by year and model of Shelby. This makes it easy to see just what is needed for a Shelby clone or tribute build. Best of all, Branda takes the guesswork out of shopping by offering complete conversion kits (now available on its website) for the most popular conversions.
Currently, Branda is offering a '67 Shelby G.T. 350/500 package for '67/'68 Mustang fastbacks. The kits are available in an inboard light configuration for $4,576 or an outboard headlight configuration for $4,353.10. The price of entry gets you everything for a full Shelby conversion, including fiberglass hood, nose, scoops, trunk lid and endcaps, plus headlight buckets, wiring extensions, side stripe kit in your choice of color and designation, pop-open gas cap, emblems, grilles, hoodpins, taillights, and more for the complete conversion. Of course, you can also purchase any of these parts individually to produce a custom-look or to build your Shelby in segments as budget allows.
Detailed Build Information
A lot has been written about Eleanor Mustang creations and even more about classic Shelbys. If you're like us, you get a lot of info and ideas from perusing Mustang- and Ford-based forums on the Internet. If so, do yourself a favor and stop in and have a read at some of these links. You'll find great build ideas, paint codes, stripe dimensions, and more to infuse some excitement into your build.