Glenn Gatley remembers walking out of the theater after viewing the 2000remake of Gone in 60 Seconds and promising his wife, "I'm going to own aMustang like that one of these days."
Like many movie-goers, Mustang enthusiasts and non-Mustang enthusiastsalike, Glenn was more impressed with the Mustang than the movie. ThePepper Grey Metallic '67 fastback, named Eleanor and modified to looklike a Shelby GT500 on steroids, stole the show from its more eliteautomotive co-stars and went on to become a cult item all its own, muchlike the Highland Green '68 fastback in the movie Bullitt and the '73Mustang fastback from 1975's original version of Gone in 60 Seconds.Heck, Eleanor even overshadowed human stars Nicholas Cage and AngelinaJolie.
But unlike most, Glenn took the initiative to learn more about themovie's macho car-star. Within two weeks of seeing the movie, he hadtracked down Eleanor's builder, Cinema Vehicle Services in NorthHollywood, to find out how he could get the parts to convert his '67Mustang fastback into an Eleanor look-alike.
"I spoke with the owner, Ray Claridge," Glenn tells us. "At the time,CVS was not selling the parts publicly, and Ray was handling the salehimself as his own side project. He wasn't sure if there was going to bea demand for the kits, and told me that he would only make the kits aslong as he thought there was a market for them. I bought the first kithe ever sold."
As it turns out, Glenn wasn't alone in the quest to build an Eleanorreplica. His call to CVS was the first of many. So many, in fact, thatCVS eventually stepped away from its normal business of building andsupplying movie cars to offer the complete Eleanor body kit, just likethe ones used to create Eleanor in the film. Claridge says he's soldapproximately 140 kits, nearly half going outside the U.S. They arestill available today.
Obtaining the Eleanor body parts cleared the way for the rest of thebuild, and Glenn went to work on the details. He studied the Gone in 60Seconds DVD, frame by frame, in an effort to visually re-create an exactEleanor look-alike, noting the nitrous switch, side mirrors, C-pillarpop-open gas cap, and other unique parts. He studied magazine articles,including the November 2000 issue of Mustang Monthly, which provided
information about the building of the 11 stunt-car Eleanors used in themovie, and searched the Internet for photos and info.
Then he started gathering parts, like the Cougar taillights and PIAAlights, plus Shelby trunk lid/rear quarter extensions, '71-'73 Mach 1gas cap, GT500 emblems, Shelby bullet side mirrors, and deluxe interiorfrom Mustang parts vendors. For wheels, Glenn special-ordered a set ofsilver GT40-style wheels from PS Engineering. He estimates he spent$20,000 for the parts--$5,000 alone for the CVS body kit and another$15,000 for the rest of the required components, which tallied upquickly with high-priced components like the wheels ($1,700), PIAAlights ($1,300), Shelby decklid and quarter-panel extensions ($600), andused Cougar taillights ($300).
Glenn's goal was to build an accurate Eleanor look-alike, not an exactEleanor clone with all the Total Control suspension bits. He wanted toturn heads on the street and show field, not jump bridges. He alsodecided to keep his automatic transmission instead of swapping to a moremovie-like four-speed.
The Eleanor build started in earnest when Glenn delivered his '67Mustang fastback to James McHugh's Auto Restorations shop in Ft.Lauderdale. James installed the CVS body kit, with only minormodifications required for the headlight buckets to get them to fitproperly. He spliced a section of fuel-filler sheetmetal from an '86Dodge Caravan into the driver-side C-pillar to obtain the recessed areafor the dummy gas cap. James' crew then applied the DuPont Pepper GreyMetallic paint and Black Metallic stripes.
The side exhaust posed its own set of problems. Borla's side-exhaustmufflers, with the inlet and outlet at the same end, were a perfect fit,but because the openings in the CVS rocker panels were positioned soclose to the car's actual rocker panels, snaking the exhaust tips under,up, and through proved to be a tough assignment. The dual tips providedwith the CVS kit differed from the movie cars' oval tips anyway, soGlenn convinced Classic Design Concepts to sell him just the tips fromits late-model Mustang side-exhaust kit. The tips were then modified bya local exhaust shop to fit the '67.
Glenn Gatley's Eleanor build...
Glenn Gatley's Eleanor build started with this '67 fastback, a car Glennhad owned for a couple of years before he saw Gone in 60 Seconds.
The parts are here! The parts...
The parts are here! The parts are here! Glenn was obviously a happycamper when he received the first Eleanor body kit from CVS.
James McHugh's Auto Restorations...
James McHugh's Auto Restorations performed all bodywork and paint onGlenn's Eleanor conversion. In fact, McHugh purchased a '67 fastback tobuild an Eleanor for himself.
(above & below) One of the...
(above & below) One of the more challenging parts of the build was creating and mountingthe side-exhaust tips. As you can see, the panel openings are close tothe body. While the CVS kit comes with Borla dual tips, Glenn wanted tore-create the oval tips used for the movie cars. He ended up modifying apair of late-model Mustang side-exhaust tips from Classic DesignConcepts.
(above & below) To get the...
(above & below) To get the recessed area for the '71-'73 pop-open gas cap, Glenndetermined that the fuel door opening from an '86 Dodge Caravan wouldwork, so the sheetmetal was spliced into the Mustang's C-pillar. The gascap is actually a dummy, with a spring used to pop it open.