A year before gearheads were given the first movie in the Fast and Furious franchise, Gone In 60 Seconds was the car movie. It was also the best thing to happen to the Mustang since Bullitt. A lot of people don't know that the movie made in 2000 was actually a "remake" – the original Gone In 60 Seconds came out in 1974 - and those who think the new movie doesn't have much of a plot clearly haven't watched the original.
Film director H.B. Halicki not only acted in the original movie, but also did his own stunts, as well as having a writer, producer, and director credit. Sadly he passed away while filming its sequel. Over a decade later, H.B.'s wife, Denise Halicki, became the Executive Producer on the Gone In 60 Seconds version starring Nicolas Cage. Of course, the cars were the real stars, and here are 20 revealing facts about them.
20 Halicki's Widow Sued
While Eleanor in the narrative of the movie is a Shelby GT500, the rights to sell GT500s with the name "Eleanor" were retained by the widow of the maker of the original movie.
In 2004, she ended up suing Shelby successfully over the sale of Eleanor-branded merchandise. She's subsequently licensed another custom maker to build Eleanor replicas for well-heeled fans.
19 Eleanor Was The Only Star Car That Carried Over From The Original
In the original movie from 1974, Eleanor was given the lone starring role in the opening credits. She was a 1973 Mustang Mach 1 and belonged to the man who made the movie, H.B. Halicki.
For the 2000 remake, Eleanor remained a Mustang, but this time she was a highly customized 1967 Shelby GT500.
18 There Was Only One Real Shelby GT500 In The Movie
While Mustang lovers might think destroying any Mustang is bad, the production wasn't about to destroy a dozen real Shelby GT500s. All the Eleanors in the movie were built on stock fastback 1967 Mustangs.
A real GT500 did show up in the movie in the form of the 'barn find' GT500 that Kip gives Memphis at the end of the movie.
The undisputed breakout star of the remake is the customized 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang. Mustang fans immediately noticed that this was no ordinary Shelby GT500 – Chip Foose had worked his magic on it. Thirteen Eleanors were made from Foose's model for the various kinds of stunts required in the high-octane finale. Of those, only two originals exist. One belongs to star Nick Cage and the other to producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
16 The Mercedes S-Class
Watching the almost 20-year-old movie today, there are some high-end cars that were new back then that could be picked up cheap today. Part of the plot revolved around getting specific keys for the 'unstealable' Mercedes S class. 'Samantha', named on their list as an "S600" but an S500 when stolen, was listed at close to $80,000. Today, they could just buy one at $5,000 and come out ahead.
15 Some Of The Cars Have Appreciated... A Lot
While the modern cars on the list have lost most of their value, some of the classics have more than made up for that. The thieves go after Dorothy, a 300SL Gullwing, easily one of the most recognizable cars with its gullwing doors, and, in 2000, Barrett Jackson sold one for an impressive $192,000. However, in 2017, Sotheby's auctioned one off for $1.3 million, meaning the guy receiving the stolen car got a bargain.
14 The XJ220 Wasn't The First Choice
The film's script had called for a McLaren F1, but the filmmakers couldn't find someone crazy enough to lend them their rare hypercar, so they ended up settling on a Jaguar XJ220 instead.
Continuity error: during the car stealing montage, Otto crosses off the XJ220, but it's only later that Sway drops off the car and calls in reporting that Bernadene just took her out for a ride.
13 Everyone's Least Favorite Porsche
The Porsche that Kip steals at the beginning of the movie – "Tina," a 996 Carrera – replaced the much loved 993. It was a longer and larger 911 that made the switch to a water-cooled engine.
To make matters worse, practically everything in front of the windshield was shared with its downmarket brother, the Boxster. While values of used Porsches are spiraling out of control, 996s are still dirt cheap.
12 Tanya - The Last Real Porsche
Tina the 996 wasn't the only Porsche on the list. There was a 959, which isn't road legal in California, and then there was Tanya, a 993 Twin Turbo, considered by many Porsche enthusiasts as the last true Porsche – air-cooled as the good doctor intended, small and light, and all fighter.
Unlike the unloved 996, the value of 993 has been rising ever since its unloved water-cooled replacement arrived.
11 The Caddy Was A Nod To The Original Movie
While the remake took very few story cues from the original, it did make a few nods to the original movie - most notably the car chase. However, the scene with the Caddy was also taken from the original when Kip's crew steal a 1983 El Dorado not on the list, and the car turned out to belong to a drug dealer.
As the crew prepares for a night of car boosting, they gather in a circle, and Nick Cage's character, Memphis, calls out for the classic song from the group War, “Low Rider," before giving the call to action, "Let's ride." This wasn't out of nowhere though.
In the original movie, a lowrider Cadillac occasionally encounters the thieves, including at the end as Halicki drives off in the freshly stolen final Eleanor.
9 There's Something Strange About Barbara
Some of the cars on their board didn't match the cars that were actually stolen. Mostly, there were minor differences like a Mercedes S500 instead of an S600. Barbara was listed as a 1962 Aston Martin DB1, however, the extraordinarily rare car with only over a dozen made was only made between 1948 and 1950. Instead, they used the DB4 made in 1962.
8 Gabriella Was A Nod To Another Custom Builder
Other than Eleanor, most of the cars were stock. There was another custom on the list, though – Gabriella, a 1950 Merc Coupe. The flame-throwing lead sled was done in the style of one of the most famous customs ever, the Hirohata Merc made by George Barris – of Batmobile fame – and his brother. The chopped, channeled, and frenched Merc made a name for the young fabricator.
7 The Car "Roger The Connoisseur" Wanted
Memphis pretended to be "Roger," a guy in search of a Ferrari that will set him apart from all of the "self-indulgent wieners." The car was Nadine, a 1967 275 GTB/4-cam, which would, as Roger the salesman says, make him a connoisseur.
The 300 hp front-engine tourer, as well as other design changes that made it the fastest front-engine Ferrari of the time, was an advancement for the Ferrari engine. Only 280 were made.
6 Vanessa's Split Personality
On the board, Vanessa is listed as a Dodge Daytona, a car made in a time when stock cars were actually based on stock cars sold by the manufacturer. It was the first NASCAR car to break 200 mph.
They followed the Daytona up with the Plymouth Superbird, which is the car that was stolen in the movie. There were more Superbirds than Daytonas made.
5 Iris Was A Game Changer
On the list, there was a 1997 F355 F1. The significant part about the F355 F1 is the "F1" designation that comes from the F1-style paddle shifters that changed gears on demand hydraulically, based on the same system used in Formula 1 race cars.
Within a couple decades, much tamer versions of the paddle shifter would eventually become commonplace in cars of all kinds.
4 Tracy Pushing The Law
One of the most dynamic scenes in the movie is when Sphinx and the fast-talking Mirrors run into a snag while acquiring Tracy, the H1 pickup. In the scene, Sphinx was only supposed to push the police car to the side but ended up going a little too hard and pushed the car off the ramp, and this was kept in the movie.
3 The Same Car Was Stolen Twice
In the original movie, Maindrian stole Eleanor, but he was caught by the owner, who was taking his dog out and who took off after him in his Plymouth. Maindrian got away with the Mustang but returned it to avoid police attention. At the end of the movie, he finally steals the car from the wife of the owner, who was taking the car out to be washed.
2 Most Of The Cars Were Owned By H.B. Halicki
Nearly every civilian vehicle seen in close proximity to the main chase in the 1974 movie was owned by director H.B. Halicki. This resulted in several of them being seen multiple times throughout the sequence. The second "Eleanor" and the white Ford he and Stanley spend much of their time in are visibly parked in one street that Maindrian turns into. The white Ford also shows up in many other shots.
1 Sway's Bike Was Rarer Than Many Of The Cars
Sway comes in to join the crew to tell them she's only there for Kip, but she does it on a rather rare ride. Ok, so it wasn't a car, but as one of only 300 made, her MV Agusta 750S was one of the rarer vehicles in the movie, and as far as we know, it wasn't even stolen. With a top speed of 170 mph, it was also one of the fastest.
Sources: IMCDb, IMDb, RM Sothebys, Road And Track, Jalopnik