It’s Official: The 1967 ‘Gone In 60 Seconds’ Ford Mustang Can Now Be Reproduced
Limited-edition replicas of Nicolas Cage’s “Eleanor” are approved for production, according to a court ruling.
Those who dream of owning Gone In 60 Seconds’ “Eleanor,” arguably the most famous movie Mustang ever, will soon be able to buy replicas of the iconic Shelby GT500 in her pepper gray metallic paint coat with black racing stripes.
The Shelby Trust, owner of all Shelby trademarks, recently won a copyright battle with estate of the original 1972 Gone in 60 Seconds director, H.B. “Toby Halicki,” according to a Robb Report article citing The Drive.
But it was the classic American pony’s formidable appearance in the 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds made it an instant classic movie car, thanks to a white-knuckled chase scene along the LA river and its borderline erotic on-screen relationship with Nicolas Cage’s Memphis.
Given their popularity, Shelby American and its licensees have tried to sell replicas of “Eleanor” in the past, only to be sued by Denise Halicki, Toby Halicki’s widow, on grounds that Eleanor is a character and not just a car.
The fact that Mustangs of the same name—albeit with yellow and black paint coats—also appeared in her late husband’s movies The Junkman and Deadline Auto Theft was used as evidence to support her claim.
The US District Court for the Central District of California ultimately ruled that none of the “Eleanor” cars in Halicki’s movies can be protected under copyright as characters.
The court’s 41-page opinion found that Halicki tried to “assign anthropomorphic characteristics” to the car, such as “strength, talent, endurance, and a tendency to always save her leading man.”
Now The Shelby Trust and its licensees are free to recreate Eleanor without fear of further legal action from Halicki.
“We can finally tell all our important licensees and Shelby GT 500 owners that Mrs. Halicki has absolutely no right to complain about or file a lawsuit based upon the looks of any car licensed by the Shelby Trust,” said Neil Cummings, Co-Trustee of the Shelby Trust.