HomeGarageSunday Feature Film: Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

Sunday Feature Film: Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

The original that introduced the world to a Mustang called Eleanor


This is not the Nick Cage and Angelina Jolie Gone in 60 Seconds remake. This is the original — complete with the 40 minute car chase. A classic that introduced the world to “Eleanor,” a highly prized 1973 Mustang. Considered a “B” movie in its day, it has gone on to be a cult classic amongst the car culture-set.From Wikipedia: “Maindrian Pace is a respectable insurance investigator who runs an automobile chop shop in Long Beach, California. He is also the leader of a professional car theft ring, who steals and re-sells stolen cars; using the vehicle identification number (VIN), engines, parts, and details (such as parking decals and bumper stickers) sourced from legitimately-purchased wrecks. As an insurance industry insider, Pace does have one small idiosyncrasy: All vehicles stolen must be insured.”

“Pace is approached by a South American drug lord who offers $400,000 in exchange for the theft of 48 specific vehicles, to be delivered to the Long Beach docks within five days. The list includes limousinessemi-trailer trucks, vintage cars, and exotics; rendering the order difficult to fill within the time limit. Nevertheless, Pace is confident that the order can be filled by the March 2, 1974 deadline.”

“Mapping out a basic strategy, the thieves scout out their vehicular targets; all of which have been given female code names. The plan goes smoothly – with even some of the more eclectic vehicles acquired with relative ease – but obstacles mount. Chief of these difficulties is a yellow, 1973 Ford Mustang, code named “Eleanor.” The first “Eleanor” they come across is occupied; they locate this car again but stealing it results in a chase as its drunken owner pursues Pace. A second “Eleanor” is acquired seemingly without issue.”

The cars stolen in the movie are as follows:

• 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 – Marion
• 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 – Barbara
• 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 – Lindsey
• 1972 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 – Dianne
• 1971 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five – Nicole
• 1972 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five – Ruby
• 1972 Lincoln Continental – Julie
• 1971 Freightliner WFT 6364 – Frances
• 1973 Cadillac Coupe DeVille – Mary
• 1972 Mercedes-Benz 450SE – Joanne
• 1930 Hudson Motor Car Company – Beverly
• 1974 Cadillac Coupe DeVille – Patricia
• 1974 Lincoln Continental Mark IV – Ruth
• 1927 Citroen B14 Conduite – Elizabeth
• 1971 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow – Terri
• 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost – Eileen
• 1972 Plymouth Barracuda – Susan
• 1970 Jaguar E-Type – Claudia
• 1959 Rolls-Royce Phantom V – Rosie
• 1970 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow – Maria
• 1972 Ferrari Daytona 365 GTB/4 – Sharon
• 1970 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow – Kathy
• 1953 Chrysler Coupe Elegance – Alice
• 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Station Wagon – Leona
• 1971 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow – Kelly
• 1971 Cadillac Eldorado – Nancy
• 1973 Jensen Interceptor – Betty
• 1971 Citroen SM – Patti
• 1962 Ferrari 340 America – Judy
• 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II – Carey
• 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III – Jackie
• 1973 Cadillac Eldorado – Laurie
• 1972 Maserati Ghibli Coupe – Sandy
• 1971 Chevrolet Vega – Christy
• 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – Michelle
• 1967 Lamborghini Miura – Tracy
• 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta – Marilyn
• 1971 De Tomaso Pantera – Maxine
• 1968 Intermeccanica Italia GFX – Lorna
• 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – Jean
• 1949 Ferrari V12 – Paula
• 1966 Lotus Europa S1 – Renee
• 1974 Manta Mirage – Annie
• 1971 Ford “Big Oly” Bronco – Janet
• 1972 Stutz Blackhawk – Karen
• 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL – Dorothy
• 1973 Stutz Blackhawk – Donna
• 1973 Ford Mustang – “Eleanor”

Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.


  1. Thank you Tom Stahler. I loved the movie, had never heard of it before this. I liked the facts the “get away hero” insisted on only insured cars be stolen, even returning one that was not. In spite of the mayhem, I found myself rooting for his get away. Thanks for the fun in this day of riot and angst. A good break.

  2. Hi Nickolas: Glad you enjoyed the flick. This was one of many cool car movies that my college roommate (from a pro stock drag racing family) and me (from a sports car racing family) watched on VHS on Sunday mornings as we nursed our bodies from a typical weekend of debauchery. Honestly, I prefer the original over the Nick Cage version as it brings back fun memories. Thanks for reading and watching!


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