Best of the Best 2008: Speciality Vehicles: Custom Classic: Classic Recreations Eleanor Mustang

  • Matthew Phenix

When Gone in Sixty Seconds—a splashy remake of a low-budget 1974 gear-grinder flick of the same name—premiered in 2000, the film reanimated one of Hollywood’s great movie cars: an overachieving Ford Mustang named Eleanor. Denice Halicki, the film’s producer, trademarked the name, and now, after a false start with the troubled Dallas-based specialty automaker Unique Performance, Halicki has anointed Classic Recreations, a small but fastidious speed shop in Yukon, Okla., as the new official builder of Eleanor replicas.

"To me, Eleanor is an icon, a piece of American muscle lore," says Classic Recreations founder Jason Engel. He and his crew of 12 spend four months—some 2,500 worker hours—assembling each car.

Buyers can choose either a Ford-licensed 1967 Mustang fastback body or a meticulously refurbished original shell with all new parts.

Prices range from $139,900 to $189,900, depending on the body and the engine. Classic Recreations will install one of two V-8s from Keith Craft Performance Engines: a 410-cubic-inch fuel-injected V-8 that makes 535 hp or a 427-cubic-inch supercharged fuel-injected V-8 that is good for 750 hp.

Most vintage performance cars lack the reflexes and stopping power to match their prodigious muscle, but Engel’s 171-mph Eleanor possesses a panoply of modern hardware, including tight rack-and-pinion steering, slotted and cross-drilled Baer brakes, and racer-style coil-over dampers at all four corners. "Customers get turnkey supercar performance and vintage-car style with modern-car reliability," Engel says.

The Eleanor Mustang could be regarded as a piece of movie memorabilia, but unlike Harry Potter’s broomstick, this thing actually flies.

 

Classic Recreations, 405.577.6464, 877.235.3266, www.classic-recreations.com

Photo by Jim Fets
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