This is the real deal. If you’ve ever wanted to own an Eleanor Mustang that’s been custom tailored to your liking, now is the time. And, for those of you who are Gone In 60 Seconds purists, you too can have your own true-to-the-movie model. The 2000 movie starring Nicholas Cage greatly popularized the Eleanor Mustang movement with a new crop of Ford fans, but many of us forget that it was the original 1974-flick that started it all.
If you’ll recall, H.B. “Toby” Halicki created and starred in the original movie, with his wife Denise Halicki co-producing it. Fast forward to present day, and Denise Halicki has given Fusion Motor Company her approbation to continue producing the Eleanor Mustang platform under an official licensing.
The company’s president, Yoel Wazana, is no stranger to Eleanor Mustangs either. He had the pleasure of meeting Denise through mutual friends, to which he shared his passion for these unique Mustangs with her. Intrigued by her enthusiasm, he invited Denise to tour the company. Denise decided there and then that Fusion would do it justice for continuing the Eleanor legacy, after “seeing the international manufacturing/quality-control standards adapted to boutique auto-making” according to Yoel.
“I bought one of the first Eleanor tribute cars from a previous manufacturer,” he said. “I loved the way it looked, but it had many issues. As the fiberglass body parts vibrated and sagged, the bondo transitions to the sheetmetal cracked. And those were just the body problems. I owned it for eight years and ultimately sold it. I liked the Eleanor concept but wasn’t happy with the execution.”
Step right up…
Welcome to the officially licensed Eleanor Mustang from Fusion Motor Company. Each made-to-order car is quite literally “handcrafted” in the company’s 74,000 square-foot facility in Los Angeles, California. The undertaking of coordinating one of these highly involved builds commences with the incorporation of a titled ’67-’68 Mustang Fastback, and each vehicle is VIN-verified courtesy of the California Highway Patrol.
After stripping the body to a complete shell, it is bolted to a frame fixture where Fusion ensures each body is squared-up with the addition of a rear X-member, along with any critical areas via a rotisserie examination. The benefit here is a more compliant platform that is on-par with modern performance standards.
Speaking of rigidity, each car uses a Detroit Speed Inc. Aluma-Frame front IFS package, which utilizes an aluminum subframe cradle to both house and protect the Flaming River rack-and-pinion steering assembly and larger anti-rollbar. The front coilover system can be upgraded to single- or double-adjustable coilovers from JRi Shocks, and the front brakes consist of Wilwood six-piston calipers and 13-inch rotors.
The calipers wear the Eleanor logo, and can be ordered in either black or red with a hydroboost option available. The rear suspension makes use of a Currie Enterprises Ford 9-inch solid rear axle, but was completely customized for the Eleanor application by way of a limited-slip-differential, and an additional pair of the aforementioned Wilwood brakes.
Of course the most popular paint scheme is the true-to-the-movie Pepper Gray with black stripes, but if gray isn’t your thing, Fusion offers several other color combinations, including custom color options.
Are you a fan of power? If so, you’re in for a treat. A plethora of Blue Oval only powerplant options are available on your new Eleanor Mustang. More than five different engine options are available, ranging from the entry-level (some could consider this option the cream of the crop) 430-horsepower 5.0-liter Coyote and a 600-horsepower supercharged variant to a trio of 427-cube V8s, including a carbureted 480-horsepower version, a 560-horsepower model with Borla 8-stack fuel injection, and last but not least, a supercharged 750-horsepower mill.
Enthusiasts have the option to choose either a 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission, a TREMEC TKO five-speed or a T56 six-speed manual transmission, paired with a steel or aluminum driveshaft. Meanwhile, cooling comes form a custom 31-inch Ron Davis aluminum radiator matched with a pair of SPAL fans, and a full stainless steel exhaust (with the option for ceramic coating) completes the package.
For all of you Eleanor aficionados, Fusion does include a nitrous oxide tank in the trunk. “Customers can connect it to the movie-correct ‘Go Baby Go’ button on the shifter if they aren’t concerned about voiding the Roush warranty,” says the company.
It looks as if Fusion Motor Company is resetting the bar when it comes to Eleanor cars, as the company has integrated a handful of practices that most OEMs use. Fusion says the current wait time for one of its six-figure ’Stangs is about six months, as most of the process is taken up by paint and body.
See, the company manufactures its own spoilers and splitters in-house using 100-percent carbon fiber and pre-impregnated material from McLaren’s supplier. Yes, the same McLaren that manufactures supercars.
“The carbon-fiber pieces are attached to the body with the same adhesive used by McLaren,” the company says. “Eleanor customers can also opt for carbon-fiber hoods and trunk lids.”
It was once Carroll Shelby that said confidently, "These cars are meant to be driven," and Fusion follows that ideology by providing enthusiasts with several interior amenities standard. Factory-style lowback bucket seats, a Flaming River tilt steering column and a Vintage Air Magnum IV air-conditioning system (along with lower locks and a hi-fi sound system with Bluetooth compatibility) are just a few to name. If you're in search of more options, fear not – Recaro racing seats, deluxe-leather trim, dynamite sound deadening material installed, and other premium options listed on its website are available.
While these cars are decidedly retro, they do feature several modern updates. One key note is that Fusion uses modern LED lighting throughout the build.
“The lights look period-correct when off, but are infinitely brighter than the offerings in the 1960s or even 2000, when the movie was made,” the company explained. “The taillights even have sequential turn signals.”
While we were able to touch on a few key components that Fusion offers for its Eleanor models, we employ you to checkout its website here for a full rundown on what is being called “the must customizable Eleanor Mustang” to ever hit the market.