Tuesday, April 01, 2008


What is a "checkbook gearhead" with an undying passion for a clone of the 1967 "Eleanor" (R) Mustang (R) from the 2000 remake of "Gone in Sixty Seconds"(R) and a spare $140,000.00 burning a hole in the pocket of his (or her) designer jeans to do?

The ANSWER according to the legendary Carroll Shelby used to be to see his (former) Texas licensee Doug Hasty down at Unique Performance for an officially-licensed Shelby GT500E (R).

But Unique's performance in building cars turned out to be anything but hasty.

Unique collapsed into a Texas-sized heap of despair and recriminations. Six-figure customer deposits were hastily spent. A phalanx of Texas lawmen hastily swooped into Unique's shop to "rip the car cover" off of alleged title washing and fraud. When it got hotter than a Terlinqua Chili cookoff , Old Shelby hastily defrocked Hasty. Hasty returned fire, blaming Shelby for supplying bad engines. And now, a fleet of rusty, unfinished "Bondo wagon" Mustang hulls (the ones that weren't seized by the police) and Unique's shop equipment have been hastily auctioned.

That's a bigger mess than the swath of fictional carnage left by Toby Halicki in the original "Gone in 60 Seconds!"

As Speedzzter wrote on Autoblog:

Sadly, the Shelby legacy is quickly becoming one of ripping off the customers. Whether it's the sordid Unique Performance saga, or the insane dealer gouging on the Shelby GT500, or the poor "bang-for-the-buck of the wholly underwhelming "Shelby GT" Mustang . . ., the "Shelby" brand is becoming synonymous overpriced disappointment.

The Unique mess isn't the first time that the Shelby brand has been a virtual synonym for long delays, shaky business plans, and expensive disappointments. See, Snake Bit: Carroll Shelby's Controversial Series 1 Sports Car by Eric Davison.

Of course, Ol' Shel seldom goes down without a fight . . . a court fight that is -- as scores of current and former Shelby opponents can testify, including Ford Motor Company (R) (now back in Carroll's good graces), various copiers of the 1960s Powered-by-Ford (tm) AC Roadster, SAAC (tm), and even the widow of "Gone in 60 Seconds" (R) creator Toby Halicki, Denise Halicki.

It's enough for all but the most stubborn to give up the dream of turnkey "stylin' like Nic Cage with 'Eleanor.'"

(And that's not such a bad option, considering the arguable aesthetic bankruptcy of cloning 1967 "Eleanors.")

Innumerable small custom shops will gladly wade into the void left by Unique's hasty exit with all sorts of unlicensed, outlaw clones. This will undoubtedly make plenty of work for Shelby's legal team for years to come.

However, Yukon, Oklahoma's Jason Engel, 33, is charting a different course. Throwing in with Denise Halicki in the still-raging war over just who owns the "exclusive right" to the "Eleanor" name, Engel's small company, Classic Recreations, L.L.C., is reportedly the World's only "true and officially licensed" builder of the "'Gone in 60 Seconds' 'Eleanor' movie star car."


And some of you thought Yukon, Oklahoma, was only known as the former home of country music star Garth Brooks.

At least until Shelby's lawyers figure out an attack plan, Jason Engel is offering Halicki-licensed, don't-call-them-Shelby-GT500, naturally-aspirated 535-horsepower '67 "Official Eleanor" clones for $139,900.00, and a supercharged 770-horse "FIS" model for a another $50,000.00 or so more.

Engel's engines are reportedly supplied by Arkansas-based racing engine builder Keith Craft. Colors are up to the buyer (although reportedly 90% of the lemmings . . . er . . . "Official Eleanor" buyers opt for the "pepper gray" hue of the movie star car).

But what about the Shelby badges?

"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!"

Actually, Halicki has designed her own custom badges for the "Official Eleanors")

Of course, if you just have to have those Shelby badges as seen in the movie, you'll probably have to score a set from Tony D. Branda and stick them on yourself (at least until SOMEONE (you know who) cooks up a way to stop that).

Given the apparent rift between Shelby and Rick Kopec's SAAC (tm) (which was the faithful keeper of the real Shelby flame during all the decades when Ol' Shel was off hunting, playing with chili, and tarting up Lee Iacocca's FWD Chryslers), an owner of an "officially licensed" Classic Recreations Mustang might even get a front row parking space at the next SAAC event . . . .

Or maybe not.

By the way, Speedzzter probably wouldn't count on any special welcomes for Classic Recreations owners from SAAC competitor "Team Shelby" . . . . (although it ought to make for a lot of fun at the annual Mid America Ford and Team Shelby Nationals event, held just up Old Route 66 from Yukon in Tulsa)

So, for those of ample wallet who still have some "Go Baby Go" money left after dealing with former Carroll Shelby licensee Doug Hasty, Classic Recreations might be the place that can arrange a date with the "Official Eleanor." Only time (and a lot more than sixty seconds) will tell.

As to all those whose "Eleanor" money is already "Gone Baby, Gone," perhaps you can discuss it with Ol' Shel down at the courthouse . . . .

DISCLAIMER: The trademarks cited in the above entry are the "exclusive" property of their various owners (the identity of which, in some cases, is still to be determined by the Courts) and are used here exclusively for purposes of commentary within the "fair use" doctrine of U.S. Copyright law. All rights to the original, non-trademarked content herein are reserved.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denice Halicki has pissed off so many people and ruined the Eleanor name for good. Fans are pissed off that this bitch has screwed so many people. If it was not for Shelby Denice would have NOTHING..... and then she sues him???? Denice habitchi is a crook that hides behind God and she is a fake. She will be known as the stupid women that ruined the Toby Halicki name. There is a large group of mustang fans, all the way to Denmark, that will be forming forums and groups to retaliate to her unbelievable stupidity.
Denice you are a stupid bitch that has taken a car that is after the infamous Shelby designed GT500 and called it your own. There will be so much information posted about your crooked green mailing ways on the net by next year you will drown in your own stupidity. You are a ruthless bitch and you will take yourself and Toby down as a disgrace to the Mustang fans around the world.
Oh yeah, Denice, we all know about your buddy, Michael Leon, cocaine using fat munchkin

05 December, 2009 20:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who in the world would have a Eleanor made and then have Denice Halicki sign the car. That has got to be the biggest joke in the world.

05 December, 2009 20:09  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

WHAT IS THE BIG CUBIC-INCH TURBO BLOG? It is a real-time on-line book about the theory and practice of turbocharging B-I-G CUBE V8 Engines. It consists of archived material originally posted by the author on other forums, together with original material unique to this on-line book. Stay tuned.

what is this?

Tell me when this blog is updated. . .

  • "It tells you a lot about the state of the establishment conservative movement that in the end, given a choice between a (basically) red-meat conservative from the South and a recently pro-abortion moderate from the North, it chose the latter. The savaging of Mike Huckabee has been highly revealing, betraying more than just personal distaste." "HUCKABEE . . . is striking much closer to the bedrock of philosophical conservatism than his critics."
  • Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. All Rights Reserved. The BIG-CUBIC INCH TURBO BLOG may be quoted with attribution and/or linking to the original post at "THE BIG CUBIC-INCH TURBO BLOG", subject to the Fair Use provisions and limitations of U.S. Copyright law. The trademarks and service marks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners and "Truth With Hydra and Cammie: The Lifter Sisterz" and its predecessor are not affiliated in any way with the holders of these trademarks and service marks. Such trademarks and servicemarks appear herein under the Fair Use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Truth With Hydra and Cammie claims no copyright interest in photos, videos, and articles linked here from internet sources. All materials linked here are for a non-commecial purpose and appear herein under the Fair Use provisions of U.S. copyright law.