Eleanor and friends: The stars of Gone in 60 Seconds, 1974

Long before the Hollywood remake in 2000, Gone in 60 Seconds wowed mid-70s audiences with an all-star cast of cars and an unprecedented 40-minute car chase…

Making up the infamous list of cars to be pinched were a slew of American machines, but there was also the odd timeless European – all with female nicknames, of course. Alongside ‘Eleanor’ – a ‘bitsa’ early-70s Sportsroof Mustang rather than the remake’s 1967 Fastback – were ‘Terri’ (a 1971 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow), ‘Marilyn’ (a 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta), and ‘Paula’ (an early Ferrari V12, possibly an Inter).

Halicki's harem

Other rarities included ‘Lorna’ (a 1968 Intermeccanica Italia GFX) and ‘Annie’ (a 1974 Manta Mirage), but despite the calibre and diversity of the automotive leads, the undoubted star was Henry Blight Halicki. He was not only the film’s protagonist, director, writer and producer – but he also bankrolled the film, and performed stunts when those hired to complete them lost their nerve. Halicki would ultimately give his life to franchise, too, when he was killed in a freak accident while filming the unfinished sequel in 1989.

Plenty of classic cars worthy of a starring role can be found for sale in the Classic Driver Market.

The DVD re-issue of 1974's Gone in 60 Seconds can be purchased at gonein60seconds.com.