YouTuber’s Mustang “Eleanor” Tribute Build Seized By “Gone in 60 Seconds” Trademark Holder
Losing a car is hard, but what if you lost your car because someone was mad it was too cool?
B is for Build, a car show on YouTube, shared video of their 2015 project which was a tribute car to 'Eleanor', the Mustang GT500 from Gone in 60 Seconds.
You remember the car right?
The problem is, 'Eleanor' is still a trademarked character, so they were technically in violation.
H.B. Halicki's widow trademarked the car just after his untimely on-set death. Obviously, U.S. Law is written that for trademark to be effective, it has to be enforced by the trademark owner.
Denice Shakarian Halicki has shown her willingness to stop anyone from using the trademarked car.
Her and her company, Eleanor Licensing LLC, even took on Carroll Shelby himself over the car. It ended with courts deciding that any Mustang named "Eleanor" is a trademark violation, because the magic isn't the car, it's the name.
Chris Steinbacher of B is for Build shared another video on his channel explaining that the project has been cancelled, all evidence scrubbed from his YouTube channel, and the car was physically seized by Eleanor Licensing LLC.
The goal for the build was to take a 2015 Ford Mustang GT, and graft on a 1967 body to look like the Fastback from the movie. The car was a ways from being finished, but the restomod was able to get out for a couple of test drives.
The Drive reached out to Steinbacher to ask the specifics of why the car was seized. He told them he couldn't quite explain that because they're halfway through the battle still, but he said he can give an opinion on Halicki and her team.
"I do know that I can give my opinion on the team at gonein60seconds.com and tell you they are terrible people, parading around as car people, with a history of being lawsuit-happy dickheads. Just the most unpleasant, terrible people I've ever had the misfortune to have to deal with in my life. And that's not just me being mad about what happened, it's just the way these people decided to handle themselves."
Of course, the internet being the internet, we can see exactly where the car was at in the build process.
If you go to the official website for the movie, at the top of the page has a link that says "Build and Drive Your Own!" with a photo of 'Eleanor'. The link redirects to a build your own page at Fusion Motor Co., the "Only Officially Licensed Build in the World."
You can custom order an 'Eleanor' of your own, but it'll cost you. $249,000 to be exact.
You decide how you want to interpret that, but just know that if you try to build a look alike you're better off posting any pictures of it or you'll probably be getting served papers.