An original 1967 GT500 was used for the film’s car. The actual cars used were just standard 67 Mustangs with automatic transmissions, all customized to look like Elenor. Originally the production designer, Jeff Mann, who was also a professed car fanatic, proposed the car be a GT40 then when that didn’t fly he suggested a Shelby Series I Cobra. Eventually they settled on a 67 GT500. Accordingly 11 Mustangs were chosen for specific duties. Some had highly modified suspensions for the high speed slides, some were cosmetic models used for closed-ups and PR shots whilst others, the ones crashed and crushed, didn’t even have engines.
The car used for the close-ups of Nicolas Cage actually had two steering wheels, allowing someone else to drive whilst Cage used to record the sound effects is a 500 horsepower 428 1967 GT500 with a great lumpy cam sound. The sound people reportedly spent six hours doing different things with the car to get the right noises. To make the 67 GT500 more unique, modifications were made from the original, stock GT500 which included custom Corvette side pipes, a front air dam, a fuel cap located behind the top scoop instead of the rear of the car, the bonnet replaced with one that has a definitely non-stock scoop, not to mention those huge rims and sports tyres! As an aside the Carroll Shelby story is more than just interesting as Mustangs and Cobras have changed the way sports cars are thought of in the USA – but that’s another story!