YouTuber’s Eleanor Mustang project allegedly seized due to Trademarking

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

B is for Build seized B is for Build seized
B is for Build seized 2015 B is for Build seized 2015
B is for Build seized 1967 B is for Build seized 1967

Gone in 60 Second’s ‘Eleanor’ and its likeness are legally protected as a ‘character’ of the movie

Popular YouTube car builder, Chris Steinbacher of ‘B is for Build’s latest project – a 1967 Eleanor Mustang - has reportedly been seized by the Gone in 60 Seconds production company for violations of trademarkings and copyright.

The build was near completion, with Steinbacher successfully transplanting the classic Mustang’s body on top of the floorpan, drivetrain and interior of a modern 2015 Mustang.

B-is-for-Build-seized-2015.jpg

However, unbeknownst to the Steinbacher; Eleanor and its Chip Foose-designed likeness - as it appears in the 2000 movie remake - is a copyrighted and trademarked ‘character’, with rights held by the widow of the late H.B. Halicki – the creator of the original 1974 Gone in 60 Seconds film.

John Bowe Reviews: Is this the greatest Eleanor Mustang in the world?

Steinbacher states: "because of that, you can’t go build an ‘Eleanor’ without first getting a licence for the Eleanor name, and look and image, as she appears in the Gone in 60 Seconds movie".

"You will notice that the videos we had previously filmed on that series are all gone, and the Mustang we had built is now property of Gone in 60 Seconds".

Steinbacher doesn’t provide much more detail as to what exactly the production company’s grievances were; and it seems a little ham-fisted on their behalf even if Steinbacher is the face of a popular car YouTube channel with an audience of over 1.3 million.

As The Drive reports, Halicki actually has a history of pursuing Eleanors not licenced by her own company, even taking Carroll Shelby to court for use of the Eleanor name in the mid-2000s.

B-is-for-Build-seized-1967.jpg

In that particular case, the courts decided that Halicki owned the rights to any Mustang named ‘Eleanor’ or any Mustang said to be tied to the Gone in 60 Seconds franchise – which appears to have set a heavy-handed precedence in the case of this unfortunate car builder.

 

Classic Australian Family Car Value Guide home page

Muscle Car Value Guide home page

Japanese Classic Car Value Guide home page

Recent auction results

Sell your car for free right here

 

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition