It is no secret that we are huge proprietors of custom muscle car builds here at MC&T. We love the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into these projects, which is exactly why we share so many with you. Recently we reported on the team from B is for Build and their monstrous sounding Eleanor GT500 body-swapped S550 Mustang. We have an update to share with you, and it’s rather upsetting.
The Eleanor Mustang is one of the most recognizable cars to ever grace the silver screen. As the titular hero car from “Gone in 60 Seconds”, Eleanor has inspired many builders to take a crack at recreating her iconic appearance, including the B is for Build Team. However, the car is a trademarked character from the film that belongs to the “Gone in 60 Seconds” Hollywood backers. This is where the YouTuber’s troubles begin.
Apparently the Hollywood folks weren’t so happy that some gearhead was making money off of videos containing the Eleanor GT500 name in the title. What followed is enough to make any muscle car fan’s stomach turn. B is for Build received a cease and desist notice which forced them to remove the videos from YouTube. Then they ended up having to turn the car over to the owners of the intellectual property to settle the suit. Based on the response the team put up on YouTube, we’re pretty sure some heavy handed NDA’s were also involved.
However, The Drive was able to get a quote from Chris Steinbacher, the channel’s host. With regard to the team run by Denice Shakarian Halicki, the owner of Eleanor Licensing, LLC, he disclosed the following:
“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,” he said. “And that’s not just me being mad about what happened, it’s just the way these people decided to handle themselves.”
Sure, people have built plenty of recreations of the famed Mustang using the GT500E body kit, but they didn’t profit from content related to the process. While it is well within the trademark holder’s rights to sue the builders over this, that doesn’t mean anyone has to feel good about it. This was a really intriguing project, and one that had the potential to reshape pro-touring builds.
So B is for Build’s Eleanor GT500 is no longer out there for you to gawk at. You can continue to support the builders by watching their upcoming Apocalypse series on their YouTube channel.