Gone In 60 Seconds | 1974
Pretty much a one-man show from car-crash fanatic and first-time director Toby Halicki (who was killed in a stunt-gone-wrong in 1989), who also wrote and stars.
The film was shot in Los Angeles, largely around the South Bay area, in Carson, Torrance and Redondo Beach, with a famous 40-minute chase through the centre of Long Beach, filmed on (what must have started out as) a quiet Sunday morning.
The cars and the stunts are the stars here, as a team of top-flight car thieves take on the task of stealing 48 classic vehicles.
Eleanor, the prized 1973 Mustang, is parked in the garage of the International Towers Apartments, 700 Ocean Boulevard East, in Long Beach (as she is in the 2000 remake). The cylindrical tower above is the one from which a girl plummets in the opening scene of Lethal Weapon.
Another of the ‘shopping list’ of motors is stolen from the elaborate apartment block alongside International Towers, the Villa Riviera, 800 Ocean Boulevard East, Long Beach.
The dirt track is the old Ascot Speedway in Gardena, which closed in 1990. The famous raceway was also featured in Howard Hawks’s Red Line 7000.
A frequent screen star, the Vincent Thomas Bridge, on State Route 47 linking San Pedro to Terminal Island, is used for the Orange Mustang leap.
The film’s climax, with Eleanor launched some 30 feet in the air over the tangle of wrecked cars, is filmed on 190th Street in Redondo Beach. The fearless Halicki, who was driving the car himself, suffered compressed vertebrae on landing, but he did get the shot.