H. B. Halicki

  (Redirected from H.B. Halicki)

Henry Blight "Toby" Halicki (October 18, 1940 – August 20, 1989) was an American director, writer, stunt driver, actor, and filmmaker. Halicki directed the 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds as well as producing and starring in several other action films. He was killed in an accident while filming Gone in 60 Seconds 2 in 1989. Wishing to preserve his legacy, his widow, Denice Shakarian Halicki, produced a remake in 2000 along with Jerry Bruckheimer. Denice Shakarian Halicki currently owns the copyrights to the “Eleanor” Ford Mustang body style made famous during the movies, and asserts strong control preventing anyone from building a "Eleanor" lookalike or copy of the 1967 Ford Mustang fastback.[1]

H. B. Halicki
H.B. Halicki.jpg
Halicki in Gone in 60 Seconds, 1974
Henry Blight Halicki

(1940-10-18)October 18, 1940
DiedAugust 20, 1989(1989-08-20) (aged 48)
Other namesHank Halicki
The Car Crash King
The Junkman
Toby Halicki
Tony Halicki
Years active1972–1989
(m. 1989)


Halicki was born in Dunkirk, New York, on October 18, 1940, the son of John Halicki and his second wife, Angeline Blazejewicz, both Polish Americans.[2] His father, originally from Austria, was an auto mechanic and automobile salesman, and opened his own automobile repair shop, Halicki Garage, in 1919, which remains both in operation and a family-run business as of October 2020.[3][4] Halicki was one of thirteen children, some of whom were half-siblings from his father's first marriage to Caroline Turek; his brothers were Rudolph, Frank, Bud, Ron, Edward, Joseph, and John and his sisters were Angeline, Allegra, Helen, Caroline, and Tara.[5]


Halicki moved from New York to California and worked on vehicles, eventually owning his own impound and towing business. H.B. Halicki Mercantile Co. & Junk Yard was known for its extensive antique automobile and toy collections.[6]

Gone in 60 SecondsEdit

Halicki wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the film Gone in 60 Seconds in 1974.[7] There was no official script for the movie, apart from several pages outlining main dialog sequences. Halicki supplied most of the cars and used repeated footage of the same vehicles and shots of public incidents to increase the footage. The scene in which a train derailment is observed was not part of the original shooting script; it is in fact a real train that derailed. When the director heard about the wreck, he wanted to incorporate it into the film.[citation needed]

Halicki compacted 10 vertebrae performing the film's 128-foot-long (39 m) jump finale and walked with a limp afterwards.[8]

Marriage, Gone in 60 Seconds 2 and deathEdit

Halicki married Denice Shakarian, an Armenian American, in 1989, shortly before he began filming his 1989 sequel, Gone in 60 Seconds 2, in which both of them would star. After Halicki's death, Shakarian began dating her third cousin, Robert Kardashian, best known for representing O. J. Simpson.[9]

Halicki bought over 400 automobiles to destroy in the film, which was to feature improved car chases and storyline.

On August 20, 1989, while filming in Dunkirk and Buffalo, New York, Halicki was preparing for the most dramatic stunt sequence in the film, during which a 160-foot-tall (49 m) water tower was supposed to topple to the ground. When a cable attached to the tower snapped unexpectedly, it sheared off a telephone pole, which fell on Halicki, killing him instantly. The accident occurred in an area behind the former J.H. Williams Tool factory at 400 Vulcan Street in Buffalo.

Legacy and 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds remakeEdit

In 1995, Denice Shakarian Halicki began work with Jerry Bruckheimer and Touchstone Pictures to produce a 2000 remake of the original 1974 film.[10] The remake included the Fastback Mustang "Eleanor".[citation needed]

1967 custom Fastback Mustang Eleanor from the 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds

In its opening weekend, the remake grossed $25,336,048 from 3,006 US theaters, leading all films that weekend. By the end of the film's theatrical run, it had grossed $101,648,571 domestically and $135,553,728 internationally, comprising a total gross revenue for the film of $237,202,299 worldwide.[11] The popularity of the 2000 remake resulted in tributes of the custom Eleanor car being created by automobile and movie enthusiasts. However, Denice Shakarian Halicki has sued these car and movie fans to stop "trademark and copyright infringement".[12][13][14] The 1967 Fastback Ford Mustang Eleanor is a copyright and trademarked character allowing Denice Shakarian Halicki to pursue such lawsuits. These lawsuits have sparked controversy among many in the car community.[15]


Year Film Role Notes
1972 Love Me Deadly Race Driver Actor, Associate Producer
1974 Gone in 60 Seconds Maindrian "Vicinski" Pace Actor, Producer, Writer, Director, Stunt Driver
1982 The Junkman Harlan B. Hollis/Maindrian "Vicinski" Pace Actor, Producer, Writer, Director, Stunt Driver
1982 The Making of the Junkman Himself/Host Documentary
1983 Deadline Auto Theft Maindrian "Vicinski" Pace Actor, Producer, Writer, Director, Stunt Driver
1988 Deadly Addiction Rolls-Royce Driver Actor
1989 Gone in 60 Seconds 2 International Thief Unfinished film; accidentally killed during filming
2003 The Life and Times of H.B. Halicki Himself Archive Footage, Documentary


  1. ^ Zimmerman, Martin (March 1, 2008). "Eleanor knockoffs spark a knock-down, drag-out fight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Frank A. Halicki Obituary". Chautauqua Today. September 1, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  3. ^ "Halicki Family of Dunkirk History presented at Chautauqua County Genealogical Society". observertoday.com. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  4. ^ The Daily Telegraph Third Book of Obituaries: Entertainers, ed. Hugh Massingberd, Pan Books, 1998 (Macmillan, 1997), p. 90
  5. ^ "Rudolph H." Chautauqua Today. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  6. ^ "Mustang Monthly". Mustang Monthly. August 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2015. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015.
  8. ^ Smith, Jonny (April 9, 2009). "1967 Ford Mustang 'Eleanor' recreation". The Times. London. Retrieved April 9, 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Robert Kardashian Engaged To Third Cousin Denice Halicki". RadarOnline. July 26, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  10. ^ "Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2014. Archived from the original on March 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Ninth Circuit Court Hands Winning Victory to Denice Halicki in Dispute with Carroll..." Reuters. November 13, 2008. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "Recent Win: Ninth Circuit reverses judgment against GMSR's clients in copyright/trademark case concerning "Eleanor" from "Gone In 60 Seconds"". GMSR. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  14. ^ 67mustangblog.com (November 17, 2008). "Denice Halicki Wins Dispute With Carroll Shelby Over 'Eleanor' Name". 67mustangblog.com. Retrieved August 4, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Holderith, Peter (June 2, 2020). "YouTuber's 2015 Ford Mustang 'Eleanor' Tribute Build Seized by Gone in 60 Seconds Trademark Holder". The Drive. Retrieved June 16, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit