Gone In 60 Seconds follows an insurance investigator Maindrian Pace and his team who lead double-lives as unstoppable car thieves. When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one, a 1973 Ford Mustang, are in the bag. As Pace prepares to rip-off the fastback, codenamed "Eleanor", in Long Beach, he is unaware that his boss has tipped off the police after a business dispute. Detectives are waiting and pursue Pace through five cities as he desperately tries to get away.
The scene where the Mustang brakes hard to exit the freeway and spins into a light standard was a real accident. Star/director H.B. Halicki was accidentally tagged by a Cadillac driven by a member of the crew, causing the Mustang to spin into the pole. Haliki was moderately injured, and recovered enough to film the completion of the scene the following week.
With the exception of a few extras, the bulk of the by-standers/public in the movie are real people just going about their business who had no idea that a film was being made. This caused several incidents where people assumed a real police pursuit was in progress, with many trying to help the accident "victims". In the scene at the Carson Street off-ramp where the two cars collide after Maindrian drives against traffic, a pedestrian can be seen in the background shouting angrily at the passing police cars for not stopping to help the occupants.