The original Pilar was owned by Ernest Hemingway, who paid $7,455 in 1934. For 34 years, Pilar remained a constant in his life and sanctuary to him.
After Hemingway's death, Pilar was left to captain and friend Gregorio Fuentes, the inspiration for the classic, "The Old Man and the Sea." The boat was later acquired by the Cuban Government and is now on display in Hemingway's estate in Cuba, Finca Vigia.
They found Elhanor, a 1933 Wheeler Playmate, which had been in Norman Vanderbuilt's family for 50 years, in upstate New York, to play the pivitol role of Hemingway's Pilar.
She needed a structural refit as well as modifications to be transformed into Pilar, which was a Wheeler Playmate like no other. The boat was no set piece, but a working boat that needed to meet the rigors of the sea as well as the film shoot.
The new Pilar took about eight months. Without any blueprints or drawings, all plans burned in a fire, and the original still in Cuba, Moores Marine relied on photographs and input from Hilary Hemingway, Wes Wheeler and Andy Garcia.