In the NA interpretation (and my own), gone is an adjective meaning "to be no longer in a particular place". Furthermore, in NA English, the present perfect construction favoured by the Brits is interpreted to mean that the car itself left, but that's discounted as the car can't leave of its own accord. Strictly speaking, this use of go is not limited to animate agents; yet the agent must at least appear to move on its own. Consider:
- The mist is gone. (The mist seems to move of its own volition; the wind and sun are unseen.)
- The pain is gone. (We view pain as an entity which comes and goes.)
- The bus is gone. (The bus driver is an integral part of the bus and can be expected to be inside.)
I wonder how many other contractions are masking interpretations that have gone their separate ways.