Friday, March 30, 2007

Mad Max: The Pursuit Special

The Pursuit Special (also known erroneously as Interceptor) is the fictional model of car driven by Max Rockatansky, the main character of the films Mad Max and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. It is a Ford Falcon XB GT coupe customized to become a police interceptor of the Main Force Patrol. The same car was used in both films.

The car started out as a standard 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe. And for the first few years of its life this is how it stayed.

Then in 1976, film makers Byron Kennedy and George Miller began pre-production on Mad Max. Murray Smith was hired on as part of the film crew, and one of his tasks was to put together the Interceptor. He started by acquiring the XB Falcon, and along with Peter Arcadipane, Ray Beckerley, and various others, proceeded to modify the car to what was needed for the film. The main modification is the front nosecone, made of fibreglass and designed by Arcadipane (marketed as the "Concorde" style, and strongly influenced by the slightly earlier HPF Firenza), and the supercharger protruding through the bonnet which is for looks only, as a supercharger at the time of the movie was not able to be toggled on and off. Visit to see replicas of the movie car.

In the meantime, the low budget Australian film had gained worldwide success, prompting a sequel, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The Pursuit Special was reacquired by Kennedy and Miller for use once more.

The rear wheels, supercharger and pipes were changed. The car was further modified to fit the setting of the new film, with large petrol tanks fitted in the back, and its general appearance given a more used and stressed look. The front end was also modified by removing the bottom section, probably to give more clearance at the front in the outback locations it was required to be driven in for the second film. As well as modifying the original car, a duplicate car was also put together for Mad Max 2. It seems that the duplicate car was used for most of the driving sequences, while the original car was used for all the close ups and interior shots.

When eventually the story required for the car to be destroyed by rolling down a ditch and then blown up, the duplicate car was used, leaving the original car to be scrapped. Luckily, someone rescued the car, and fully restored it.

This car was shipped to England and now resides in Cars of the Stars Motor Museum with other famous cars like The Batmobile, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Munsters' Koach.
technorati tags:Mad Max, Pursuit Special,custom car

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