The real Star from Mad Max – 1974 Ford Falcon V8 Police Interceptor
In 1979, George Miller’s End Times trilogy Mad Max painted a picture of a dystopian future in which civilization is collapsing and sadistic gangs of rockers are willing to kill anyone for a drop of gas.
Motorized gangs rule the streets, murders and open-street robberies are a common sight. The local police (MFP – Main Force Patrol), no less brutal, wage an almost hopeless war against marauders and rock gangs.
Ex-cop Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) provides justice in this post-apocalyptic world. After a motorcycle gang takes his family from him, he stalks the “Wasteland” as a one-man army. Young Gibson stars in the first two Mad Max films, but the real star is his vehicle: the 600-horsepower Ford Falcon XB “Pursuit Special” V8 Police Interceptor. “The Last V8.
The original Mad Max movie car had no stunt double
In the Australian outback of the post-apocalyptic era, it is a matter of survival. If you want to make ends meet here, you must earn respect, and so director Miller decided to equip Max with a vehicle befitting his station. The Australian Ford Falcon GT coupe was an offshoot of the Ford Mustang Mach 1 for the Australian market and, with a 5.7-liter V8, 9-inch rear axle and four-speed manual transmission, it was already quite well equipped from the factory as standard. However, it needed a few extra ingredients to give the Aussie muscle car that extra spice factor.
For example, Murray Smith, who was building the movie cars at the time, made use of a Concorde front mask made of GRP, which designer Peter Arcadipane offered for various Ford models at the time. Errol Platt of Purvis Fiberglass Products, meanwhile, contributed to the rear end and roof spoilers. The director wanted the mighty supercharger to protrude as far as possible from the hood, and it ended up being butt-mounted on the air filter housing. It was non-functional and was powered by a 12-volt electric motor. The original movie car existed only once; it was used in the first part as well as in the sequel of “Mad Max 2 – the Enforcer“ and was bought back by the filmmakers for the sequel. Today it lives in a museum in Florida.
From “Wasteland” to the Old Country near Hamburg
Helge Thomsen, TV presenter, petrol head and publisher of Motoraver magazine, was twelve years old when the first Mad Max movie was released. Since then, the idea of owning the “Last V8” had burned itself into his brain. But since it was not as with other film cars that there are over 20 identical cars, but only one and it stood in a museum, the challenge to get hold of that car was filed away and stored in an imaginary drawer for several years. However, until the time came, matte black Audi 80s and Ford Granadas had to serve as placebo interceptors for the trained graphic designer and mechanical engineer.
When suddenly in 2007 an Australian ’74 Ford Falcon XB came up for sale in Berlin, Thomsen seized the opportunity to turn his apocalyptic dream into reality. Upon closer inspection, Thomsen noticed that this car is not only the same model, but also has its first registration in New South Wales, just like the original car. Not only the first two Mad Max movies were shot there, but also the original car was bought second hand.
Anyone who has ever tried to rebuild a vehicle in detail knows how much blood, sweat and tears goes into research and parts procurement. Of course, this was more of a difficult challenge because it was a model that is only sold on the other side of the world. The hardest part to find was the Weiand 6-72 Supercharger. Good things take time and so one day a suitable Supercharger appeared on an international auction platform. After having only briefly seen it he bought it and had it shipped. After it had been sitting on the shelf for a few months, Helge started fitting the Supercharger to the car. There was something strange about the bracket for the Charger on the engine. They fit like they were made for each other. A quick chat with the person who had sold it to him and all was crystal clear on how to install it correctly. The Interceptor in Spee that was in Helges garage was originally owned by the Supercharger seller. He had a small movie equipment studio and wanted to rebuild the Police Interceptor. However, too much work and lack of time overturned the project, and he sold the car to Germany in 1998.
A few years down the road and after a few thousand kilometers, these two rare parts came together again in Helges garage. It took several years to transform the car into a Mad Max movie vehicle. The accurate body kit including fender flares that came from the Mad-Max specialists at www.madmaxcars.com in Seattle, who took measurements of the original car for their additions. After gluing and welding the body panels together, the car was painted in matte and gloss black (“Black on Black”). The Weiand 6-71 Supercharger with the Scott-Intake on the 351 cui 4V Cleveland-V8 was in its original shell and like in the movie “non-functional“ but could be powered electrically. The suspension received new bushings and shocks, and the brake master cylinder was also overhauled.
Another highlight is the exhaust. Sound comes from a Zoomies exhaust with an electronic flap control. Meanwhile, a dedicated upholsterer recreated the interior of the movie car based on photos. To complete the project, the car received a certified MOT and a certified so called “H” license plate in 2010 and can therefore be driven on German roads without any problems.
It is one of only a few Police Interceptors and extremely close to the original vehicle. With certainty we can say that it is the only one that can be legally driven on German roads.
In summer, the MOT was renewed again and so it is ready for a new owner and its next adventure.
This special 1974 Ford Falcon XB V8 Police Interceptor is currently up for sale.
You now have the unique possibility to bid for this Ford Falcon on the brand new Online-Auctions platform Getyourclassic.com.
Fotos Get Your Classic / Roman Rätzke
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