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Last updated on 1/2/00
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This website is dedicated to the greatest car from one of the greatest movies ever made, Mad Max's Interceptor from The Road Warrior, the sequel to Mad Max. My purpose is to have as many pictures and as much information as possible of this vehicle. Eventually, I would like to build a replica of this car and I want to make this page a resource for everyone else out there who would like to attempt a project like this. I will not stop until the world is filled with black Interceptors and the gangs take over the highways. hehehe
On this page, I will be mentioning the movies Mad Max, and The Road Warrior (known as Mad Max II outside of the United States). You may notice a conspicuous absence of references to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. The reasons for this are twofold. First, the Interceptor was blown up in The Road Warrior so it did not survive into the third film. Second, and more importantly, I refuse to admit that Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome ever happened! The second half of this movie was terrible. Whoever decided to turn this movie into The Goonies should be taken out back and put out of his misery. I will keep myself happy by denying that this movie was ever made.
Now, let's get to the good stuff concerning this car. The car that Max drives is a production car, the Ford XB Falcon Hardtop, sold in Australia from December 1973 until August 1976. This page says that the Australian Falcon is a hybrid of the American Torino's rear styling joined to a Mustang base and front end. Although a car with the name Falcon was built in the United States during the late 1960s, it wasn't the same as the Australian versions and I think it was discontinued around 1968. These '60s Falcons were very boxy and show little to no resemblance to our beloved Interceptor. So far, I have been unable to determine the exact year of Mad Max's car. (Eureka! I now know it's a 1973!) One curious thing I found since I began my research is that it is widely reported that the front end of Max's car is not a Falcon front end at all. One of the main pieces of evidence given is that the headlights are square instead of round. However, I found a picture on this website of what I believe is a stock Australian Ford Falcon (nope, now I know it's a Ford Fairmont XC. see below) with square headlights (see pic). 1976+ Ford Fairmont XC
Compare this car with the Interceptor, the similarities are numerous. The hood looks the same, the gas tank cap is in the same place, and the backseat side windows have the same shape. Now, you will probably notice that the front ends of the two cars have some differences. Max's vehicle has some ground effects with a different bumper and a sloping cover piece (nose cone) over the front grill. It is suggested in the Mad Max FAQ that the original front end was replaced by a Ford Fairmont front end (it definitely was a Fairmont front end. see below). It is said that $35,000 was spent to build the Interceptor.
Another modification made to the car is the addition of a roof spoiler from an XC Falcon panel van. Also, for The Road Warrior, two large fuel tanks were added to the car that protrude through the back window.
The motor in Max's car may have been a 300 horsepower 351
cubic inch (about 5.7 liters) V8 but there is some controversy (see below). It
has a Weiand supercharger that is non-functional. I don't believe anyone has
ever made a functional supercharger which can be switched on and off (hmm, I've
recently been told that the '88 Toyota MR2 had one). In the movies, the
supercharger was actually driven by an electric motor rather than by the engine
itself. So, even though it is said in Mad Max (the movie) that the car is 600
hp, it was in actuality only 300 hp. However, if the supercharger was
functional, it just might be possible to generate about 600 hp but the engine
probably wouldn't last very long.
Now, once I found out Max's car was built in Australia (and has right hand side steering), I began to look into what reasonable U.S.-built car I should use as a base for my future Interceptor project. I have seen reported that the Ford Torino is the U.S. version of the Australian Ford Falcon. Also, during one of the 25 times I have watched The Road Warrior, I asked my dad, a big car buff, what model of car he thought the Interceptor was, and he guessed it was a Torino. I am pretty impressed now that he just about got it right.
Now, the question arises as to what year Torino is most
similar to Max's Interceptor. I used this Torino
page to narrow down the choices. The '73 and later is definitely not the
right car to use. In my opinion, we need to concentrate on the '70, '71, and
'72. Probably the '72 should be thrown out too but I'll let you decide for
yourself. I can't find a good picture of a 1969 or earlier model so they also
might be good cars to use. Check out the Torinos.
So what happened to the original Interceptor? Of the unknown number of Interceptors used in The Road Warrior (maybe just two), it seems that only one has survived. It was sent to the scrap yard due to damage suffered during filming, but was saved in 1985 by a collector who completely restored the car and toured Australia with it. In 1995, it was sold to The Cars of the Stars museum in the United Kingdom and there it sits, awaiting Max's return. If anyone from the UK reads this and has more info about the car, please email me! I am particularly interested in any written documentation that the museum might have. Here's some info on The Cars of the Stars Museum:
I received this email from Peter Barton, the author of the excellent Mad Max FAQ, concerning a couple questions I had asked him. He was very kind to take the time to answer my questions. Here is his response to me:
"A couple of answers you wanted: The XB used as the base car for the Interceptor was a 1973 model, which makes it one of the first off the production line for that model. This was confirmed by the guy who rebuilt it - that's the info on the manufacturers plate in the car. I have no reason to believe any other info on this point - unless I get contrary information from Kennedy Miller or something!
The blue car you wanted identified is an XC Fairmont. I can't give you much more detailed info than that (I don't really know the production dates, etc), but it was built after the XB. It is believed that the custom kit used to modify the XB may have used some XC components. It is possible that this kit came out of Ford Australia when they were prototyping the XC - check out the picture on my web page of the concept car, it basically has the same front end modifications as the interceptor. Apparently the kit was fairly easy to get at the time (by those in the know anyway), but even so I've never managed to get any detailed info on it (like who sold it, how much, how many were made, etc)."
Well, all I can say is, if that blue mystery car up there was not the model used to build Max's Interceptor, it should have been because fewer mods would have been necessary. Anyway, it's great to finally get a definitive word on the year (1973) of the XB used to build the Interceptor. Thanks, Peter!
I have also asked
Chris, webmaster of the Australian Ford Falcon page (see link below), to take a
look at this blue car for verification. It would also be nice to know what year
it is. I'm going to try to find some info on the web about Fairmonts right now
and will let you know what I find out.
Here's a used car listing I found on www.classifieds2000.com in case you are wondering how much a Falcon costs these days. Unfortunately, there was no picture.
The square headlights (on the Mad Max interceptor) came from an xc fairmont which is a 76 + model. The blue car is a xc fairmont. The Ford badge only appeared on the series 2 xc models and onwards (roughtly 77-78), and as it has square headlights (halogens in fact) it would make it a fairmont. A fairmont is just a slightly upmarket Falcon with higher equipment specifications, but is still considered a Falcon.
Now, since I
probably have just as little chance of getting my hands on a Ford Fairmont as on
a Ford Falcon, my search goes on for the best American car to build an
interceptor with. I guess the Torino is still the best bet. (But what year?) Any
other suggestions out there?
about 10 emails from different people about this web page already and it has
only been up for about a week. What a great response! I knew there were a lot of
Road Warrior wannabes out there (besides me).
Here's a response I received from Jonathan Huntley, who is something of a Ford Torino expert. He has an interesting Torino/Fairlane web page. I had asked him what year of Torino would make a good Mad Max car.
70 or 71 2dr hardtop is the closest you will get. If your serious about it go ahead and get the Aussie Falcon. There are many in the usa now. You should be able to get one shipped here for a reasonable price. My company has offices in Aust. If you want I'll have some off them do some checking about shipping, laws etc. You do know that you have to buy some expensive GM fiberglass parts for the front?
I just sent
Jonathon an email. Hopefully, I will find out soon how much it costs to ship a
Falcon from "down under" to the states. I also asked him about the GM
front end reference. This sounds like it's probably a mistake but I'll try to
find out more. I also removed the pictures of the '72 Torino from my Torinos
page since it looks safe to eliminate them from consideration.
I still need someone from England to email me about the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum!
I'm going to be
putting some more pics of the Interceptor up soon but first I need to make some
thumbnails of them.
It has been
confirmed by multiple sources that the nose-cone on Max's Interceptor was a
special kit designed for a Ford concept car called the Condor. R.C. Roberts has
sent me three emails with some detailed info regarding the custom exterior mods
made to the Interceptor. I still need some time to pour through them and figure
out how to add them to this web page. This page is getting so long that I think
I'm going to break it up into a few pages as soon as I have time.
Here's a very interesting email from David Boboc:
YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW THAT THE ENGINE IN THE INTERCEPTOR FROM THE FIRST MOVIE WAS A PONTIAC 455 ENGINE THAT WAS BUILT BY PHASE FOUR MACHINE OF WESTFIELD, NEW JERSEY ( I ALREADY FAXED SOME INFO TO PETER BARTON). AFTER THE FIRST FILM, THAT ENGINE WAS SENT BACK TO THE STATES BUT WAS SOLD SOME YEARS AGO, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHERE IT IS NOW. I DO KNOW THAT A PONTIAC GTO CLUB SHOWED ALOT OF INTEREST IN THE MOTOR WHEN IT WAS SENT BACK HERE TO THE U.S. SO YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY THOSE CLUBS TO SE IF THEY'VE HEARD OF IT. INCIDENTALLY, THAT MOTORS SUPERCHARGER DID WORK, IT RAN OFF AN ELECTRO-MAGNETIC CLUTCH ON THE CRANKSHAFT, IT ALSO HAD TWO FUEL INJECTION SYSTEMS AND TWO AIR INDUCTION SYSTEMS ( TO WORK WHEN THE BLOWER WAS TURNED OFF). THE SUPERCHARGER WAS AN 8-71 RATHER THAN A 6-71, WHICH IS MORE COMMON. ONLY THE FRONT COVER WAS FROM WEIAND, THE CASE WAS A LITTLEFIELD CASE, AND THE SCOOP ON TOP WAS A SCOTT FUEL INJECTOR FROM THE 60'S ( THEY REALLY DID USE " A PIECE FROM HERE AND A PIECE FROM THERE". MOST OF THIS INFO IS FROM MEMORY AFTER TALKING TO PHASE FOUR MACHINE ON THE TELEPHONE OVER THE YEARS . THEY DIDN'T KEEP ANY INFO OR PICTURES OF THE ENGINE, WHEN THEY BUILT THE MOTOR, THEY DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE USED IN A MOVIE.
This email jogged
my memory concerning an article I read in a car magazine about the Interceptor
about 10 years ago. I remember the article mentioned something about an
electro-magnetic clutch for the supercharger so I can at least partially confirm
this story. I would love to get my hands on that article again but I've even
forgotten the name of the magazine it was in. If anyone has names and issue
numbers of any articles concerning the Interceptor, I would like to post a
listing of them here on the web page.
Mark Zimmerli sent me the URL for the Ford Australia Page and there I found this history of the Ford Falcon GT:
XB-1973 The last of this era of GTs was the XB and it was also the most prolific. From July 1973 until June 1976 Ford produced 1,950 sedans and 949 hardtops. Many will argue that up until then, the XB was the best looking GT built by Ford, it was certainly the best "grand tourer" in the real sense of the term and was the first GT to be fitted with four wheel disc brakes. In 1974 John Goss and Kevin Bartlett in an XB GT Hardtop won the first really wet Bathurst 1000 enduro.
I also just added
a picture of a 1970 Torino Cobra sent to me by Dan the Torino Man to the Torinos pics page. I think this may be the best American car to use to
build an Interceptor replica.
Sorry it's been such a long time since I last updated this page. After the 4th of July, my schedule is finally going to open up a bit so you should see more frequent updates.
The first order
of business is that I have a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. During the process of changing email
accounts, I managed to lose some of my email so if you sent me anything and
haven't received a reply, please resend it.
Fillmore sent me this email:
I just want to say I enjoyed reading your web page. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has dreamed of building my own Interceptor. As I have had this dream for a while now, here is what you would need:
It is important that you use the Sportsroof model; the rear side windows of that particular model (as well as the roofline) resemble its Australian cousin more than the two door hardtop model.
- a 1970-71 Ford Torino Sportsroof
- a 1971-73 Ford Mustang Mach I front end
- 1970-71 Mercury Cyclone taillights (they look similar to the Falcon XB's)
Peter Barton's Mad Max FAQ alerted me to this new Cars of the Stars web page. Here's what it says:
Mad MaxIf anyone knows any of the above-mentioned people, please contact me.
This car was originally customised by a young man called Murray Smith. A film company executive spotted it on his driveway and thought it would make an ideal vehicle for a new film being produced: "Mad Max". The car was purchased and Murray was given a job on the film as mechanic. With further modifications the car was used in the original film and in its sequel. On completion of the films the car was destined for scrap, having sustained some frontal damage, but was saved by scrap dealer Ray Evans. He later sold the car to Bob Fursenko who spent a vast sum restoring the car. Cars of the Stars purchased the cars and is proud to own the most famous Australian car, featuring in the most famous Australian film, driven by the most famous Australian actor Mel Gibson.
I finally thumbnailed some of the pics on this site so
most pages should load faster. I will be adding new pics within the next week or
so and also adding a new "specs" page that gives a detailed list of
everything you need to build an Interceptor. Thanks for all your patience and
have a great day!
Dave Boboc wrote in response to a question I had emailed him concerning the possibility that the Interceptor's engine was a Pontiac with a working clutched supercharger:
The Popular Hotrodding issue that I saw the Pontiac info on was February 1987. I'm beginning to think that the Pontiac motor may not have been used in the Interceptor, even though it was built for it. I called the repair shop in Australia that rebuilt the car and they say that the film company tried to get a motor to function with a clutch, but that it didn't work. They didn't specify which movie that they tried this motor (it could have been the second film, after the Pontiac motor was sent back to the States) but, Phase IV Machine claimed that the Pontiac motor did work in their shop before the shipped it out, so I still don't know.The mystery continues!
Someone who has been to the Cars of the Stars auto museum in England has finally emailed me! Here's what Mark had to say:
The car is displayed along with a variety of other famous vehicles at in a small row at the museum.It is doesn't have it's own display and is flanked by Magnum P.I.'s Ferrari and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and is also backed up against a wall so it is impossible to get to the rear of the car. The car seems in good condition from what I can see but has a few changes to when it appeared in the film:Mark has offered to report back after his next visit to the museum. Excellent!
- The front headlights now have black perspex screwed over the top of the original white striped perspex.
- The front spoiler does not have any lights fitted below the headlights.
- It has the flared rear arches that were fitted in the first film, but were missing in the second. But it also has the stripped out interior and large fuel tanks that appeared in the second film.
- The gold MFP Emblem is missing from the panel behind the front wheel.
RC Roberts checked in with:
IMHO you will find out that there WAS a Pontiac engine in the vehicle used in the first movie, AT ONE TIME.
That "time" WAS NOT during the filming of either movie. I'm sending you a copy of the article (from STREET MACHINE MAGAZINE out of Australia) mentioned before of the XB built on information based on the original when it was displayed after the filming. That was something like seven months BEFORE the film was first shown.
While the article does not mention the engine that was in the car on display it does confirm that the original was on display. The Aussie I've talked to, in depth, about that vehicle all agree that it DID NOT have a Ford engine while on display.
They commonly recalled (seperate conversations with people who didn't know each other) that the "American" engine used in the display was sitting so high in the engine bay that the bonnet could not be fitted. Again I will mention that the typical GM engine of the period had the oil pan slump in the rear, vs front mounted per Ford to clear the crossmember which the suspension is attached.
OK, here are some questions for all of you:
In response to my
question about whether or not a transmission could survive being thrown into
reverse at high speed, I received these responses:
From Doug Mecca:
I use to do that all the time with a 84 trans am i had with a turbo 400
tranny. (it didnt last long though).... but the point being...it can be
done..but your tranny wont last long.
On the question of throwing the car into
reverse to stop, I can tell you it is very possible to do such acrobatic
feats having done so myself, the key is having the rpms' up before you dump
the clutch that way you'll break traction and will minimize the potential
for damage, its the same principle as slaming on the brake cranking the
wheel and when the car starts to slide sideways or break traction, you
punch it and with a little counter steering end up in the other lane
heading the other way minus some rubber, thats what happens when a young
farm boy grows up and gets his liscense in a remote country area I guess.
keep the tire preasure up and most street tires free them selves willingly
from daily driving duties with a little over breaking, over powering or wet
Kevin sent in these links:
A good Falcon page with lots of photos and specs
Here's a local copy of the XB specs:
The AMC Javelin - another Interceptor possibility?
After receiving many emails telling me the same thing, I have to accept the fact that Max doesn't actually throw the Interceptor into reverse when stopping at the beginning of "The Road Warrior". Here's a representative email from Andre telling me I don't know what the heck I'm talking about. :)
Max never does it. Watch closely, especially in frame-by-frame. What is happening is the interceptor is experiencing severe axle "tramp" or "hop" under braking as the L.side wheel hits dirt and the other pavement. You'll notice that unlike the sweet burnouts in MadMax, the smoke doesn't curl around the tires, but only comes from the bottom.
Wayne Jones checked in with:
If any one is interested in buying a XB for a interceptor lookalike know is a good time in adelaide, south australia, australia a fully restored Xb coupe with a 302 v8 or 351 wiil cost about $4000 to $5000 australian dollars which is about $2520 to $3150 US a front nose practucaly the same as mad maxs will cost $500 australian or about $315 US. these prices were taken around 31/3/99 so they will vary as the dollar varys. The company to buy the nose from is Advanced Spoilers and Creative Cars PH 01161882584049 from US of (08) 82584049 from australia. If you ring ask for Martin he is very helpful and can provide you with the info you're after.
(address) 42 standel road salisbury plain 5109, South Australia, Australia
On the 2/4/99 i am going to have a look at the mold to confirm that it is in deed a mold for the interceptor front. (concord)
Check out this Falcon vs. Torino chart I'm making. Email me if you can fill in any of the missing fields.
Andre Pine wrote in with instructions on How to Import an Aussie Falcon.
See next below for an update to this story.
Holy cow! Check out this awesome Interceptor replica (and it's in the USA!) (The pic of the white car is the BEFORE pic.)
Here are some comments from the owner, Ben (feel free to email him) and let him know what a great job he did!
Yes I live in the U.S, I actually found the car in CA the guy had it but wanted to sell it because it is a right hand drive and I picked it up for $2.000. I then owned the car for about a year before I decided to replicate the Interceptor. I had always loved Mad Max and finding that car was a Dream come true for me. It cost me approximately $16.000 dollar's to replicate it over a 3 year span. Actually it would have cost a hell of a lot less but i decided that a Ford 350 was not enough Horse power so I dropped in a 500 cubic-inch Hemi,I know I know it's not authentic but I wanted not only some thing that would get me from "point A to point B" I wanted some thing that would go from"point A to point B" in 3.5 seconds flat.And besides It only had 450 horses but now it has over 1000 horses and can go to a max of 175 mph. Yes that is a working supercharger but i added the button on the shifter for authenticity and it is fun driving around pretending it work's. Yes it has the sidepipes but it did not in the pic's I sent you I added those in later I have added a few more thing's since those pic's i sent you like the tire in the back window.Oh yeah and one more thing about the "throwing the car into reverse to stop it" it is posable but the old trans only lasted 3 day's doing it. Im sorry that this is such a long letter but I love talking to fellow Mad max fan's about my car,it sure beat's talking to car buff's who say "What the hell is that thing."
I've been had! Those pics that Ben sent were actually taken from Peter Barton's excellent MAD MAX FAQ . I guess the whole story was a big fairy tale. Feel free to email Ben to tell him what you thought of it. :) I've removed the local copy of the pics, since they are on Peter's site. Thanks to Steve for letting me know about this fraud.
By the way, if you are a college student, check out our new sponsor at the top of the page. (OK, it's not really a sponsor, it's a new page of mine. :) )
6/13/99 - If you are a frequent reader of the excellent Mad Max FAQ, you've probably already seen this, but here's a link to Gordon's MADMAX Page. Gordon has created an excellent replica of the Interceptor.
8/4/99 - Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, because Stu from Down Under has just sent in these NEW, ORIGINAL photos of the pre-restoration Interceptor! Click on the thumbs for bigger versions. Here are some words from Stu:
At the time the interceptor was sent for scrap I lived a few miles away from the yard to which it was sent. The owners kept it hidden under a tarpaulin but, knowing them rather vicariously -friends of friends of friends sort of thing - I managed to get it out from under wraps long enough to get some photos. Interestingly I managed to convince the owners to lift the bonnet and took some shots of the supercharger setup. Later, when Bob was showing the restored car he refused to open the bonnet, keeping it padlocked. Even Street Machine magazine was not allowed to look under the hood.
Here are the pics!
Do you live in the USA and want to buy an Aussie Falcon? There are several for sale and they're in the USA already! Check em out at:
1/2/00 - Here's a link to some pics of Steve Pilant's new Interceptor replica:
Make sure you also check out the drop-down list on the left for more pics!
That's all for now!
More Interceptor photos (local page)
Another page with Interceptor info, the Australian Ford Falcon page
Please email me, John, with ANY comments or questions!
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