Building Your Own Replica Black On Black
Mad Max Interceptor

Base Car

The original car is a white 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Hardtop / Coupe.  This was a standard production model available in Australia from 1973 to 1976. Being a GT, it automatically came with a 300bhp 351ci V8, 4V heads, top loader, 9 inch diff - pretty much all the standard XB GT coupe features.

For a replica, it is obviously easiest to start with an XB coupe. It doesn't have to be a GT, and is probably a cheaper project if it isn't (the only GT based replica I know of so far is LAST-V8). You can buy a GT bonnet, side flutes and so on, so your standard GS coupe will end up looking the goods anyway.

You could also use an XA or XC coupe, but to get the replica correct you would have to do a lot more body work - it's probably cheaper to start with an XB if you're aiming to be 100% correct at the end. Of course, if you're aiming for some individuality, you may wish to try something a bit different anyway. Some people are aiming to make their cars 100% correct to the film, and others have changed a few things to their own personal taste. Do what you prefer - don't let someone else tell you what to do. Maybe your first step should be to take a look at the fan cars page, to see what others have done.

If you're importing a car to the US, you should most probably try one of the existing importer / exporters listed on parts sellers page and on the links page.

 

Fibreglass Work

Obviously the most unique modification to the car is the fibreglass work. It's also the hardest thing to get done right. The front, the roof spoiler, the boot spoiler and the flares all need to be done. Let's start with the front.

 

Fibreglass Front

The fibreglass front is a Peter Arcadipane design. Peter worked as a designer for Ford Australia in the 1970s, and later started his own business selling, among other things, these fibreglass front kits. There were two kits available, one styled for vans, and one for coupes. Being the 1970s it was the height of the van craze, and there were probably more kits produced for vans than for coupes. Below is a picture of one of the original prototype vans. 

Note the large box flares on the front wheel arches, and how the front lip extends wide to come into line with them. Contrast this with the coupe front pictured below.

You will notice that the coupe front has a much narrower lip, and tapers down to two side pieces, coming in flush against the guards and original wheel arches. It is much more streamlined than the bulkier van front.

There were plenty of fronts made back in the 1970s, however they are fairly scarce now. The only replica so far to incorporate an original Peter Arcadipane front is LAST-V8, built by Scott Smith. Your chances of finding an original existing front at this point are pretty slim. Peter Arcadipane has also confirmed that, to his knowledge, all of the original moulds for these fronts have been destroyed.


Original Peter Arcadipane ad for parts. Click for a larger view of each page.
(Don't bother with the address or phone numbers, they're long out of date!)

However, there have been various copy moulds made of these fronts, to varying degrees of success, and that is most people's best bet for getting one at this point. Because the van front was more common, it seems that many of the copied fronts are based on the wider lipped van design. This basically means more work in fitting it to the car in a coupe format (i.e. without the wide van flares), and you'll also have to create the two additional side pieces yourself.

If you want a copied front that is based on an original coupe front, you should talk to either Scott Smith or Gordon Hayes. The only fronts I have ever seen in person are Scott's, which are perfect to my eye. Unfortunately I have not seen ANY of the other available fronts in person. You should check the car builders and parts sellers page for some pictures of Gordon's fronts.

For a copied van front, try Martin Mack at Advanced Spoilers:

   Advanced Spoilers and Creative Cars
   42 Standel Road,
   Salsbury Plain, South Australia
   Phone (08) 82584049

Note that for a long time, the Advanced Spoilers front was the only one available, and most replicas up until mid 2001 have incorporated this front. Even the restoration of the original interceptor used a copied van front, and not the correct coupe front. Note that Advanced Spoilers actually sell a full kit of fibreglass parts for a Mad Max coupe, you should see the replica car builders section for further info on this.

Finally, please note that there are a couple of names floating around for these fronts. The correct name for the Ford kit is a Concorde front, as seen in Peter Arcadipane's advertising above. There were also some similar kits called "Monza" kits, which were basically for Holdens - see the ad below. Because of the similarities in the designs, obviously the names got mixed around occaisionally, and you'll probably still find some people using both names interchangeably. Also note that the term "Monza" is merely the nickname that this part adpoted in Australia, because of its similarity to the US Monza car - please be aware that this part is NOT a part from the US Monza.

 

 

Roof Spoiler

The exact origins of the roof spoiler are still not entirely clear to me, but it does seem that Errol Platt's fibreglass workshop possessed the only known existing mould of this back in the early 1980's. Errol unfortunately passed away some time back.

The mould is still in existence, but the current owner of the design has been reluctant to sell this part individually (and some others) because of concerns over the design being copied. The only replica car to have had access to a spoiler from the original mould in recent years (that I know of) is LAST-V8, built by Scott Smith.

Gordon Hayes was fortunate enough to have had Errol Platt himself install a roof spoiler onto his replica interceptor, back in the early 1980's. Gordon was subsequently able to make a mould of this from the spoiler on the car, and this would be the only other source for getting the correct looking part at present.

 

Boot (Trunk) Spoiler

The boot spoiler is another Peter Arcadipane design, if you look at his magazine ad above, you will see it in the price list. Unfortunately, like the fronts, Peter has confirmed that any original moulds were most probably destroyed. As far as I know, no one has yet located an original Arcadipane spoiler, either on a car or as a separate piece. This basically means that at the moment you'll have to create this item from scratch yourself, as has already been done by some of the replica car builders.

Ford Australia applied a similar spolier to the factory backed XB GT's, as well as in the XC Cobra package (all 400 of the last V8 powered XC Falcon fastbacks built received the "Cobra" package). A Cobra boot spoiler is more common, and might prove an easier alternative if you're worried about doing a custom job. Obviously the Cobra spoiler does not "blend in" with the lines of the car in quite the same way though.

 

Wheel Flares

The wheel arch flares are basically a custom job. The original builders did use Torana SLR5000 flares (or similar) as the base for the rear flares, but so much custom work was done on top of that it's not really worth starting out that way. Basically the original car just "evolved", as they played around with larger rear wheels and so on. The flares just shaped themselves around the rest of the work going on with the car - there was no design or mould.

So if you want flares, again unfortunately you'll have to custom build them yourself. Once more, I recommend talking to the various replica car builders, who might be able to help by selling you their own custom flares, by putting flares on a car for you, or even maybe just giving some advice.

 

Paint Scheme

The car was originally scripted as the "Black on Black", and that basically describes the paint scheme. The car is mostly gloss black on the top half, and satin black on the bottom half, with a satin pin stripe following the curves of the car. Kind of hard to describe, so instead I will direct you to Steve Pilant's Image Archive. Steve did by far the most research on this of anyone, and created a detailed collection of sketches, photos, and so on.

 

The Blower

The supercharger is made by Weiand (pronounced "why and"). They make twisted-vane, roots-style superchargers for many after market applications. The system uses a GM 6-71 case as the base, and a Scott injector hat at the top.

On the movie car, this was all faked.  The supercharger was empty and the carburettor sat inside. A small water pump was attached to the front of the supercharger to hold the drive wheel, this also moved the supercharger belt forward to clear the standard 351 water pump assembly, and the distributor has a 90 degree elbow to allow it to clear the supercharger. The supercharger belt is driven by an electric motor which is hidden by a yellow bucket in the garage scene in MM1. Weiand never had a supercharger that could be activated and deactivated. Even with huge compression it would be tough to generate 600bhp on a 351 in 1974 without rebuilding it once every couple of hundred miles.

Of course, most people building replicas have not duplicated the above convoluted setup, and have opted for a variety of different setups to duplicate the same basic effect. As long as the blower sits at the right height out of the bonnet, and the pulley spins, it doesn't matter too much what method you use to hook it all up.

Once again, if you want to know all there is to know about superchargers, and see a LOT of pictures, I will direct you to Steve Pilant's web site. He collected a lot of information and pictures, and could tell you more than I ever possibly could. Doug McQuillan has also collected together a good series of pages, and you should also take a look at his web site.

If an original Scott Injector hat is too expensive for you (and it is for most people), it is worth noting that as of September 2003, reproduction hats are now available. This has been primarily organised by Doug McQuillan at www.madmaxcar.com, with the parts themselves being manufactured by Dave Jensen in California. Basic reproduction units are available now, and true EFI units are expected to be available by November 2003. The replica part is available for purchase through either Doug's site at www.madmaxcar.com, or Rod Horner's site at www.madmaxparts.com. The pictures below (also from Doug's site) show an original hat along side a replica item. Click on the images to see a larger version of either picture.

 

Wheels

The wheels are steel centered van wheels. The style is Sunraysia, as seen on Max's yellow XB, except this time the rims have been painted black. They are a stamped steel centre, welded to a steel rim. If you take photos to a good wheel place you should be able to get the right thing made up. In the US, I have been told that you might try http://www.cruisercustomwheels.com/combin2.html.

The tyres (on the restored interceptor) are B. F. Goodrich T. A. Radials, but are mixed with "first generation" on the front ("stiff" sidewall, narrow tread blocks) and about fourth generation on the rear ("relaxed" sidewall, wider tread blocks).  The difference in sidewall construction makes the fronts look bigger then the rear, etc. The exact tyre sizes on the restored interceptor are:
   Front- T245-50 R14 (92s)
   Rear - T265 -50 R15

Obviously again, I'd say use your own judgement on this one. As per the comments on the flares above, the wheels on the original car were a bit of an "evolution" thing. You are possibly better off trying to get something that looks right, rather than trying to replicate exactly what was on the original car.

 

Exhaust System

The exhaust system is glass packs and "straight" pipes. A bit strange that they went to the cost / time to install these as none of the cars are actually heard. The pipes are zoomie pipes, another van item.

 

Headlights and Indicators

The headlights are most probably XC headlights. Depending on the Arcadipane front you acquire, it may or may not come with the required light boxes and so on - if not this will all have to be built as part of the headlight assembly. You will also have to create your own gold striped headlight covers.

The clear indicators installed on the fibreglass front are available from Rare Spares (see the car builders / parts page for more info). The part number is BFT1000.

 

Dashboard Light

I am not sure of the exact make / model of the original light, but Sam Costanzo has found a company in the USA called Petersons, who are apparently still making the same style of light. An example is pictured below.

Peterson Manufacturing Company
4200 E. 135th St.
Grandview, Mo. 64030
Phone : (816) 765 2000
Fax : (816) 761 6693
Email : pmsales@qni.com (sales department)

http://www.pmlights.com/ (look up series...759 beacon)


New Zealand Distributor (None in Australia)

CDL Autoparts Ltd
P.O.Box 97 146
South Auckland Mail Centre 1730

Ph: +64 9 262 1417
Fax: +64 9 262 1441
Email: wbutler@cdl-autoparts.co.nz
Attn to Wayne Butler

Dave Boboc also suggests the North American Signal Company for dash lights, I must say I think the above lights look slightly closer, but it's probably worth browsing both companies.

Note that the original car was never fitted with a police siren, those sounds were added later during the audio dubbing. As police sirens are fairly hard to obtain for cosumer use (in Australia anyway), most people have not gone to the trouble of installing a siren system.

 

Odds and Ends

Exterior

Side Flutes

The side flutes are a standard GT accessory. Original aluminium flutes are getting scarcer these days, but there are a variety of companies making fibreglass replicas.

MFP Badges

The gold MFP badges were magnetic stick on badges on the original car, hence being on the car in some scenes and not others! See the badges and logos page for a closer look at some replica badges, along with links to people selling them.

Mirrors

Note that the original car only has a driver's side rear view mirror (i.e. no passsenger mirror). Whether or not you replicate these finer details is up to you! 

 

Interior

Steering Wheel

The steering wheel is a MAXROB, who were acquired by SAAS some time back, and the exact style of original MAXROB wheel is no longer available. SAAS have a web site at http://www.saas.com.au, where you can see the current styles of available wheels, some of which are similar to the old MAXROB designs. You might also have luck finding an original MAXROB wheel in the second hand market, but they are getting quite rare these days.

Brad Coulter is now also making reproduction MAXROB / Saas style steering wheels, please see the sub-page for additional information.

Click on the ad for a larger picture

Roof Console

Sam Costanzo is currently making replica roof consoles, see the roof consoles page for some more info.

Blower Switch

The switch used to turn the blower on and off is a diff switch off a truck. They can probably be found at most truck wreckers, including the bracket - perhaps take a photo to help ID the correct switch and bracket. For more information you should also check out Doug McQuillan's page on these at http://www.madmaxswitch.cjb.net/. Doug also has these switches available for sale if you want one.

 

Mad Max 2 Modifications

The fuel warning gauge is made from an old Dobros air pressure gauge. They are no longer in business, and it is unlikely that you will obtain an original gauge at this point. You should talk to George Kritty about the possibility of obtaining a replica gauge.

I am not sure what the fuel warning light is, it looks like a motorcycle indicator of some kind, but I have not identified the precise part. It could also be an indicator light for a trailer.

The fuel tanks and fuel caps I'm not sure about. George Kritty did a lot of research in this area, and the last I heard was that he had discovered that the fuel caps come from an old double decker bus, and possibly even the tanks too. Perhaps send him an email to see if he has discovered anything further. George can also help you out with a few replica tins of Dinki Di dog food.

The passenger door seat - I don't know. Maybe a kids car seat, maybe a fibreglass racing bucket seat, maybe something else.

Finally note that the bottom of the front spoiler has been cut off on the Mad Max 2 car, for better outback ground clearance. Personally I think a Mad Max 2 car looks better with a complete front, but as always it's up to you how accurate you want to be.

 

Thanks to:
Scott Smith, George Kritty, Roger Roberts, Kieron Murphy,
Grant Hodgson, Gordon Hayes, Grame Row, Sam Costanzo
and Dave Boboc.

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