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The first car shown in the film with the title Pursuit Special is a Holden Monaro stolen and driven by the escaped criminal, the Night Rider. The more famous Pursuit Special is a modified 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT. Within this storyline, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is offered the black Pursuit Special, referred to as a V8 Interceptor, as an incentive to stay on the force as their top pursuit man after he reveals his desire to quit. Although Max turns the offer down, he later uses the black car to exact his revenge on an outlaw motorcycle gang who killed his wife and child.
This car started out as a standard white 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe. Then in 1976, film makers Byron Kennedy and George Miller began pre-production on Mad Max. Murray Smith II was hired on as part of the film crew, and one of his tasks was to put together the Pursuit Special. 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), the eight individual exhaust side pipes, and a non-functional supercharger protruding through the bonnet.
Mad Max 2
In the meantime, the low budget Australian film had gained worldwide success, prompting a sequel, Mad Max 2. 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. As well as modifying the original car, a duplicate car was also put together for Mad Max 2.
When eventually the story required for the car to be destroyed by rolling down a ditch and then blown up, a duplicate car was used, leaving the original car. The car was rescued and restored somewhat, having a new nose cone fitted but retaining the fuel tanks from Mad Max 2. It was shown widely in Australia before being sold and shipped to the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in England, where is stayed until its closure in 2011. It is now located in the Dezer Car Museum in Miami Florida, USA.
Mad Max 4: Fury Road
The original Pursuit Special will appear in the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road film, set to be released in 2015. Since it was confirmed that the film takes place before Road Warrior, it will bear more resemblance to the Pursuit Special from the original film, rather than the one from Road Warrior, and it will be featured and used in almost all the stunts during the whole film, unlike it's predecessors. There was also a rumor that the car would be stripped off paint or repainted silver, but this has been denied.
- Mad Max Movies – The most comprehensive Mad Max site online. Includes extensive information on the vehicles used in all three movies.
- Mad Max Replica Stats – Displays a comprehensive list of all known Mad Max Replicas in the world.
- MadMaxCar.com – An extensive look into a Mad Max Pursuit Special replica project that spanned nearly 5 years.
- Mad Max Online – Home to the original Mad Max movie, maintained by members of the cast and crew.
- Dezer museum - Home of the original Pursuit Special
- Mad Max Photo Archive - Discussion of the two types of Pursuit Specials seen in "Mad Max," including a script excerpt.