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What Really Happened To The Ford Falcon From Mad Max 2

Mad Max 2" might be the film's official title, but everyone in the United States knows it as "The Road Warrior." It's the motion picture that made Mel Gibson an A-list celebrity who would go on to star in some of Hollywood's biggest action films, most notably the "Lethal Weapon" franchise.

The first time we see Gibson as Mad Max Rockatansky during the opening scenes of the first "Mad Max," he is standing next to his bright yellow, red, and blue striped Main Force Patrol V8 Pursuit car, apparently finishing up some kind of repair. Later, he's more or less bribed to remain on the police force with a bigger, badder, more souped-up version — the black Pursuit Special.

Creators George Miller and Byron Kennedy needed a car that matched the lead character's intensity and settled on the Ford Falcon XB GT. Ford only made this model in Australia, where the Highway Patrol used the XC version of the Falcon as patrol cars.

It had a 351 CID Cleveland V8 under the hood, with a clearly visible Weiand blower sticking above the hood. The funny thing about that supercharger, which got significant screen time, was that it was fake. It sat so far above the air cleaner (for looks) that they couldn't get it to work correctly. They added the chrome quad Zoomie headers, Concorde front end, and roof spoiler to give it some extra toughness.

Max drives off into the proverbial sunset to live another day. Upon the movie's completion, Miller and Kennedy gave the Falcon to Murray Smith, a mechanic and the main stunt driver on set. Murray proceeded to make the car street-legal, including taking off the useless supercharger. He tried selling it but had no takers, which was fortunate for Miller because he went on to use it in "The Road Warrior."

When we see Max and the car again, he now has a dog as his co-pilot, and, in an effort to make the Falcon more apocalypse-friendly, he has since gutted the interior and ripped out the rear trunk area to make room for dual fuel tanks. Anyone who is a fan of the franchise knows that gasoline is a highly prized commodity sought by everyone in the wastelands.

The term "Interceptor" isn't used until the second film, where the car is referred to as "The last of the V8 Interceptors." It's very similar to "the last of the V8s" line from the first film, but not quite the same. At the end of "The Road Warrior," the stunt car was blown up, and supposedly only one original car escaped destruction.

According to Myles Kornblatt, curator of the Miami Auto Museum located inside Dezerland Park Orlando, the car more or less became a grifter, going from owner to owner until Bob Fursenko got a hold of it in the mid-1980s. He replaced the front end, did some minor repairs, repainted the car with a high gloss black lacquer, and sent it on tour through Australia for several years.

After making its way through the Outback, it wound up as part of the Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick, England, in 1992, where it stayed until 2011. That's when the Miami Auto Museum purchased that whole car collection lock, stock, and barrel. Max's Ford Falcon presumably still sits inside Dezerland somewhere today. We say "presumably" because, in February 2020, it was put up for sale. However, the listing on the museum's website is still very much active, but you have to call to get any details.

Apparently, Miller and Kenny blew a considerable chunk of the first film's budget to build what turned out to be one of the most iconic cars in film history. This might explain why many of the extras in "Mad Max" were paid off with beer. Oh well, we'd say that was money well spent!

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