The Mad Max Interceptor
Myths, Legends and Facts
There are a few rumours floating around about the black interceptor, and this page is aimed at trying to set you straight on some of those wayward stories you might have heard. Firstly, before you read any further on this page, you should check out the History of the Interceptor pages, as they detail the entire history of the car, and all of the info there is now pretty much verified. The only info you won't find in there is the various rumours which aren't in fact true, and that's what this page is for.
How many black interceptors were used during filming?
It has been claimed many times, by many people, that there were any number of black interceptors built for Mad Max and Mad Max 2 (Road Warrior). Firstly, I can guarantee you 100% that there was only ever one car built for the first film. Anyone who worked on the first film will tell you straight out that there was only one car. This rumour is basically being put about by people like Planet Hollywood, whose publicity statement about their car claims that they found a "spare", that was just left lying around on some farmers property, when in fact they know anyway that it's just a replica.
For Mad Max 2 a second car was put together. But that's it - one extra, and no more. I've seen photos of the two cars together, and anyone who wants to claim that there were any more than 2 cars is going to have to produce some pretty hard evidence to prove it. As we all know, the second car was absolutely totalled, as seen on screen. There is only one car left now, the original car built for the first film, which is now located at Cars Of The Stars. The wreck of the second car used to be viewable at Broken Hill, but due to various thefts you won't generally find it on public display these days.
What engine modifications were made to the black on black?
There have been several different rumours floating around about the engine used in the car. I can guarantee you that the car has had exactly the same engine in it now that it had in it when it left the factory - a factory standard Cleveland 351 V8 engine (again, check the History for this info).
The supercharger was faked. There were 2 different superchargers used in the first film, simply because they had problems with the first one - the use of the two doesn't mean that one worked and the other didn't, or that there were 2 cars used, or anything liked that - they simply had to change over during filming because of problems with the first unit.
Additionally, when Barry says "sucks nitro" in the garage scene of Mad Max, he is certainly NOT talking about Nitrous Oxide. There was no such system ever hooked to this car, and we don't see any such thing in the film. The only thing he could possibly mean by this is that the car might be fuelled by nitromethane, a liquid fuel which would just go in the tank. This is also alluded to in the opening chase of Mad Max when talking about the car Nightrider stole, a "Pursuit Special on methane, very hot".
Obviously there are still a few claims floating around which contradict the above facts. One of the most confusing I've seen is a letter from Kenneth Kacirek, President of Phase IV Machine, Inc. He has a letter published on page 8 of the February 1987 issue of Popular Hot Rodding, in which he claims that a 455-CID Pontiac engine, built by his company, was in fact used in the car. Unfortunately for Kenneth, we know for sure that this never happened. If anyone wants to try and support this claim further, then feel free to send me photos, shipping documents, and so on to back up your claim. I don't doubt that he might have sent an engine to Australia for some other reason, and with some additional documentation I might be able to track down more info about that. The only thing I can say for certain about his engine at this point is that it was NEVER anywhere near any of the Mad Max films. If you have any further info on this one, please contact me.
Exactly what car is the black on black?
I still hear various rumours about what type of car the interceptor is. Again, check the History page, and then the Customisation page, to find out pretty much everything there is to know. Despite the square headlights, the car was most definitely NOT an XC Falcon. In fact, the guys who built the car say that they didn't even use XC headlights, apparently the ones they used are slightly larger.
The car is also most definitely NOT a Torino. Quite a few people from the US have mentioned this, and it's completely understandable - the body DOES look similar to a Torino, and most people in the US would never have seen enough pictures of XA / XB / XC Australian Falcons to know otherwise. The XB coupe looks like a Torino for good reason - from pictures I've seen, and stories I've heard, Ford Australia did pretty much copy this design, and use it in the XA / XB / XC coupes. The front and rear of the car were copied from other US Ford designs - basically Ford Australia "borrowed" the best bits of various US designs when putting together these cars. Check out the XB vs US Cars page for some additional pictures and information.
For additional info thanks to Dave Boboc and John Barron.