|“||"It's one of our V8s. Pursuit Special on Methane! Very toey!"||”|
The vehicle is a 1972 Holden Monaro HQ, base model. It was originally purchased in mint condition from an elderly couple. The vehicle needed to appear damaged so the production crew drove it recklessly around Melbourne area, grinding it against guard rails to give it a desired look.
The car was a straight 6 cylinder with a 4 speed manual. The white indicators and parking lights in the front bumper bar make it a 1972 model built between mid-1972 and December 1972 (starting from January 1973 cars were required to have amber indicators. The trim appears to be Antique Brown (code 19X).
Nightrider's Monaro was modified to give it a weathered Pursuit Special look by adding in MFP logos on the sides, a red MFP outline on the boot, a bonnet scoop and a damaged body. The wheels appear to be the same as the ones on Max's Yellow Interceptor, i.e. chrome Sunraysia also seen on the factory stock Ford Falcon XB GT. The front spoiler is the same one as seen on the yellow pursuit cars, which does not fit as it's been designed for XB Falcon only. The front spoiler shows signs of being fixed with duct tape. The rear spoiler appears to be the same as on Bob Jane's old Holden touring car. The rear exhaust is custom. The bonnet sports a shortened Camaro cowl with a custom letterbox top. Inside the cabin there is an MFP standard issue radio and a blue police light. The vehicle itself is very briefly seen later in the movie with an MFP light bar on the roof in the garage scene.
Appearance on screen
The vehicle is first seen driven by Crawford "Nightrider" Montizano in the opening scenes of Mad Max. It is revealed that Nightrider killed a police officer, escaped custody, took a female passenger and stole the vehicle in Sun City. Sarse and Scuttle were chasing him ever since as they were approaching the population. Roop and Charlie unsuccessfully attempt to stop the Nightrider, but eventually continue pursuit along with Goose and later Max. After all of the MFP officers are eliminated from pursuit except Max, the Nightrider is chased down and crashes in a fiery explosion. The same vehicle later makes a candid appearance in the MFP garage with a lightbar on the roof.
In the final scenes of the chase the vehicle is seen driving past a wreckage at a high speed and presumably crashes into even more disabled vehicles on the road. The stunt itself was problematic to film. First off, the vehicle had to have its engine removed and a military grade rocket was installed in the boot to give the vehicle a significant amount of boost required for the crash scene. As it turned out, the booster rocket was too powerful and the car went skidding at very high speed and crashed in result. The exhaust from the rocket and the lack of engine are clearly visible in the film.
The stunt was deemed a failure so as a last ditch attempt, the makers of the movie decided to film the vehicle being pulled backwards by a cable into a pile of vehicles and blow up the remains. Acquired footage was cleverly edited together and ultimately used in the film.