Excited About an Auto Career? Here’s How Some of Your Favourite Big Screen Cars Were Made
Hollywood has had a long love affair with cars. If you’re a car enthusiast, then you probably have your own personal list of favourite big screen vehicles. And while movie cars look great and do crazy stunts on screen, the behind-the-scenes work that went into making them is often just as impressive.
There are, of course, countless fascinating movie cars that we could look at in detail. However, below we’ll take a behind-the-scenes peek at how three very different but very iconic movie vehicles from three different decades were made.
The Original Mad Max Car Is a Frankenstein’s Monster of a Vehicle
Mad Max’s V8 Interceptor, also called the Pursuit Special, can rightly be called one of the most famous movie cars of all time. It’s also one of the strangest. The filmmakers originally wanted Max’s car to be a modified Ford Mustang. The problem was that they only had a $20,000 budget for props, and vehicles and parts for Ford Mustangs in the 1970s in Australia—where Mad Max was filmed—were extremely expensive.
Instead, an Australian-made 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT coupe was used. Like Frankenstein’s monster, however, the final version incorporates elements from many different cars, including a Monza front-end and Holden A9X flares. And while the massive supercharger that’s mounted on the vehicle’s hood looks great, it’s functionally useless and just for show.
Jurassic Park’s Ford Explorers Played Their Part in Many Iconic Movie Scenes
The original 1993 Jurassic Park’s Ford Explorers probably aren’t as loved as the film’s more versatile Jeep Wranglers. However, these tour vehicles certainly featured in more famous scenes, notably one involving a very hungry Tyrannosaurus. In the movie the Ford Explorers run on an electric guided track, but as you may know if you’re pursuing an auto career, Ford Explorers were all gas-powered in the 90s. To make the vehicles seem autonomous and electric, legendary Hollywood vehicle customizer George Barris hid the driver in the trunk of the vehicle.
One of the simplest modifications, however, turned out to be one of the most significant. In the film, the T-rex’s approach is signalled by ripples forming in two cups of water on the dashboard. Steven Spielberg wanted the ripples to form perfect concentric circles, which is easier said than done. Special effects supervisor Michael Lantieri solved the problem by feeding a guitar string through the car and into the ground. A crew member lying underneath the vehicle plucked it, thus creating one of the most memorable scenes in movie history.
Students in Auto Repair Courses Will Love the Mechanics of the Batmobile Tumbler
There have been many memorable versions of the Batmobile, from the classic 1960s kitsch version to Tim Burton’s Art Deco-inspired one. So, production designer Nathan Crowley was under intense pressure to come up with a new and incredible version for 2005’s Batman Begins. His answer was the Tumbler.
Students in auto repair courses will likely be impressed that the Tumbler was actually a completely functional vehicle. While multiple versions were created, director Christopher Nolan wanted a full-size Tumbler that was capable of doing everything the script demanded, like jumps, high-speed chases, and tight turns. That meant just about every element of the car had to be custom-made, from the space frame chassis to the front suspension. While it was powered by a 5.7L 400 hp Chevrolet engine, even the flames shooting out of the jet engine in the back are real thanks to multiple propane tanks. No word, however, on whether the rocket launcher actually worked.
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