Harpoon Car 8

The Harpoon Car

The Harpoon Car (described in the script as Harpoon Vehicle) is a custom vehicle driven by Imperial Guards and mounted by Ironbar Bassey in the final chase scenes of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

Technical spec. Edit

Very little is known about the donor vehicle for this buggy, one can only suspect a chassis of a Ford F-series or Toyota Land Cruiser was used much like with many other vehicles from Auntie Entity's armada. The body was originally made of exhaust pipe tubing, but after filming and testing at the Bartertown site the vehicle was shipped to Coober Peddy where it underwent futher modifications that made the vehicle much safer. Fake roll bars were replaced with real heavy-duty roll cages.[1] The vehicle is a right hand drive. Much like with other 'junkmobiles' this vehicle is equipped with a wide assortment of tubing and gas tanks (4 in total) to give the impression of being powered by methane. There are two headlights in the front, one mounted on the drivers side and another, smaller one installed in the center. The vehicle is a two-seater with an additional space for the harpoon gunner in the back of the vehicle. The side exhaust pipes are going upwards at an angle and they are wrapped in some sort of protective material.

A duplicate car was built in just two days for the stunt in which the car is rammed by the train-truck. That vehicle was made partially of wood, the engine was made of a cardboard box, each section of the car was loose to give the impression of complete disintegration upon impact.

Appearances on screen Edit

The vehicle first makes a brief appearance in the background during the destruction of Bartertown. It is later seen driving down the cliff along with the rest of Auntie's armada vehicles in pursuit of the train-truck. After the armada catches up with the train-truck, Ironbar jumps onto the Harpoon Car and mounts the harpoon. The car pulls up next to the train-truck and fires the harpoon into the driver's door, penetrating the driver's leg. As Ironbar is reloading the harpoon gun, Max in the Cow Car pushes the Harpoon Car onto the tracks. The Harpoon Car is then rammed and destroyed by the train-truck, with Ironbar Bassey still alive holding onto the front of the truck.

Appearances off screen Edit

The duplicate stunt car was destroyed on impact whereas the actual driving vehicle was kept in storage for nine years along with other Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome vehicles until it was ordered to be destroyed by the studio.

The stunt Edit

A duplicate Harpoon Car was made for the explosive stunt. The duplicate car was placed on the only railroad going through the center of Australia. As the crew was waiting for the right conditions, they were informed that a train was coming so the stunt had to be called off. The stunt car was lifted off the tracks, the train-truck had to back up to the nearest intersection to get out of the way, but George Miller did not miss that opportunity to at least test the explosives to see what they looked like. The stunt was completed the next day.[2]

Trivia Edit

  • In the moment of the explosion of the stunt car, the actual car can be seen driving past the camera very briefly. The same car later makes multiple appearances in the background of the chasing armada, despite being destroyed by the train-truck

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. Prevue Magazine 07, 1985
  2. The Making Of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

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