Emerging from the cinematic Outback in 1977, George Miller's low-budget flick "Mad Max" could have met the same limited viewership as a host of biker movies extending back into the 1950's... but it clicked for a number of reasons.
Sure, Mel Gibson stared as disenchanted hero Max Rockatansky, but he was nowhere near the superstardom he later enjoyed. Gibson’s luck was to be surrounded by seasoned Australian character actors such as “Toecutter” Hugh Keays-Byrne who had “cut” his teeth on another cult classic Ozzie bike film, Stone, plus the hoard of hot-rodded bikes and cars that shared space on – and often dominated - the screen.
The Z1000 based MFP patrol bike of Jim “Goose” Rains is one such example. With its high mounted fairing, slash cut open pipes and huge box-like tail, the MFP was custom-built by La Parisienne in Melbourne specifically for the movie, with inspiration taken from the Bol D’Or-style endurance racers of the time.
While Max himself only drives a pursuit car in the film, the screen time for two wheels is immense, including a high-speed scene filmed by a pillion holding a full-sized cinematic camera featuring Jim Goose. And for the eagled eyed, try to spot the Laverda that is seen briefly during the film.
A whole industry has grown up to offer parts for MFP replicas that is especially vibrant in Japan. This particular bike however is a replica made by Australian enthusiast Scott and based and is based on a 1978 Kawasaki Z1000. Let’s hope he checks his rear axle each time he rides – watch the film and you will know why…. “see you on the road scag!”
issued: Thursday, November 24, 2022
updated: Thursday, November 24, 2022
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