Five years on:
The Nomadic Pursuit Special.
After the defection of Max and the Interceptor very little was known about the last pursuit special Interceptor ever built. However approximately 5 years after his defection from the MFP Max wandered into an established and peaceful new-society out camp. Max was looking for supplies and fuel. One of the mechanics’ at this camp recognized the vehicle as a former Police pursuit special. In fact he had just over 5 years earlier seen the in very same pursuit special Interceptor during his time pumping fuel and servicing vehicles at a remote fuel depot.
So this Mechanic had pumped fuel into the Interceptor when Max and the Interceptor were in the process of wandering away from the old world. Max was in fact defecting from the remains of the MFP his life and mainstream society. Being a lifelong car fan the mechanic was now working as an equipment maintenance mechanic (and sometime vehicle mechanic) at the out-station. The “Out stations” were mostly groups of people who had come together in order to structure a small society. In a world gone insane there was considerable value in a group banding together for the essentials of protection and communal assistance with the crops and fortifications. For the most part these “out-stations” were entirely subsistence in nature as this was the only way to discourage any marauding tribes from bothering them. If a raiding party did arrive they stole only food and water, apart from the well hidden women and young girls, food and water was all that was available. However raids were not much of a problem. Most of the warrior tribes looked only for fuel and machines, so they had moved into the forbidden zone’s of the old cities and into the wastelands of the interior. The more fertile land of the outstations and the meager produce of the people offered little that they required. This out station was typical of many, a central fortification, crude weapons of defense, water and crops close by. The only thing that set it apart was that it was on the fringe of the wastelands and so ever now and then vehicles passed through heading toward an uncertain future or to carry in items for expected trade.
When the Interceptor rumbled into town the mechanic had the presence of mind to record as much information as he could. This mechanic had been keeping a diary dedicated to passing vehicles. So he added to his diary the details of the Pursuit special as it now was. As it happened being a mechanic the author worked along side Max in replacing the rear wheel bearings and changing all the oils. The Interceptor remained with him in his compound over night so his record keeping was quite detailed.
These are his notes.
I knew immediately that this was “HIM”. This was the supposedly insane cop that had years earlier turned renegade following the nomad bikers murdering of his family. This was the man and machine that we had for so long heard about. When the Clan came together around the fires in the darkness, travelers would tell us tales of adventure and of hope. Often there were tales about a black machine and a driver of great courage. With the advanced communication of the old world gone the stories of travelers and drifters were often the only news that we received. We always thought that the tales of the black car and hero driver adventures were just the stories of travelers with to much time to think. We did not know that when we sat around the boarder fires it was in truth from the mouths of witnesses that we heard of him. We heard of him in myth. We heard of him in legend and we heard of him in quiet whisper.
I had long suspected that this was the man/machine combination that I had seen so long ago. For it was perhaps 5 years earlier that a pristine Black on Black Pursuit special Interceptor arrived at my fuel pump. The driver was a young Bronze, a Police officer. At the time I first saw him the young Police officer was far removed from the world. He barely spoke and when he did speak he was both direct and distant. When he emerged from the ink black Interceptor for just long enough for me to see that he was carrying a horrific would to his knee. A blood soaked bandage betrayed the horror and pain that lay beneath. The Police Interceptor that he drove was like none other that I had ever seen, it was a hellish impressive machine. It was a V8 all right and supercharged. I never knew it for sure but it sounded like a big block, so easy to hear was that distinctive guttural note of the big combustion chambers. In the soft gold light of the evening I remember the awesome black machine sat at the fuel pump rocking under the idle of the cam. Its driver so cautious as to not even turn the mighty motor off in order to take on board the fuel. So with the engine still running it drowned the sound of all else around it. It was that deep powerful sound that remained in my ears long after the enormous physical presence of the black on black vehicle had departed toward the unknown waste-land world. In the short time that the vehicle sat next to my fuel pump I had longed to look it over and see what it ran, but the wounded Bronze was in no mood for small talk. As soon as I had filled the tank to the brim he was gone.
Years past and I forgot.
But now that very same machine was to return.
The outlaw team of a leather clad man and a black dusty car came into town late summer on a hot but dark and overcast afternoon. A black nomadic vehicle appeared out of a darkened desert sky like a western gun fighter. Man and machine now a deep menacing rolling rumble of steel and red dust.
And again the awesome machine appeared before me, when the older weather beaten driver emerged from the vehicle wearing a leg iron I knew at once that this was the same man/machine combination.
The leather clad stranger was still a young man, he now looked war torn and was covered with a film of sweat and red dust. As he came closer so strong was my memory of the young bronze and the black on black vehicle that I recognized him easily form the brief encounter of perhaps 5 years earlier. He spoke only when he had something to say, and he requested a location to park and service his vehicle.
I offered him my compound and the use of my workshop and tools, and he accepted. His voice carried no emotion, no sign of friend or otherwise. I offered to assist in the vehicle maintenance and upon seeing my tools and work area he further accepted my offer.
My first impression was that the vehicle was quite dirty. I had previously studied the geology of this country so this vehicles ingrained dirt was to prove useful information for me. I knew to look and scrap away at the back of the fenders and close to the front suspension mounts. Under close inspection I found evidence of not only the red dirt of this area, but also of the gray clay that could only be found on the vast clay pans located more than a 1,000 miles to the north. The clay was a surprising find, however a greater find was to follow, under the wheel arches I found even more amazing evidence of long distance travel. Buried under the red dust and gray clay I discovered a lot of salt, ha ha .. salt. This was jaw dropping amazing! Salt! Somehow this vehicle had been on the endless salt lakes that lay deep in the heart of this country, a isolated flat white world beyond the reach of the nomad bikers and roving desert trash. I knew now that this machine had traveled long and far. This last and lost interceptor had been into the most isolated parts of the land. It had been both too and beyond the wastelands of the north and interior. I have on very rare occasions seen vehicles leave for the wasteland, but I had never before seen one that had returned. I had never even heard tails or legends of a vehicle that had returned.
I was stunned.
This vehicle looked as if it had made such a trip many times (a trip that appeared to kill any who tried).
I resolved to make as many notes as I could on this amazing vehicle.
In basic silhouette the vehicle looked much as I remembered.
The truck lid/cover is now missing, and there are two large fuel tanks in the location of the trunk and extending through the cut away lower sill of the rear window (the rear window is also missing) the interior of the vehicle now has a well built roll cage that doubles as structural support. This structural support is now from the engineering side of things a required structure. Required now as a direct result of the cutting of the bodywork’s steel sill. This is the sill that had extended across under the rear screen between trunk and rear glass. The roll cage bracing extends right into the trunk and it is fixed at each side to the most practical outside points at rear most point of the trunk. The roll bar extends across the roofline behind the driver and is acting as bracing to the driver side of the center tunnel. There is also an extension under the dash area that serves to protect the driver’s feet and lower limbs.
The fuel tanks appear to be a total of approx 300 lt of storage capacity.
The fuel tanks are affixed with a center retaining strap that extends outward over each tank from a center fixing, and this strap is also secured to the trunk floor either side of each tank
The rear spoiler side mounted wing-lets are still intact and in position.
The rear flares are still in position.
The rear wheels have changed, but are still a matched set and are 15 X 10 in construction.
The rear tyers have changed but are still a matched set.
The GT traction bars are still fitted.
Behind the traction bars and affixed to the rear of the vehicles body work I found a simple action activated explosive device. Max defused this device before the fuel cap was opened.
The exhaust system is still intact and operational from 4 outlets per side. The chrome tips are gone and the outer extensions of the exhausts now extend up the body line (these outlets appear to be replaced items).
Rear roof mounted spoiler is still intact and in position.
The bodywork overall is carrying only minor damage.
The front flares are intact, and the front wheels are still as I remembered. Front wheels are still a matched set.
The tiers are miss-matched with a 70 series profile on the passenger’s side and a 60 series profile on the driver’s side.
The custom nose section is still in position. Although the lower air dam section has now been removed, the removal appears to be a result of a deliberate cutting away rather than as a result of an accident. The rectangle head lights are still in position. The light covers are still in position.
The interior of the vehicle has been stripped out. The passenger side seat is missing, and a smaller door mounted carry type of seat is in position. The driver side seat is torn and worn. The door trims are missing. On the driver side door an ammunition belt is attached to the metal and this belt has been positioned to be used as perhaps a secondary strap in order to pull the door closed. There is a smaller piece of leather attached to the top of the door to act as a main door closing strap. The center console that ran down between the two front seats is now missing. The hood lining is torn in sections. The rear seat is missing. A wire mesh shelf is positioned at about the hip line of the vehicle, extending across the interior of the vehicle and running behind the driver. Stores are also carried in this racking. Under the racking where the lower part of the seat would have been is an area used for more storage.
The police light previously mounted on the dash is missing but the bracket (strangely) remains.
An additional gauge has been fitted to record the fuel level in the dual tanks this gauge also has a warning light fitted. The steering wheel is as I remembered.
Engine and drivetrain details:
As I never saw under the hood 5 years ago I can only comment on what I find now.
The engine is a cast iron big block. The iron block is fitted with alloy heads. These all alloy heads are branded Trickflow. The cylinder heads look to be of a high quality construction and have a high clearance rocker covers (an indication of roller rockers). The exhaust is a header type and the large size of the outlets indicates the use of big port cylinder heads. The exhaust headers appear to be in good condition, they look to have been coated with some sort of silver protective finish. The motor is supercharged using a GM 6/71 compressor with a GM cover plate. The supercharger has an optional operation device fitted so it runs a remote air delivery supply and twin fuel systems. The primary non-compressed delivery is through the manifold mounted fuel injection system. This system runs an auxiliary O2 delivery device. The compressed fuel delivery is through a Scott fuel injection system. Activation of the supercharged delivery system trips a solenoid to cut the primary fuel injection circuit’s fuel and O2 delivery. The blower is overdriven. The vehicle has a 4 core radiator and twin thermo fans. The fans are operated as required via a solenoid switch connected to the thermostat. The engine sounded very healthy.
The gear box was a steel plate housing and it was of a very heavy construction it looked to be a custom housing. It ran Ford “toploader” internals. This information I ascertained as the shift pattern (reverse toward driver and back) matched the top loader. The gearbox ran an aftermarket “Speco” linkage system. The shifter still had the red operation button for the activation off the supercharger attached. The supercharger pulley teeth were very clean as was the running surface of the belt. I conclude that the supercharger still functioned. The differential was a Ford 9 inch, running disk brakes. When changing the rear axle bearings I removed and replaced non-standard custom made billet 35 spline axles. The diff center was a Detroit locker. The rear suspension was raised with custom made shackle extensions to allow increased suspension travel. The front suspension was heavy duty and of approx standard ride height. Koni adjustable shocks were fitted both front and rear.
I concluded that this drive train was “bullet proof tough”. In fact my observations suggest that the often presumed to be mythical children’s stories about this car, stories of blinding speed, daring escapes, high adventure, Ha … the campfire stories of the travelers that we had all heard in the out camp, well every thing about the Man and the Machine indicated that all these stories were in fact correct.
Details of maintenance work.
The rear wheel bearings had not failed, but Max indicated that he changed them every 10-12,000 miles.
Depending on just when he found suitable tools. This he said was a precaution to be taken due to the increased load over the bearings caused by the dual enemies of a heavy fuel load and the larger offset of the rear wheel. We checked the tail-shaft universal joints and they were OK. But I noted that he also had spares for this part.
The vehicle carried a lot of spares I could easily see that. A brief inspection found a starter motor, ignition coil, blower belt, various bearings and filters, ball joints, tyers even piston rings and all kinds of on-the-road fix-it parts. Max had engine oil but we used mine, he lubricated both the gearbox and the engine with the same SAE 25/50 oil. The axles were deliberately marked with a line extending the length of the axle. At each bearing change Max inspected the axle to make sure that it had not twisted at all. I did not see any spare axles. Mechanically the vehicle was in very good condition. In fact it was in the best condition of any vehicle that had passed through. I would fully expect that this vehicle would still perform at or very near it’s optimum level. We checked the cooling system and radiator was working well. Max had coolant, and he had spare coolant stored in a heavy plastic container. This has been done so as to prevent rub through of the container as the vehicle traversed rough uneven surfaces. All the storage containers were like this. All were very heavy-duty type, to provide that needed protection in order to prevent the possibility of a road vibration induced rub through of the storage containers. Max checked the steering box, and all the ball joints. Both top ball joints looked in good condition. I believe that they must have been renewed perhaps with-in the last 5,000 miles. Idler arm was good.
Lower ball joints were good. I changed the spark plugs and again we used my stock and Max kept his own stock untouched. Max traded some Opal for the parts and use of the tools. I did not ask for trade but he insisted. I found Max to be quietly spoken, he had good and proven survival instincts and despite no formal training he had learnt much about vehicle mechanics’. He was a very competent mechanic. I consider that he was very intelligent. Although he never extended any sort of human closeness I thought that he was easy to be around.
I had the impression always that this was a man that no longer cared about his life, he was wandering, looking and drifting. I felt that he neither sort out companionship or wanted it. It was like he was frightened to be linked to anything with flesh at all. He only looked at home and truly “human” in the times I saw him with the black car.
Together they were a team. An ink black car, the desert, distance, and always moving on, that was his family now.
After he had maintained his vehicle and picked up supplies he was on his way.
I never saw him again.
But never forgot him either.
Tonight as we share a camp fire the younger children will ask me for stories about the day the leather clad man and ink black machine came in to our camp.
For all time a warrior of the roads.
But the stories kept coming, the legend kept growing … A desert camel traveler came to us three months later telling of a supercharger black car that at over 200 MPH simply out ran the chasing hordes as it headed out into the vast dry salt lakes. The traveler had stood and watched as the black shape with supercharger screaming drove effortlessly away from a pack of vermin cars and bikes.
In time the vermin returned, and black car became a speck in the far distance, then it was gone, lost to the world we knew.
Just where into the wasteland the black car went is pure speculation.
No-one among us knew the extent of the dry lake… an endless horizon of searing heat and blinding white.
We all wondered if another civilization, the promised land, still might exist beyond the flat white land.
“Death defying, mutilated armies scatter the earth,
Crawling out of dirty holes, their morals, their morals disappear”.
From the rock group “Yes” 1971
Below is my recording sheet.
Identification sheet: Former Pursuit Special Interceptor
Ford cast iron Big Block.
Alloy custom cylinder heads
Single plane WEIAND as GM 6/71 adaptor
Alloy 4 core running twin thematic Ford electric fans.
Finned profile 7 lt capacity
Ford 9 inch centred Detroit locker
Billet 35 spline
Ford XB GT
G/M 6-71 with GM front plate
Application optional: engaged via manual override switching.
Fuel Injection : Controlled by Scott injection
Dual long range tanks total capacity approx 90-100 gallons
Fuel delivery "A"
8 X injectors manifold mounted & solenoid activated remote O2 delivery
Fuel delivery "B"
Enhanced compression via: 6-71 Supercharger and fuel via Scott injection
Coated tuned headers (4 into 1)
Exhaust System Routing
2 X 4 into 1 split at collector and 2nd split at muffler exiting as 8 pipes
Max Power compliance:
Max Speed quoted
Max speed recorded
4 speed "bull nose" Ford top loader. Custom steel box replacing casting.
Speco-Thomas after market
Heavy duty "Pedders" STD GT ride height, Koni adjustable shocks.
Ford GT, running custom lifter bar suspension, and 2X extra leaves..
Custom cast, custom off-set.
Custom cast, custom off-set.
Twin piston with 11 inch Disk
Unknown 50 series
Unknown 60 and 70 series.
Ford XB coupe, Structurally enhanced with internal roll cage
Body modifications front
Custom Arcadiplane fibreglass nose section in permanent situ
Body modifications roof
Single wing rear mounted toward rear in situ as a permanent fixing
Body modifications trunk/rear
Rear spoiler mounted in situ as a permanent fixing
Body modifications F/arch's
Fender extensions (incorporated as body part)
Body modifications R/arch's
Fender extensions (incorporated as body part)
Ford XB GT airflow flutes & mods to suit GM 6/71 supercharger fitting
Vehicle “worst case or capture” protection.
Explosive device activated by a trigger system attached to both the caps of the fuel storage cells