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My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 20 Oct 2013 00:14
by McShagger510
I haven't been doing too much Datsun stuff lately, and here's why.....

A few of the local peeps know about this car and how I came into owning it, but I would like to share my story with you all.

This all started out around this time last year when I was heading home from work. I happened to go a different route because I needed to head over to Lordco (local auto parts chain) when something caught my eye. As I got closer, I could not believe what I was seeing. At first I thought it was a Mustang 2 all painted up like one of the Mad Max police cars, but no! The car was parked just off the road, next to the sidewalk, facing the opposite direction. Lo and behold the steering wheel was on the right side! Australian Falcon! WOW! I've only seen one once at the Langley Car Show some years ago (more on this later). I was familiar of where the car was parked as it's a small towing yard with a couple of flat decks and a hook truck. I pulled off on a side street to check it out and take a few pictures.

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Being a huge fan of the Mad Max series since I was a little kid AND to present day, I HAD to find out what was going on with this car. I tried calling the number on the side of the tow truck but no answer. Something just wasn't right, front spoiler all busted up on the passenger seat, window down with the keys in the ignition - right beside the sidewalk. Weird.

I tried the number the next day at coffee break and someone answered. The guy informed me the car was going to the scrapper as soon as his truck was back from the shop. He gave me the run-down of how he got ahold it. This dude at works in the movie industry called him up for a scrap car pick up. He shows up, collects the car and ALL the customs paperwork and signed a transfer form as well. The car then sits out in front of his house/tow yard for a couple of days while his truck is getting fixed. The tow dude tells me his truck comes back in an hour and a half and the car would be gone then.
"Would you sell it?" was my next question.
"Sure, I'll sell it for my scrap price - $350 bucks". he says.
A million things go though my head: where would I put it, what about all the other freakin' projects on the go, sketchy paperwork, my wife ... :?
Suddenly the voice of the Toecutter is in my head ....... "This is a threshold moment Johnny - step though!"
"I'll take it!" I told him.
I headed over to their place after work to exchange money and check out the paperwork. It all looked good, last owners signature matched on all the documents. I called Jason ahead of time to store the car at his storage yard and these guys towed it over for me. Great to have friends to help you out in times of need!

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Next up was getting it running. The gas tank was bone dry and the battery was toast. Fresh gas and a new battery - VAROOM! Although the rad was shot, I did take it around the storage yard a bit before it started steaming. Robyn who works at the yard told me about a Craigslist ad selling this exact call for $7000! :shock:

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At this rate I have no idea if the car is stolen or what so I get ahold of the previous owner both though the Craiglist ad and an old number on one of the customs documents.
"I take it you must have my car" he says
Turns out scrapping the car was he intention because he was pressed for time by his apartment manger - either the car goes or you go. He had the car since 2006 then a shop really took him for a ride and never got it though inspection. It bounced around a few places but then ended up at his downtown apartment in the underground parking for years. I explained to him that I am a big fan of the movie and couldn't let the car get crushed. Luckily for me he was very pleased the Falcon was going to a car guy and a Mad Max fan that would try and get it on the road. Whew! That was a relief! We met up a few weeks later at a pub downtown so he could sign over a bill of sale to me. Turns out he has worked with my wife before on a film shoot. Ha Ha.

After searching on Craigslist, I found another cheap garage to rent out that is the perfect size for the Big Bopper. The resto commences!
Scored a few items from the 'List - Torino air cleaner and rad with shroud. Turns out the rad needed work but the rad shop had one brand new in the box for pretty much the same price as the repair. Byron sandblasted the air cleaner for me and I sprayed-bombed it Ford blue. The decal is off Ebay. The Torino engine compartment is bigger so the snorkel is a lot longer. I decided to shorten it up by removing a section. I drilled out the spot welds, rewelded it and then painted it. Good to go.

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Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 20 Oct 2013 10:46
by McShagger510
After scouring the interwebz, I found 'my' car on YouTube alongside Max's 'Black on Black' machine. In the YouTube description it mentions the name of the guy that owned the car at that time. I confirmed this with the previous owner up here and he was the guy he purchased it from. It also turns out that these two cars came up from Portland and were on display at the Langley Car Show around 2003 - the only other time I've ever seen an Australian Ford Falcon. Crazy to think that I would end up with that 'Big Bopper' some ten years later!

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Here's a bunch of movie stills form the film.

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Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 20 Oct 2013 11:02
by okayfine
That's awesome. Awesome car, awesome story, awesome score. $350?! Heck, even $7000, to drive that around my staid neighborhood? :lol:

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 20 Oct 2013 12:17
by rnorrish
Ha! It drives around my neighbourhood!
Finally saw it in person the other day, sitting at a light on Fraser.

Looks great, James!

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 20 Oct 2013 14:44
by tr6racer21
That is Nectar Bronz

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 20 Oct 2013 19:05
by McShagger510
Thanks y'all. Its pretty funny driving around in this thing as it gets TONS of attention. So far cops love it! :lol:

James

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 20 Oct 2013 19:41
by McShagger510
The 14" wheels were next up to get swapped out for some 15"ers. Its crazy to thing that even as a kid watching this movie I thought the wheels looked too small on this car. Now that I have my own Big Bopper, I can finally build it how it should be - bigger wider tires to fill up those large flares. Hell Yeah!

The rims were easy to find though my buddies at OK Tire in Vancouver. Rim size is 15 x 7 with a '0' offset and cost about $380 for the set. Airstrip Sandblasting in Richmond took care of removing the original paint then I just primed and bombed them yellow. Tires came from a sorta sketchy used tire dealer off Craigslist - fronts: 235/60/15 and rears: 265/50/15 with raised white letters - $150 for all. Stoked! Now I know what you're thinking, 50 series in the the back and 60 series in the front? WTF? I took a gamble the extra 265 width would pop the tire up a bit. I scrubbed the heck out of those sidewalls with SOS pads to bring up the white lettering. My good friend Mopar Rob has his own Coats tire machine and digital tire balancer so once the paint was good and dry we mounted 'em up.

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Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 22:42
by McShagger510
So with the wider wheels the rear arches needed to be opened up. At first I tried the 'ol baseball bat roll but all that did was expose nasty rust and bondo. Oh well, time to start cutting! I gave myself a weekend to tackle this little task. I figured out how much to cut leaving the inner longer than the outer and bent up a beefy pipe for the arch. Hammered and tack welded the quarter to the pipe and then filled in between the tack welds with MOAR weld. Next up I ground and sanded everything somewhat smooth then slapped some black paint on both the inner and the outer of the quarter panels. While waiting for the paint to dry, I removed the drums to have a look. Well what a nice treat - all new brakes!! With the flares bolted back on it was time to see how well those 265 wide tires will fit back there. All good with a little room to spare. Phew!

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Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 23:23
by McShagger510
Inspection time was approaching and a few more things needed attention. One 'pain in the ass' job was the heater blower motor. Sometimes works sometimes not, but always quite weak. After wrestling the heater core system out from under the dash and disassembling the motor I found the problem. The brushes, for some damn reason, didn't line up with the commutator anymore. I ended up pressing the whole armature assembly back into position on the main shaft. Tested and it works good. Reassembled the heater core system and then reinstalled back under the dash. Once the air gaps and leaks were snugged & plugged, it blows OK (a stock 510 is a bit better :lol: ).

Sterling at OK Tire on Kingsway did my provincial vehicle inspection and it only took a couple of hours. Both Sterling and his cousin Scott, who works the front counter, were a great help in getting my car through. I can't thank them enough! It was awesome to hear Scott say "It passed with flying colours James." Phew, what a relief!!

Chris from English Bay Towing handled the tow there and back, super professional as always.


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Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 23 Oct 2013 01:36
by TUF510
WOW, 80's flashback.
Good to see it getting the attention it deserves.

Car heaters are barely used here in Aus. A Canadian friend living in Sydney
says we have cool summer and hot summer & definitely no Winter

Keep up the good work mate

Peter

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 23 Oct 2013 16:52
by McShagger510
Thanks Peter! :mrgreen:

James

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 24 Oct 2013 12:21
by icehouse
Cool to see all the pictures! I remember when you sent me the email about this car. I was like "doesn't James know this isn't something you joke about!" I totally didn't believe you got the car! hahahaha

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 24 Oct 2013 20:25
by McShagger510
icehouse wrote: I was like "doesn't James know this isn't something you joke about!" I totally didn't believe you got the car! hahahaha
Ha Ha, that was funny, it took some convincing didn't it. To be honest I wouldn't believe anyone if they told me either! :shock: :D

James

Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 11:00
by McShagger510
All this time working on the car and I couldn't put the car into my name until the provincial safety was done. So with the car passing inspection, the next hurtle was the paperwork. Luckily the previous owner imported the car into Canada correctly AND I had all the paperwork to prove it. Raffy, at Admiral Insurance on Oak & W41, is someone I've been dealing with for years and always comes through so it was a breeze doing this stuff. WOW! It was like a huge weight lifted off me when I walked out of his office with the 'Big Bopper' paperwork, in my name, and plates ta boot! Hells Yeah!

I did put a goal for myself to have this car to be ready for the Ladner Car & Quilt Show. This is where I grew up so it would fun to see old friends and show off my new ride. So with the inspection done on Wednesday, paperwork done on Thursday and the show on Sunday this unfortunately didn't leave me enough time to finish repairing the front spoiler. Keith and I meet up Sunday morning at the plant and headed out to Ladner. I removed my cop light covers before we left and flicked on the overheads while we went through the Deas Tunnel. Ha Ha!!

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Re: My Mad Max 'Big Bopper' Aussie Falcon XB *PIC HEAVY*

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 13:38
by butters68
james, thats awsome the big bopper 's paper work is taken care of and good to go, enjoy it .[cheers mate :wink: ]