Another thing Miller is famous for is his desire to deliver real content: he wanted to use as little CGI as possible in post-editing, so he relied mostly on practical effects. What this means is that all stunts were real, whether they showed cars ramming into each other at great speeds or the War Boys hanging out of monstrous contraptions shouting “Witness me!”
He also insisted on actually building all the cars that appeared in the film and, according to a recent video from Mad Max Bible, many that never even made it on set. Production designer Colin Gibson oversaw all the builds.
One such example is the Gigahorse, which is driven by Immortan Joe himself, with son Rictus as the rear passenger. The Gigahorse packs two Cadillac Coupe DeVilles on top of each other, sitting on a custom chassis with 70-inch (178 cm) rear tractor tires on custom rims. It was actually powered by a massive V16, thanks to twin Chevrolet 502Cid Big Block V8s with twin superchargers, generating 1,200 hp.
Gibson claimed top speed of this thing was of about 125 kph (77 mph) but in reality, it never went faster than 95 kph (60 mph). Some studio trickery was needed to make it look as if it was way faster than it was in reality.
The only hot rod that wasn’t built specifically for Fury Road was Cranky Frank. It was already pretty famous back home in Australia when producers contracted the builders, and it was a neat addition to the family because of its unique looks.
Build with the body of a Holden FX / FJ Utility and a Chevrolet V8 283CI engine with supercharger, Cranky Frank was one of the 15 lucky vehicles to have survived the shoot. This was no mere coincidence, either. This hot rod was such a nightmare to be driven that no stuntman would come near it: you could only drive it blind, because the driver’s seat was in the center and the only view through the narrowed windshield was that of the supercharger.
The mechanics on set made sure to keep it going for the entire duration of the shoot, and were among those who cheered when it was crushed to pieces at the end of it.
The Gigglehorse (Lysdexia) was among the vehicles that didn’t even make it in the film. Build with a Chevy 1934 body, on a buggy chassis and with a motorbike engine installed backwards, it kept rolling over. It was never allowed on set for this very reason.
Mad Max: Fury Road is an extraordinary film that does a lot of things, but to car enthusiasts, it delivers awesome automotive, if post-apocalyptic, content. Aside from its feminist, egalitarian message and its filmmaking merits, it shows a good, proper look at the culture of hot rods.