• West Coast Customs get inspiration from the new Mad Max video game
  • Max's car, Magnum Opus, is going from virtual reality to real life, spiked wheels and all
  • Welcome to the Thunderdome; it looks like we do need another hero

At the West Coast Customs (WCC) workshop, they're making a machine that can be used either as a weapon or to outrun the quickest psychopathic villain. The machine is called Magnum Opus, and technically it belongs to Mad Max, titular hero of the film and video game.

For those who don't know, Mad Max is a former policeman who has survived an apocalyptic event and now has to run the gauntlet of crazy murderous gangs roaming a harsh wasteland where gasoline is hard to find, but eyeliner and hair product is still readily accessible. And that's just the guys.

Cars are the key to survival in this lawless, merciless environment. That's why WCC is equipping its Magnum Opus with a heavy-duty grille/battering ram, armor plating, toughened suspension parts, a nitrous-boosted engine, all-terrain tires, wheels that can shred other people's tires (or anything else that's vulnerable) and a roof-mounted sniper gun. In theory, this firearm is a long-range, high-caliber, armor-piercing piece of deadliness.

Sadly, the blown Aussie Ford Falcon is gone. The new car, however, keeps the original's Ford roots and supercharged V8. The body is from a Ford Pinto, grafted onto the base of a Ford F-150 pickup. A supercharged small-block V8 engine makes 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, enabling a sprint from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 6.37 seconds. Top speed is just 75 mph, but that probably feels plenty fast when barreling over the barren landscape that Mad Max inhabits, which is also when the 10 inches of wheel travel come in handy. These specifications are quoted by West Coast Customs.

The first two episodes of Inside West Coast Customs featuring this build were broadcast on April 27 and 29, 2014 on Fox Sports 2, but these cable programs tend to get repeated a lot. The video game is scheduled for some time in 2015 on PlayStation and Xbox platforms. The character building the digital Magnum Opus in the game is a "gifted yet peculiar" mechanic called Chumbucket. You've been warned.

The weird thing is, the metal-and-rubber Magnum Opus has a PS4 console in the cabin, so it's possible to play Mad Max while sitting in his actual car. Caution: This might lead to you being trapped inside a video game. Hope you're wearing eyeliner.

What it means to you: More treasure for Mad Max fans. Otherwise, it's all bad, dirty, harmful fun.

author photo

Colin Ryan has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

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