MORE than 500 Mad Max enthusiasts are expected to descend on Clunes next weekend to mark 37 years since the cult classic was filmed in the town.
Fans from as far as Japan will are expected to venture to the Clunes Showgrounds on January 30 for an event which will feature members of the original cast including Vince Gil, who played Nightrider in the original film, as well as motorcycle stuntman Terry Gibson.
Organised by the Freedom Riders motorcycle club, the event aims to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Foundation, after Mr Gil’s wife recently fell ill with the condition.
Event organiser and associate member of the Freedom Riders Brett Burge said what started out as an idea for a small gathering had snowballed into a massive event.
“In March last year (the Freedom Riders) went to a Mad Max event in Silverton.
“I said ‘how about we do an event in Clunes’ and since then it’s exploded.”
The event will feature 19 replica vehicles from the 1979 original, the largest collective of replica cars since the film was made.
The vehicles will be coming from around the country, with two travelling from as far as Darwin.
A motorcycle tour around the various sites where the film was shot will also take place on the Saturday, with 500 motorcycles expected to hit the road.
Locals from around the region are also encouraged to come and view the display of motorcycles and replica vehicles for $10, which will go towards the MS foundation.
Mr Burge said he hoped the fundraising event would help to change the public's perception of motorcycle clubs and riders in general.
“We just want the Freedom Rider name not to be mixed up with the media image of motorcycle gangs. Some of us look a bit rough but we’re big teddy bears.”
A number of scenes in the Mel Gibson classic were filmed in Clunes in the late 1970’s.
The small town has also featured in a number of other films over the years, including the 2003 Heath Ledger film Ned Kelly.
In September 2015 the town also provided the set for the filming of the ABC mini-series Tomorrow, When The War Began, based on the John Marsden novels.
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