Diamonds Are Forever

Featuring: The famous red '71 Mustang Mach1

© Mike Alameda, Wolfgang Kohrn 2001-2010

This is Mike Alamedas red 71 Mach1 that is most probably the only 429ci powered reference car used in the famous movie.

I have a very personal relation to this car, as it was my fathers dreamcar back in 1971. Actually he bought a red 1971 302 Mach1 and had it shipped over to Europe.

When the movie finally came into the german theatres he used to cruise with us kids up front at the theatres entrance putting the pedal to the floor and leaving the spectators with open mouth in the rear mirrors. We enjoyed that very much. Unfortunately my father died one year later and we had to sell the car.
I was really fortunate that Mike contacted me and allowed be to use his story on my website. So read on.

The Movie

There are a lot of websites already out there in cyberspace that cover most of the details about The Movie of 'Diamonds are Forever'.

The actual filming started on 5th. of April 1971 and ended on the 14th. of August, the final day of Sean Connerys contract. It first went into the movies on December 17th, 1971, which is important for us Mustang enthusiasts, as at that time the 72 model was already out for some months.
The Ian Fleming Foundation has collected a lot of this information on their website. Check out the link section later.

Paul Newitt, editor of Mustang Monthly has spent a lot of time in researching the history of Mike Alamedas car and the Mustangs used in the movie. An article was published by Paul in MM in 1998.

The Actors

The Car - 1971 Mustang Mach 1, 429 Cobra Jet Ram Air

Others: James Bond - (Sir) Sean Connery
Tiffany Case - Jill St. John
Charles Grey - Stavro Blofeld
Lana Wood - Plenty o' Toole
Jimmy Dean - Willard Whyte
Putter Smith - Mr. Kidd
Bruce Glover - Mr. Wint

The Mustangs

Four 302 Mach1 were used to perform the famous stunt

One 429 Mach1 was used for some of the Las Vegas strip driving

Based on research by Mike Alameda and Lois Eminger at least 6 Mach 1 Mustangs were sent to the Las Vegas Convention Center for use in the movie. People that were part of the film staff remembered that 'several' Mustangs were used, most of them 302s, 1 351 and 1 429 powered versions. At least 4 of the 302s were put on their roofs by an unskilled stunt driver during the 2-wheel-alley stunt.
The stunt filming took over some months due to unprofessional work performed the first time. Finally Carey Loftin (the same stunt director as for BULLITT) decided to get the 2 wheel stunt done.

"I talked to Carey Loftin back in '92-' 93 and he drove my Mach for some of the harder stunts but the man who did the alley stunt was "Buzz Bundy" who was at the time, doing a rolling car stunt show with all Ford cars called "Tournament of Thrills." After Everett Creach, the stunt driver had rolled several of the 302 Machs on their roofs damaging them beyond repair, they called in Buzz to do the stunt. He is to have credit for this stunt. No one else could do this or set the car up correctly.

My car was principally driven by a look a like stunt driver of Sean Connery name of Dick Butler who was directed by Guy Hamilton and Paul Baxley. I spoke to both directors and Butler during my research and they advised that the Mustang they needed to do all of the LV downtown high speed and high torque stuff had to have the biggest engine Ford could put in the Mustang body style at that time. When I talked to Paul Baxley, the film stunt coordinator/director, he advised me that they needed a Mustang with a much more powerful engine in it to do the back-up, 180 degree hard-brake-spin around which is right in the beginning of the chase scene as the sheriff approaches the Mach 1. Enter the 429CJ.. My car.

My car was used for all the downtown driving. The only other two cars used and seen in the film were the alley car I have mentioned earlier and one of the wrecked-roofed 302's. This wrecked 302 Mach was only used to go up and over the car carrier truck in the parking lot chase scene. After that, the 302 was crushed because it was damaged beyond repair. That was it.

During the repeated trials and various camera settings during the period and two different stunt teams performing the stunt in the LA Universal studios and in Las Vegas later, something was overlooked. In the film scenes used later, the car went into the narrow pedestrian gap between the houses on the right hand wheels (in the studios) and came out the other side (in Las Vegas) driving on the left hand wheels. A mistake from the french stunt team that did the work in Las Vegas. If you watch again this scene, you will notice that a close-up sequence was put between those two takes, where the car actually flips from top to down. Don't say you ever noticed that unless you saw the DVD version."

Read on:

Mike Alameda - The Expert

Disclaimer: Some information on these pages has either been directly or indirectly taken from the James Bond movies, copyright United Artists Corp./Eon Productions/Danjaq Inc. All copyrights are held by their respective companies. All information on these pages is for personal viewing only. Use of information on these pages for personal and/or commercial gain is strictly prohibited.

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