Diamonds Are Forever

Featuring: The famous red '71 Mustang Mach1

© Mike Alameda, Wolfgang Kohrn 2001-20
21 (20 years Bond-Ponysite and 50 Years Diamonds are Forever)
Time for a relaunch

This is Mike Alamedas red 71 Mach1 429 cui that is most probably the only big block powered reference car used in the famous movie. But there is more to the story that turned up in the past 20 years. Stay tuned. As of 2021 we try to put everything in the proper perspective.

I have a very personal relation to this car, as the Diamond Mach 1 was my fathers dreamcar back in 1971. Actually he bought a red 1971 302 Mach1 through a colleague working there and had it shipped over to Europe. The car was sourced at Landis Ford in North Brunswick. The VIN was in the 1F05F15.. range. But let's skip this one for now...just one more thing about the movie link in my brain.

When the movie finally came into the german theatres in late December 1971 my father used to cruise with us kids up front at the local Astrid Nielsen theatre 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. We haven't been able to trace it further. Last information was that it was scrapped.
So I was really fortunate that Mike Alameda contacted me in 2000 and allowed me to publish his story on my website. We have been in touch ever since through the decades and he is still waiting for someone who prooves him that his car wasn't the real deal and that another VIN is the right 429 car used in the movie.....just step forward with the clear evidence of a paper

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'. We do not intend to compete with them.

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 movie theatres actually on December 14th in Munich, Germany, some sites forget this and claim it was on December 17th, 1971. There are only a few pics around from the theatre in Munich and there was very little promotion locally obviously, just some airport photos of proms are available.
At that time the 72 Mustang model was already out for some months.

The Ian Fleming Foundation has collected a lot of the typical Bond movie 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, which is still a good reference.

The Actors

The Hero Car - 1971 Mustang Mach 1, 429 Cobra Jet  - no Ram Air
A Bright Red (Code 3) exterior paint
A Body code 05 for the Mach 1 Sportsroof
An Interior code of 5E for the Vermillion variant

The Alley Car - 1971 Mustang Mach 1, 351 M-code and a few that were tilted during stunt team exercices

The other bright red Movie Mustangs - at least 4 302cui equipped F-code Mach1

Just 1310 bright red/Vermillion Mach 1 were made.

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, but the driver failed. The stunt was finally done with a 351 M-code Mach 1 1F05M1609338 as is confirmed meanwhile.

One 429 Mach1 at least was used for some of the Las Vegas strip driving. In one of the scenes it is visible with a red colored roll cage.

There are some VINs that are mentioned with the research of Lois Eminger and finally almost 20 years later by Kevin Marti with the Ford files.
The early August 1970 press cars make sense, because Bond movie cars were typically selected earlier, however some cars fall into the range of possible cars that were available at lcoal dealers. One such car has obviously a special tag in the files.

1F05M160938 was not marked up with a Bond tag, but apparently was chosen for the stuntwork. More on this with individual histories soon.

Based on research by Mike Alameda and Lois Eminger at least 6 Mach 1 Mustangs were sent to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Some are indicated as press loan and have specific codes. The meaning wasn't perfectly interpreted during the time, but further research later on revealed some more details.
To this date however no listing of VINs has turned up from the actual filmworks, nor have cars been properly identified by VIN. Except that Kevin Marti did a research on possible information a few years ago and according to narrations has come up with a few more cars that could be the real deal. The word is not yet out, if there was a success to source any of those cars down to an owner with a car.

So let's go back to what we knew from Mike back then.

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. ( Editor: Other sources speak of max. 12).

From the movie itself, 6 have been sorted by their relevant features visible in the Blueray disc.
These details were not easy to spot from the VHS or later DVD, but eagle-eyed research by In Search of Mustang and Kurt Kaminer have brought up more and more detail in the past years.

Mike reported as of 2000:
"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 place over some months due to unprofessional work performed the first time, when the original selected stunt team was not available. Finally Carey Loftin (the same stunt director as for BULLITT) decided to get the 2 wheel stunt done."

Mike told us more back then: "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 with another Mach 1 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. It became visible when later on another stunt team performed the trick with the other side of the car up, they were simply not able to do it on the same side as Buzz did."

"My Hero 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 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."
This scene was filmed while Sean Connery and Tiffany were in the studio and the car being fixed in a roller cage as was narrated later.

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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