Cars in Smash Palace

October 13, 2009

Some may remember my post a while back featuring screen captures of some of the vehicles in “Sleeping Dogs” well, same again but from the NZ film, Smash Palace this time around.  Though Smash Palace was made in 1981, the predominant cars are obviously from the 70′s and earlier in the movie.  The filming took place at Horopito Motors, NZ’s most well known wrecker for the most part due to the part played in the film.  Enough blather, onto the cars.

The opening scene follows an XA Ford Falcon sedan in which the driver appears to grow tired, nod off and crash into a bank, like so;

The main character in the movie (played by Bruno Lawrence) is the owner of the “Junkyard” and is called out in his tow-truck to collect the crash;

Quite the collection of vehicle’s, Ford V8 Tow-truck, HZ Holden Traffic Officer’s Vehicle, Toyota Landcruiser Police Vehicle and the deceased 4.1 powered XA Sedan.

Treasure trove of shiny steel inside one of the many buildings at Smash Palace.  Imagine the thousands of dollars worth of stuff in that one shot alone!  Sad to think.

The XA then meets it’s new home…

The XA meets its new home

Al Shaw (Bruno) is also a race car driver and subsequently has a badass race car in one of the sheds, along with a few other special cars;

Radio Hauraki even gets a plug on there, though their logo reminds me of the Skellerup one…  Hmm, Radio Gumboots?

Ignore Greer Robson and check out the nose on the Falcon ute in the background.  Tough.  Also scope the sweet PYE logo on the kid’s little go-kart.

Either click to enlarge this photo or squint a lot, you’ll see a VW Beetle, the cop’s Landy and some kind of horrific Chevette hatch in the background.

Having a race car in the country means testing it out isn’t the easiest but when you have quiet 80′s roads, you just take it for a spin on them, obviously…  Of course, back in those days once you’d driven onto your own property the police couldn’t touch you.

The traffic officer, he has seen you.. quick.. escape to the gravel!     …wait, what?  You heard me!

Strangely, seeing the car wrestled around on gravel was probably my favourite part of the movie, impressively done.

Some more of Horopito on show.

Of course, whilst I’ve just been looking at the cars involved, the story has gone along the lines of Al’s best friend, a police officer, starting to have relations with his wife (a moaning whinging tart who should have just been told to piss of from the get go) subsequently there’s anger and Al snaps, takes his daughter and goes into the bush to hide.

Using an XW Falcon ute, with a Yamaha AG100 on the back. Class.

Of course once he’s taken his daughter, he has to ditch the tow-truck to throw the police off;

Adios Mr. Henry.

That wouldn’t exactly be a good end to the story though would it.  Things don’t work out in the bush, his daughter gets sick and he goes into town to get some medicine and subsequently gets spotted by the traffic police, a chase ensues!

Skids on!

Not to be outdone by the axle tramping, single spinning Falcon, the HZ joins in the fun;

Then cornered in his own yard, a multitude of emergency vehicles join the scene;

More drama takes place and at the end we get to see this little sucker out in the daylight;

So all in all it’s quite a good movie with plenty to have an ogle at if you’re as automotively inclined as I am.  It’s available on DVD through MagnaPacific and if you’re into NZ films, I would recommend getting it or at least hiring it out for a view.  There’s plenty I’ve missed.

If you’re interested in Horopito Motors a.k.a Smash Palace, you can read up on it at their own website, here;




  • Rhys says:

    Another great NZ movie that I too have in my collection.
    And again this can be found in the cheap bin at the Warehouse, happy hunting.

  • Steve (xsspeed) says:

    Just to add a bit of Trivia:
    Bruno Lawrence was also the founding member of ’70′s band Blerta who had the hit “Dance all around the world” which made number 18 on the APRA list for top 100 NZ songs in the last 75 years in 2001 – Also known as the “Natures Best” Albums

  • Josh says:

    Thats a wicked Song! Quite spinny while influenced. Interesting trivia indeed.
    Keep up these sorts of entries, as it reminds me of sweet movies i need to buy for my own ever-growing 60′s,70′s and Road-movie DVD collection.

  • jarred says:

    ITS rad cause they even bust out bay park race track………..( R.I.P to peter hannah ) few memorys to be had there from my young days
    great movie alright

  • Eliot says:

    “though there logo reminds me of the Skellerup one”

    C’mon old man, you know grammar better than that.

    Tough entry though. Love the HZ doing a brun

  • kyteler says:

    Ah, cheers man. I usually check on the fly. I should probably look to do a check once I’m finished too.

    Brun, hard.

  • JohnnyB (waimaks) says:

    Interesting fact about Bruno Lawrence and Blerta. The old man tells a story when he was an apprentice back in the 70′s in rural town NZ garage. The Blerta tour bus broke town so they stayed a while and when mobile again offered to take him with them.
    He says he seriously considered it, but didn’t. He really should have.
    Sweet memory all the same for me/him.

  • Phil says:

    Did ya spot all those lush cars on the train carriages in the beginning of the movie? I saw a sweet green Sigma sedan haha

  • kyteler says:

    Yeah man, just was never a really good shot of them to snap always had that blur going on. Sweet new cars on their way across country.

  • Mark says:

    Ha ha.
    Just watched this again on Maori Tv. And stumbled on this site while trying to find out what the old ford was at the end.
    Great effort. Well done!

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