Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Professor Fate's Hannibal 8 vehicle from The Great Race...

Loosely based on the 1908 New York-to-Paris race, the 1965 movie The Great Race cost an expensive, for the time, $8 million to make. Also unusual for a movie then, over $100,000 was spent building special vehicles to be featured in the film's action scenes.

Tony Curtis (as Leslie Galant III) drove the Leslie Special against Jack Lemmon as 'Professor Fate', the movie's villain, in the Hannibal 8.

Professor Fate's Hannibal 8
Jack Lemmon's Hannibal 8 movie car from The Great Race
Professor Fate's Great Race movie car1965 Hannibal 8 The Great Race movie car
Painted the prerequisite villainous black, the Hannibal 8, one of approximately five produced, was a 'rocket-propelled' elevator car that was powered by a Volkswagen industrial engine.

1965 Hannibal 8 movie car from The Great Race
Professor Fate's 1965 Hannibal 8 The Great Race film car
Great Race Hannibal 8 car
The Leslie Special (four were built), was a loose interpretation of the 1907 Thomas Flyer which won the real life race.

The Great Race movie poster
The Great Race movie poster

Professor Fate bomb prop from The Great Race
Professor Fate bomb prop from The Great Race movie
The Great Race Professor Fate bomb prop

Professor Fate Rocket Car replica
Professor Fate's Rocket car from The Great Race movie
Outside the doors of Johnny Rockets diner at The Petersen Automotive Museum you'll find this Professor Fate Rocket Car replica.

Since the owner was unable to locate the original Rocket Car he decided to construct this replica from scratch to compete his Great Race vehicle collection.
Professor Fate's Rocket car replica
This exact copy of one of the vehicles driven by Jack Lemmon as 'Professor Fate' and Peter Falk as 'Maximilian Meen' was built in 2006, and powered by a Volkswagen engine, is fully drivable.

Buy the DVD in the USA: The Great Race


  1. I own the original rocket car. I offered it to the Petersen but they passed on it. You can see the real one at Volo Auto Museum.

  2. Thanks for the info, here's a link for anyone who wants more info on the museum: http://www.volocars.com/

  3. My father bought the whole warner brothers car collection back in the late 60's.. there were 3 hanible 8 cars, one was lost in the water(dummy car-only shot cannon) during filming of the great race.

  4. I had to get this film, my fav. When this film came out, the Topanga Plaza first in-door shopping mall featured an "appearance" by several of these outstanding movie cars for people to see up-close. They had the Leslie 2, Hannibal 8, and Fate torpedo.Great stuff got me interested in custoime movie cars from G. Barris and others. These cars were latter on exhibition in a local(now closed decades ago) vehicle and airplane museum in Buena Park, Ca called "Planes and cars of Fame". Great museum, shame it's closed and collection broke up.

  5. Thanks for sharing, it's a shame that museum no longer around.

  6. Does anyone know what happened to the professor fate's airplane or to the Great Leslie's hydroplane?

  7. One of the Hannibal 8 cars is up for auction in Denmark soon. http://www.biografmuseet.dk/news/2010/hannibal_8/index.htm

  8. The Curtis pusher was donated a few years ago to the Dakota territory air museum in Minot North Dakota. Was rebuilt and placed in the Minneapolis air port until it's move to ND.

  9. Stahls Automotive Foundation is the proud owner of 2 Hannibal 8's and 2 Leslies! www.stahlsauto.com


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