November 13, 2023
Our favourite films play a crucial role in shaping our identity and influencing our passions. For generations, two of these pieces of cinema history, Christine (1983) and the Mad Max series, have been instrumental in shaping the vision of automotive enthusiasts globally. Now, what happens when a dedicated enthusiast stumbles upon a doomed 1958 Plymouth Savoy and harbours a burning desire to become historic on the Fury Road? Meet, Maxine.
The front end of Maxine
Tyler, famously known as Farm Fresh Fabrication, first encountered the 1958 Plymouth Savoy at the age of 14, nestled in a small junkyard during a trip with his father into town. The moment he laid eyes on the neglected Mopar, a love story reminiscent of Christine began to unfold. When the time came for Tyler to obtain his first car, memories of the dilapidated Plymouth from years before flooded back, leading him to return with his father to that same wrecking yard where he saw the antique Savoy.
The rear end of Maxine
Returning to the yard, Tyler and his father sought to inquire about the antique automobile. Upon knocking on the door, the man behind the junkyard, Bob, emerged to greet them. Before they could fully articulate, “would you sell that car?” Bob abruptly interrupted, delivering the crushing blow with a stern, “Not for sale.” It was a heart-wrenching response, a sentiment every automotive enthusiast dreads upon discovering a dream vehicle.
The side of Maxine, showcasing the immense scale of the gorgeous machine
Fast forward nearly 15 years later, and a serendipitous twist of fate began unfolding. An older woman stumbled into the local gas station managed by Tyler’s mother. Much like the local bartender at the local watering hole, employees at fuel stations would become confidants for patrons seeking conversations about life. During their exchange, the elderly lady revealed that she was in the process of removing her late husband's vehicles from the property. Curiously, she inquired whether the modest sum of $400 per vehicle that she had been offered was a fair price.
The interior of Maxine, with Tyler's boney companion Sam in the passenger seat.
Recognizing Tyler and his father’s knack for helping facilitate automotive transactions and connecting enthusiasts with their dream vehicles, Tyler’s mother generously extended their assistance to the elderly woman.The father-and-son team revisited her property, which was the very same one Tyler had visited in his teenage years, and offered their expertise. They successfully brokered the sale of just over half a dozen vehicles, and cleared out a significant amount of scrap metal from the property as well. However, to their dismay, the 1958 Plymouth Savoy that had left an incredible mark on Tyler during his youth was nowhere in sight, leaving a lingering sense of nostalgia and curiosity to the whereabouts of the old Mopar.
The Utah Gambler 500, an event Tyler is a major part of where dilapidated automobiles go to off-road areas and clear up debris and garbage left behind.
After the completion of their endeavours, the elderly woman expressed her profound gratitude to the two gentlemen for their invaluable assistance and time. Graciously, she invited them to the barn. As the doors swung open, they were greeted by the famous sinister smile of a 1958 Plymouth, in fact the very same that had captured Tyler’s heart years ago. In a gesture of immense generosity, the lady bestowed the iconic Mopar upon them as a token of appreciation for their hard work. The only condition attached was the return of all her belongings found inside the car, creating a poignant exchange that blended gratitude with the revival of a long-cherished automotive dream.
The eyes of Maxine are a dangerous set to stare into, as her sister "Christine" can tell anyone
Navigating through a maze of confusion, it took some time for Tyler and his father to unravel the mysteries surrounding the car and how it was built. Eventually, they successfully rescued the Frankensteined 1958 Plymouth Savoy from its dirt-clad hiding place, bringing it into the sunlight after years of seclusion. Uniquely crafted with a slew of eccentric modifications, the peculiarities of Maxine’s design began to define her identity. The unconventional alterations would play a pivotal role in shaping Maxine into the distinctive automobile she is today.
Maxine is right at home with the Utah mountain-scape behind her
Maxine’s original purpose, envisioned by her previous owner Bob, was to serve as a robust workhorse around the yard, deftly manoeuvring vehicles and even delving into logging duties. The rear end of the car, a blend of engineering marvel and potential disaster depending on one's perspective, showcased flared rear wheel wells crafted from 50-gallon drums that were cut in half and welded to the rear quarter panels. The rear suspension was a hodgepodge of elements: factory leaf springs and coil springs and air shocks were all ingeniously affixed to the custom rear axle and makeshift dually wheels.
Maxine's rear end is a sight to behold, with the dually wheels and 2500HD axle displaying her rugged abilities
Upon closer inspection of the Plymouth, Tyler and his father unearthed another layer of ingenuity or eccentricity—she boasted not one, but two transmissions seamlessly mated together. The factory push-button automatic was cleverly coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. Engaging both transmissions in first gear would unleash an incredible surge of torque, providing Maxine with the power needed to navigate her surroundings with remarkable force.
The 1994 Cummins 12 Valve now finds home inside the engine bay of Maxine's 1958 Plymouth body
When Maxine came under Tyler’s care, he recognized that the car possessed a distinctive character that couldn’t be preserved through a conventional restoration without losing its beloved charm. Instead, Tyler embarked on a journey to build and modify the car, staying true to Bob’s vision while also enhancing and modernising aspects where desired. This approach allowed Maxine to evolve organically, preserving her original charm while incorporating contemporary touches to breathe new life into Bob’s enduring vision.
The "sirch & rascue" was worded in such a way to prevent any issues with official Search & Rescue divisions.
In the nearly five years that Tyler has been the steward of Maxine, she has garnered an incredible online following and achieved notable notoriety for the remarkable transformations she has undergone. Now she rests on a 2007 Dodge 2500 HD chassis, Maxine boasts a robust 1994 Cummins 12 Valve engine. This powerhouse has been skillfully built, with additions such as a larger fuel plate, upgraded injectors, and a turbo capable of handling that extra power. Currently, a 5-speed Tremec TR-4050 propels her across the badlands, but plans are in motion to upgrade to an NV4500 to better manage the formidable power she produces.
The "W1TN3SS" plate is a direct line from the famous Mad Max: Fury Road
Completing her bold ensemble, Maxine rides atop a set of imposing 20-inch Fuel Cleaver wheels, shod with the substantial grip of 33x11.50 Nitto Grappler tires. With each modification and upgrade, Tyler has elevated Maxine’s presence and performance, solidifying her status as a unique and admired automotive icon in the online community.
The 20-inch Fuel Cleaver wheels feel right at home as Maxine's shiny black shoes
I had the incredible opportunity to meet Tyler and Maxine during my cross-continent journey earlier this year. Venturing all the way from Calgary, Canada to Southern California in my 1973 Ford Gran Torino, my goal was to capture the essence of classic cars and document as many as possible through my photography and connect with the passionate individuals behind these remarkable builds. The visit through Utah, where I encountered Tyler and Maxine, stands out as one of the most significant highlights of my grand tour. The experience of witnessing this unique automotive creation and sharing stories and sharing stories with a remarkable fellow enthusiast added an unforgettable chapter to my cross-continent adventure.
The interior of Maxine is rugged and shows dirt scars throughout, a reminder that she is used for the trails she was designed to conquer.
Tyler emerges as a man as distinctive as the machines he crafts, embodying unparalleled character and possessing a unique visionary approach to the vehicles he engineers. His magnum opus, the 1958 Plymouth Savoy named “Maxine,” feels like a creation plucked straight from the Mad Max universe–-a machine that Immortan Joe himself would have coveted as his own war beast alongside his formidable Gigahorse. The anticipation builds as enthusiasts eagerly await the unveiling of Tyler’s next ingenious creation, eager to witness the unfolding wonders from the brilliant mind behind Farm Fresh Fabrication. To catch Tyler and Maxine in action and their adventures, be sure to follow his captivating journey on his social media pages.
Watch here to hear the story of finding and bringing home Maxine right from Tyler himself!
Until the next time I see you, if you happen to spot Maxine crossing the apocalyptic plains of the world, give Tyler a welcoming wave, he’ll more than likely smile and wave back towards you!
Maxine in action during one of the many Gambler 500 events Tyler and Maxine attend regularely
- Kyle Hanger of Searching for Classics