Hooniverse Asks- What Was The Best Cartoon Car?

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, they're your modern stone-age fam-i-ly. . .

You know, when I was a kid, it never occurred to me that Fred’s steamroller-esque car would be impossible to steer, making the crude wooden tiller mostly decorative. Additionally, back ten, it didn’t seem all that odd that Pebbles might be hanging over one deadly rolling stone, and Bam Bam would ride on the roof. All I knew was it looked uncomfortable as hell, and boy could that surrey top hold a lot of weight!
Cartoon cars- they’ve been a staple of animated fare for decades, and some have stood out as particularly cool and distinctive. Whether it was the baling wire and bubble gum patchwork of Tom Slick’s Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper, or the jaw-dropping prowess of Speed’s Mach V, they always seemed to get the job done.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Some animated cars are really animated, and become anthropomorphized characters in their own. Speed Buggy, and, most notably, the entire cast of Cars embody this. Others, such as the Mystery Machine, the Wacky Racers or the Jetson’s bubble-topped flying car, serve only as transport for their owners, despite being boldly emblematic of the series.
Sponge Bob’s boat-car, the Homermobile, Roger Rabbit’s friend Benny the Cab- there’s a lot from which to choose. And one of my favorites isn’t even a car, but the trailer from the short Mickey’s Trailer, which at a pull of a lever (why don’t we have levers anymore? Stupid digital age) would transform from tiny tow-behind to commodious  home away from home. Of course with both Donald and Goofy along, things soon get off the hook.
What’s interesting is that many of these vehicles, whether crudely drawn, or the steely output of a rendering farm, were likely one of our first introduction to cars and driving, making them aspirational objects for the pre-pubescent yearning for the day when we could take a turn behind the wheel. And after leaping cars, talking cars, and transforming cars, the real thing could have been a letdown, had it not been so freeing and fabulously fun in its own right.
So which cartoon car draws your greatest admiration?
Image sources: [feministatsea, edrants]

0 Comments

  1. Probably the definitive cartoon car for me, growing up in the '80s, was the Jetson's flying bubble. However, one of my favorite cartoon vehicles was Launchpad McQuack's plane in Duck Tales.

    1. Speedbuggy totally creeped me out! I mean, was he a car, or some sort of living being? I found the combination bizarre, confusing, inconsistant and ultimately disturbing.

    1. M.A.S.K.: creating future engineers obsessed with modular systems.
      …at least for me.
      I was quite a dorky little kid.
      "was…" heh…

    1. Wow, I remember that show. Using cartoon shows to market toy cars? As the late publisher of Road & Track, John R. Bond, used to say, "There's nothing new under the sun gear."

    2. That was pure awesome! I remember that for some strange reason, tho I wold have been a toddler and in a foreign country at the time. I had a couple of those cereal toy racers too!

    1. I always wanted to see it stop mid-transformation; that way it would have looked like a Lotus Esprit breadvan!

  2. Initial D I discovered later in my life and cannot wait for stage 5 to come out next spring. So I have to go with the Mach 5 from speed racer.

  3. Rota Ree from "Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch"- just because of the name. And Wheelie himself could kick Herbie's ass all over the fictional Vee-Dub parking lot.

    1. It's actually a shirt. Google "misery machine shirt"
      Velma was always the hot one.

      1. On my way down here to the Bar after work I saw an old VW van that had big wall-sized maps of the world wall-papered/glued all over the outside in a cool mosaic-type pattern. I thought it was the coolest van ever.
        But then I had never seen this.
        Win.

    1. While we are at it, reminisce about the Beta Romeo. No car contains more eagle. Also there are several eagles under the floorboards.

  4. The Gadgetmobile, what else can be a van when you need to haul beer or a couch and then a sports car when you have to knock someone off at the stoplight.

  5. Mach five had a big impact on my childhood, but I think the Jetson’s car was more profound. And IIRC, Mighty Mouse had a pretty cool car too.

  6. Thunderbolt Grease Slapper was the name of my dads Triumph when I was a kid so Tom Slick has lots of memories for me.

  7. The posts you have on your site are always so enjoyable to read. I also like how you have your website designed. Good work and I will be returning often.oa

  8. Rodent is seriously dopping. along with the roaches even identified in airline food. And that seriously isn’t one particular airline is a large number of major airline, i can’t even feel that is ture.

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