We are used to looking at cartoon character’s cars as things just to laugh at. There is no way that any of them could be useful or practical in real life, is there?
Well, maybe if we take a look at a few of the most memorable cars from cartoon history we will find there is one that you might actually enjoy driving.
Fred Flintstone’s Ecologically Friendly Car
It doesn’t look very flash and it doesn’t go very fast but the Flintstones’ stone car has a few touches that could make it useful in the future. The first benefit is that it has to be the most ecologically friendly vehicle ever made. It works on a completely manual basis, which brings us on to the second benefit; the exercise. Anyone who wants a tough daily workout can’t ask for much more than this. However, the weight of a stone car means that even the fittest person would struggle with the daily commute. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the car’s complete lack of technology and safety features. You might cope without your GPS but surely some brakes and windows would be a good idea. A German man made a real life Flintstones’ car a while back but the complete lack of safety features means that he couldn’t get it registered for road use.
Inspector Gadget’s Gadgetmobile Packed with, Err, Gadgets
Inspector Gadget might have driven a relatively humble Toyota Supra from the early 1980s but could an updated version be an incredibly useful vehicle for you these days? The gadgets it contains are completely voice-activated and that is a useful feature we can probably expect to find before too long on many cars. As for the long list of features, not many of them seem particularly useful for civilian drivers. For example, shooting out some laughing gas looks pretty good fun but you aren’t likely to use it on the way to work, are you? The ejector seat, the extendable claw and the smokescreen would also all be of limited use to most motorists. Perhaps the most we can take from the Gadgetmobile is the idea of a car packed with a huge number of gadgets that we can activate using voice control. That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Although, with so many gadgets packed into it you’d want to make sure that any repairs were carried out professionally with the likes of MyCarNeedsA.com. After all, you wouldn’t want that extendable claw to suddenly stop working.
Hong Kong Phooey’s Flexible Phooeymobile
For a mild-mannered janitor, Penrod Pooch sure has a classy car. Of course, he only ever seems to use it when he changes into his alter ego of number 1 super guy Hong Kong Phooey. Perhaps the most useful feature of this vehicle is that it can be converted into a boat or a plane when needed. It also changed into a phone booth in at least one episode, although this seems a rather less useful feature. As strange as it may seem, this type of vehicle may actually exist in the future, although it isn’t clear whether the conversion process will be kicked off by banging a gong or by something simpler. Work is going on across the world on cars that can also fly or travel across water. In fact, the world’s fastest amphibious vehicle can be converted from a car into a boat in just 15 seconds. Meanwhile, the race to produce the world’s first commercially available flying car is well underway. You might not use your vehicle to track down master criminals but this sort of flexibility would make road trips a lot easier to plan. We also wouldn’t need bridges or tunnels for cars anymore. This would mean that you could drive or fly across the Thames when heading for a car service in London on the other side of the river.
Dick Dastardly’s Mean Machine from Wacky Races
While the idea of everyone driving around with racing goggles and handlebar moustaches is tempting, surely the world would be a worse place if the Mean Machine ever becomes a real world car? It is filled with tricks and cheats to help Dick Dastardly try to win a race, although he still never did. The rocket power it offers is probably its greatest asset. Actually, since these rockets could be used to send the Mean Machine way ahead of the rivals he probably could have won every race if he hadn’t stopped to lay traps for the other cars. Perhaps the lasting legacy of Dastardly’s vehicle will be the use of rockets to power cars to high speeds. We have already seen this sort of propulsion used to break land speed records but can you imagine every car being capable of using rocket power on the motorway?