- #021717

Forty 3rd: The Car that Bruce Lee drove

The famous Black Beauty from the 1966 'The Green Hornet' TV show

Welcome to Forty 3rd where we showcase cars and trucks in 1/43 and smaller and sometimes larger. Back in the day, toy manufacturers are using every means necessary to attract kids and older kids to their product by having functioning gadgets like this wonderful car based on the old TV show starring Van Williams as Britt Reid whose secret identity is the crime-fighter Green Hornet with his sidekick Kato played by then unknown Bruce Lee.

Did you know that the Black Beauty car was actually based on a heavily modified 1965 Imperial Chrysler Crown and the cost for the modification at that time was around $50,000?

Borrowed from Hotcars.com

Borrowed from Hotcars.com

Mettoy Playcraft toys Ltd who owns the Corgi Toys brand is the brainchild behind the release of this beloved car and it made sure that people are aware of this feature-packed toy by clearly showing what they are.

Borrowed from Brightontoymuseum.co.uk

Borrowed from Brightontoymuseum.co.uk

FUN FACT

Even though this show was never shown in Britain, it is still one of the hottest toy ever sold by Corgi Toys over there even though the kids never knew about Green Hornet or Kato. Most likely thanks to these wonderful features that were available at that time.

SOME DIFFERENCES

But of course the model I have is not the original release by Corgi Toys. In fact to find one in good condition means spending big bucks. For me I am ok with the reproduction of this wonderful car by the same company as the cost is way less. The original came in a box that is filled with artwork of the show featuring the car and inside is a winged cardboard display stand where the car resides is also filled with vintage artwork.

Photo taken by Mike Burrows and borrowed from the web

Photo taken by Mike Burrows and borrowed from the web

image borrowed from projectswordtoys.blogspot.com

image borrowed from projectswordtoys.blogspot.com

The one I have is a window box with plain artwork with only the Hornet logo related to the show and no artwork on the cardboard display stand.

If you've noticed the above photo of the earlier issued car, it included the Kato figure in the driver seat and a rotating Green Hornet at the back seat holding a gas gun. They however were missing in the remake but instead included a separate die cast of a Kato figurine. But where is the Green Hornet when you need him?

Lastly the wheels from the original Corgi Toys uses a solid hub while the reproduction has 5 spoke that looks a bit like the early Matchbox Superfast.

SOME THINGS REMAINED THE SAME

Thankfully Corgi (without the 'Toys') retained the functioning gadgets that were present on their earlier released like the front missile launcher and the flying radar scanner located at the trunk.

Press the lever here.

WATCH OUT!

And if you move the lever forward...

This casting is indicated as 1:36 scale and also comes with rubber tires and suspension. On the roof is the logo of the Green Hornet and my guess it's for kids to show off that they have a special crime-fighting car.

Even though it was intended as a toy, collectors will still enjoy this nicely crafted model.

Promo photo of the actual car

Borrowed from the web

Borrowed from the web

Here are some photos I've taken during my visit to the Peterson Museum.

#052409

#052409

Just in case it feels like you can hear the engine starting while the Green Hornet gives the command of "Let's roll Kato!", make sure you stay out of the way!

#matchthebox #tjmatchthebox #blackbeauty #Chrysler #Corgi #crimefighter #TVshow #Greenhornet #kato #drivetribe #lald #112621

Join In

Comments (3)

  • Jaag did it better, at least for the baddies

      1 month ago
  • I notice that the early Hotcars version had suicide doors and no “B” pillar to obtain a true four door hardtop look. The new Corgi model has traditional doors and a “B” pillar so you don’t get that same clean effect. Very nice though.

      1 month ago
3