Halloween Special - The Best Spooky TV & Film Cars
It's Halloween and all across the world there are pumpkins being carved, kids dressing up in costumes and lots of sweets being eaten. For a petrolhead though, there are plenty of vehicles that can be incorporated into this holiday...and the following list looks at some of the best cars to feature in spooky tv shows or films.
The Koach (The Munsters)
Made from 3 Ford Model T bodies and over 18 feet long, the Munsters ‘Koach’ featured in over twenty episodes during the shows original two-year run. The characters were always depicted as being quite eerie and odd but of course just thought they were a normal, hard-working family…so it made sense for the Koach to be something completely outlandish and unusual. The V8 engine was the same one as originally designed for the AC Cobra…so behind all the theatrics, the Koach was still a serious bit of kit!
Synonymous with the Ghostbusters franchise, the Ecto-1 was the chosen vehicle for busting ghosts and other mysterious entities. Based on a 1959 Cadillac, the ambulance/hearse combination has gone down in movie history and has even been recently reproduced in Lego form! The Ecto-1 was the perfect vehicle for the team, with enough space to carry all the necessary equipment, including Proton Packs, Ecto Goggles and P.K.E. Meters! The vehicle could have been completely different according to an original draft of the movie…with an all-black design first suggested and drawn up. However, with many scenes in the movie being filmed at night, the car was changed over to white and movie history was made.
Mystery Machine (Scooby Doo)
One of the most recognisable tv and film cars of all time, the Mystery Machine was the vehicle chosen by ‘Mystery Inc’ to transport them on their adventures all over the world. Owned by Fred, the van is a mixture of a few different 60s panel vans, but it has the uncanny ability to adapt to however the situation unfolds…sometimes being seen filled with various pieces of equipment, but at other times having a full table and chairs set up in the rear for the whole gang. Whilst the overall tone of the show was more comedy than creepy…the supernatural elements of the series, and the legendary status of the van itself, earns the Mystery Machine a place on this list.
The Creepy Coupe (Wacky Races)
Wacky Races is one of the most loved classic cartoons, and the show itself is not creepy or spooky at all – but, one car amongst the 11-strong field can definitely be described in that way – the Creepy Coupe! The number ‘2’ car, driven by the Gruesome Twosome, is a hearse-like vehicle that houses lots of spooky creatures, including bats, ghosts and of course, a huge dragon on top…which would breathe fire towards any unlucky racer in front. Wacky Races only ran for a total of 17 episodes, and whilst Dick Dastardly and Mutley are the most famous to come from the series, the Creepy Coupe is by far the spookiest car in the race!
The Creeper Truck (Jeepers Creepers)
Whilst the cars on the list so far have featured in more comedic shows…the ‘Creeper Truck’ features in a film that is anything but…Jeepers Creepers. The 2001 German-American horror film sees an ancient ‘creeper’ on a hunt for human body parts to complete it’s own body. The creature uses the old rusty truck to ram victims off the road…and the truck even has a registration plate that says ‘”BEATNGU” (“Be Eating You”)! The truck was mysteriously absent from the 2003 sequel…but returned for the 3rd film in 2017.
The Car / Were-Car (The Car / Futurama)
Although it’s a comedy show…Futurama still features plenty of gruesome and unusual creatures, thanks to being based in the distant future when humans have trekked all across the universe. One particular episode, ‘The Honking’, saw the introduction of the ‘were-cars’ – vehicles that would kill indiscriminately due to being made from pure evil. The first car, Project Satan, was a human-made project to make the most evil car ever, and from there lots of other robots were infected with the same curse. What many do not know is, the plot was based on the 1977 film, The Car…and when Bender transforms into the were-car version of himself…the look is almost identical to the Lincoln Continental that features in the old film.
The Truck (Duel)
Easily one of the creepiest films in history, Duel was the full-length film debut for a young director named Stephen Spielberg in 1971. Featuring a 1955 Peterbilt 281 as the main villian of the film, Duel is the tale of a salesman (Dennis Weaver) driving along an American highway, only to be endlessly tailed and intimidated by a huge truck with unknown intent. The unknown is very much what makes the film so terrifying and Spielberg was known to have chosen the Peterbilt 281 model because the split-windscreen, tall grille and position of the headlights gave it more of a 'face' than the alternative cab-over trucks. The multiple registration plates on the front were also supposed to symbolise the idea that the car driven by Weaver's character wasn't the first to be targeted by the truck and it's unseen driver.
Grave Digger (Monster Jam)
Grave Digger is one of the most famous monster trucks in the world and regularly takes part in the Monster Jam tour, which features racing and freestyle stunts from a huge collection of oversized vehicles. Grave Digger makes this list thanks to it’s creepy exterior, which has ghosts, ghouls and tombstones…but the secret is, there are actually 9 different Grave Diggers in the world running at any one time, with a total of 34 having existed at one time or another! This allows the truck to be seen in as many countries as possible…and the 1450bhp Chevy truck certainly makes an impact anywhere it goes!
Which is your favourite spooky themed car? Or did we miss any out that are worth a mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Rob W - a version of this article first appeared on the DriveDen blog page in 2017.