We’ve all enjoyed action-packed cars in movies and in television shows. Heck, The Fast and the Furious series may as well star the cars rather than the drivers.
We all have our favorites – an orange ’69 Dodge Charger with welded doors and a Confederate flag on the roof; a Lincoln Futura concept car that received a Bat-makeover for a 1960’s TV series; a jet-black Pontiac Trans Am with a T-bar roof that’s perfect for running cases of Coors from Texas to Georgia …
But for me, if I ever had the opportunity to own the TV / movie car of my dreams….
It would be a cream-white, sharp-finned, gadget-crammed Mach V.
That, my friends, is the 1966 Japanese anime series Mach Go Go Go. By the time it reached America in 1967, it was rebranded and re-dubbed as Speed Racer. You might know the theme music in this format.
Speed Racer – his parents were very prescient in naming their baby boy – traveled around the world, winning endurance races wherever he went. And when his driving skills weren’t able to surpass his opponents … well, he had some gadgets in that super-powered Mach V racecar. And when you’re a kid and you see all the gadgets that can be accessed through Speed’s steering wheel console …
Oh yeah, that car was super-awesome-cool. Plus, it had plenty of trunk room – half the Speed Racer episodes featured Speed’s little brother Spritle, along with Spritle’s pet monkey Chim Chim, hiding in the trunk when Speed wasn’t aware.
It’s kind of funny when one thinks about how our lives are shaped by what we experience as children. I never planned on being a race car driver, but watching Speed Racer and the Mach V battle danger and win races every week inspired me. It taught me there are plenty of ways to survive, to outwit and outlast your tormentors and your opponents.
And if you’re smart enough to build a sportscar that has built-in hydraulic jacks, automatic super-grip tires, and optional buzzsaws to cut through cars in front of you … well, that’s a plus as well.
See, ten years ago I wrote an article for the online publication Toy Collector Magazine on the history of Speed Racer and the show’s 40th anniversary. The article was timed to coincide with the release of a live-action Speed Racer movie, and after the article was published, it picked up some writing awards from various industry groups. Swank.
And in preparation for the change from my old blog portal to this new fancy one, I found my online archive of Toy Collector Magazine published articles, and repurposed them to my chuckthewriter.com blog. It may take some time for the Toy Collector Magazine articles to download to your browser, so please be patient.
Hey, I’m just glad that I had that opportunity so many years ago to watch Speed Racer … and then, as an adult, turn that love for the animated series (and that super-cool Mach V) into a successful writing project.
Just another wonderful step in this thing we call life. 😀