Five favourite characters from films and car-toons
Screen hero talents would be brilliant on real roads
Hands up if you’ve ever wished your own car could lift you high above the traffic and...well, it’s not likely to happen – not yet anyway – but these magical motoring stars will take you on a journey down Memory Lane...
1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is perhaps the ultimate in motoring escapism. A vintage racing car with wings, it’s the star of a tale about a magical car that flies, floats and even thinks. It was created by author Ian Fleming for his son, Caspar. The 1968 British musical film, starring Dick Van Dyke, helped make the story a classic for children and adults alike. The film’s songs were by the Sherman Brothers. We bet you’ll be singing along to the title tune this very minute!
2. Lightning McQueen
Lightning McQueen is the antithesis of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – a brash modern-day boy racer – but one with a heart. McQueen is the undisputed star of the Pixar movie, Cars (2006) and its sequel Cars 2 (2011). The film tells the story of an up-and-coming rookie-racer who triumphs over adversity, and McQueen is voiced by actor Owen Wilson.
The original star of the Herbie movies series was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle. Herbie was a romantic at heart and more interested in match-making than solving crimes. He featured in several Disney- made motion pictures, starting with the 1968 film, the Love Bug. His other big-screen appearances included Herbie Rides Again (1974), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) and Herbie Fully Loaded in 2005. He also starred in the Love Bug TV movie, made in 1997.
Alongside actor David Hasslehoff as crime-fighter Michael Knight, KITT was the sleek, shiny star of the American TV series Knight Rider. The ultimate in sophisticated technology saw KITT lead Michael on endless danger-frought missions in the series, which ran from 1982 to 1986. KITT (Knight Industries Two/Three Thousand) was an advanced, artificially intelligent and almost indestructible vehicle with a dashboard that had more flashing lights than Blackpool illuminations.
We started with a traditional superhero, and we’ll finish with another. Brum is the star of a British TV series for children, about the adventures of a radio-controlled car of the same name. First broadcast in 1991, Brum was a regular on children’s BBC. Brum is a half-scale replica of a late-1920s Austin 7 convertible – an all-singing and dancing car who can drive by himself, open and close his doors and bonnet, ‘bob’ his suspension, flash and swivel his headlamps, rotate his starting crank, extend his turn signals, and sound his horn – all extras UK motorists might pay good money for these days!
*Do you have a favourite film or TV “car-acter”? Let us know.