Cool Car

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"It's the car, right? Chicks love the car."

Heroes need to be able to get to where the action is. And when they have to get from point "A" to point "B", no ordinary vehicle will do. The Hero's ride has to be just as unique and awesome as he/she is, namely, a Cool Car.

It looks cool, it goes fast, it might be modified to go even faster, it may even be bulletproof and contain an assortment of weapons and gadgets. A really Cool Car can Fly.

Most Cool Cars, even ones that have no inherent super abilities, will be curiously immune to breakdown, physical damage or a realistic fuel range. No matter what manner in which the hero drives, as long as he's determined to stay on the straight and narrow and fight for the forces of good, his car shows an Empathic Weapon's ability to never get scratched, dented or even dirty. It may also be able to outperform similar or even superior vehicles simply by virtue of having the hero behind the wheel. Driving one also seems to ensure you'll have Rock Star Parking privileges. If you're really lucky, you'll have a Cool Garage to park it in.

Of course, the villain messing with the heroes ride is always a sign that he means business.

Sometimes, the car is cool enough that it actually can become a protagonist in the series -- e.g. KITT in Knight Rider and the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazzard are arguably the main protagonists of their respective shows and are as iconic to the audience as the human stars.

When a car literally becomes a character, see Sentient Vehicle. For a living creature that serves as both a vehicle and a character, see Sapient Steed.

Contrast The Alleged Car—but compare What a Piece of Junk!.

See Improbably Cool Car for cars that are just too cool for the setting or the characters.

Examples of Cool Car include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The Mach 5 from Speed Racer is so goddamn cool it's even listed as a Super Robot.
    • Other cool cars graced Speed Racer too, of course. Racer X's car, while not explicitly equipped with an arsenal of super gadgets, was shown jumping from one clifftop to another in flagrant violation of the Earth's gravity. The Car Acrobatic Team all sported miniature wings which turned them into gliders. The "evil twin" of the Mach 5 had full-blown airplane wings and a jet engine, in addition to a Death Ray. The Mammoth Car was the size of a passenger train, and made of solid gold. The GRX could go faster than human reflexes could handle, necessitating use of V-Gas which reacts badly with water and dehydrates the user. The X3 Melange was driven by remote-control (with a robot dummy driver) by the revenge-fueled son of a dead racer. The "assassins", who were clearly ninjas, drove around in ninja cars. And in one episode, Speed even test-drove a supersonic rocket car.
  • Just about every single race car in Future GPX Cyber Formula in its many iterations. The main car, the Asurada series of racers, is able to shapeshift (especially in its much later versions) has 6WD (except for GSX, which has the standard 4 wheels), rocket boosters, and needs an AI supercomputer to be driven properly. Its rivals over the years are just as colorful, including, but not limited to:
    1. The HG Series (known as Steel/Stil,) a family of electric-powered super-racers that leans like motorcycles into curves.
    2. The Missionel series of cars, the final version of which looked like if Unit 01 has been turned into an automobile.
    3. The Spiegel Series (from the HG family), a windowless racer that has the driver lie in it like a closed-cockpit luge sled.
    4. The Issuxark Series, which has a rotating roter on it.
    5. The Ogre AN-21, which is the Super Prototype to the Al-Zard thus far.
  • Rally Vincent's Shelby /GT500/ from Gunsmith Cats. The licence plate number has a Blues Brothers Shout-Out: the car number is BRD 529.
  • Misato's Renault Alpine A310 in Neon Genesis Evangelion certainly qualifies, even when it's so badly driven.
  • In Riding Bean, Bean Bandit has a stylish car, called the Roadbuster, that not only has a high performance engine that can match most race cars, but it can orient its wheels to move sideways or extend brake blades for extremely rapid stops.
  • The Sprinter Trueno from Initial D is a nice subversion: Takumi, arguably the fastest racer in the series, owns the second-most uncool car in the series, the AE86, while beating an armada of EVOs, RX-7s, and R32s Granted, it was heavily modified halfway into the series, resulting it larger horsepower and lightened weight. It proved so popular it pushed the AE86 Corolla coupes from "old used car" to "sought-after classic" almost singlehandedly - in Japan, it did this before the newest examples were even 10 years old! As a matter of fact, you can also see the original Hachi-Roku in the PS2 iterrations of the Gran Turismo series (the Sprinter Trueno Shuichi Shigeno Edition), as well as in Need for Speed: Underground 2 and Carbon (the Toyota Corolla).
    • It's really not a bad car, just considered outdated by the majority of racers in the series. Takumi's character model, the original Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya, started out with this car, and still considers it his favorite.
    • The award for most uncool car of the series goes to Itsuki's AE85. Itsuki attempts to buy the Corolla Levin variant of Takumi's AE86 and gets ripped off with an authentic POS.
      • Not necessarily Truth in Television. These now being 20-plus-year old cars and engine swaps being easier than extensive rust repair, condition is more important than original spec.
  • In the Kirby anime, King Dedede starts with Escargon driving him around in a military ATV (complete with BFG), but eventually orders a huge old fashioned limousine loaded with gadgets and weapons (described as a 'Demon Beast On Wheels') for an episode of Wacky Racing (in the same episode, Meta Knight races in an old-fashioned Formula 1 car, and Kirby in his spaceship). They crash spectacularly by the end of the episode, but they are seen driving around in the car for the rest of the series.
  • In Wangan Midnight, Akio Asakura drives a heavily-tuned vintage Nissan Fairlady Z (specifically, a model that was sold as the Datsun Z on this side of the Pacific Rim), known widely as the "Devil Z" for a very good reason.
    • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2 and its sequels let you drive a Toyota HiAce. Which is a van. That, like any other car, can be tuned to upwards of 800 horsepower.
  • Lupin III's Fiat 500. Turbocharger, practically indestructible(It suffers a grenade hit and the only thing destroyed is the glass)...
    • While the Fiat has it's charm, it pales in comparison to his other car: The Mercedes-Benz SSK. That sound you just heard was the collective noise of car enthusiasts jaws dropping in unbridled envy.
  • Roger Smith's Griffon in The Big O definitely qualifies. It has surveillance equipment, machine guns, a big beefy engine, and it can change color.
  • Iina from Kokoro Library drives what appears to be a Volkswagen Schwimmwagen amphibious car used in the second world war by the German army. Hers is white with cute cat print seat covers. The huge rear propeller isn't only for show though, since it functions perfectly fine as a boat.
    • It could be an Amphicar, an actual 1960s-era German car inspired by the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen. Ampicars are cute, collectible, and handle like dogs both on the road and in the water.
      • It could also be a civilian Schwimmwagen. VW supposedly sold some leftover Schwimmvagens on teh civilian market after the war.
  • The G2 in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman not only transforms from a Nissan Skyliner into an awesome-looking racer, it's equipped in later episodes with a Gatling gun.
  • All the racers in Takeshi Koike's Red Line are cool cars taken Up to Eleven and then some, from JP's yellow TRANSAM, to a pink dragster styled to look like a woman lying on her back with her legs in the air, and a giant montrosity where the driver becomes part of the machine.
  • The team's car in Black Lagoon is a 1965 Pontiac GTO, and is one of the most well-known, highly sought-after and collectible classic American muscle cars in the world. Not only is it cringe-inducing to see the kind of abuse it gets, but it's valuable enough to where they could sell it and have more than enough money to buy a brand-new car that's faster, more fuel-efficient and more comfortable, but, well, then they wouldn't be driving around a freakin' 1965 GTO.
    • In the first and second seasons, Benny owns a 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T (fitted with a hood from a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner). Another very valuable and sought-after piece of muscle-car history that is destroyed by Lagoon Company.
  • Supercar Gattiger was all about its titular Cool Car.
  • Anpanman has Uncle Jam's... thing... and Shokupanman's van, both of which can do, well, all sorts of things. Shokupanman's van has wheels that are basically extendable legs, and both vehicles can punch and jump.
  • Sheryl Nome's Ferrari California in Macross Frontier Nyan Cli, a cool car by definition. Every detail inside and out was exactly drawn, from the 8000 RPM red line tachometer to the shiny Ferrari badges to the six-speed manual shift column. Yes, that's right, Sheryl Nome drives a stick.
    • Intriguingly, Ferrari has reportedly still not built one with a six-speed manual, instead all of them have a paddle-shifted seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sheryl probably picked a manual because it's Badass (or because she's Playing to The Fetishes again).
  • Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt: Panty and Stocking's Hummer H1 named See-Through and Scanty and Kneesocks's G-Wagen limo named G-string are both capable of some very awesome action.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The Batmobile from Batman, in its various incarnations, has come to define this trope to the point where any character's cool car may be dubbed the (Character's Name)-mobile (real-world example: the famous "Popemobile"). Just to let you know, the Batmobile (nicknamed "The Tumbler") in Batman Begins is a Lamborghini Gallardo-Hummer H2 crossover. When Lt. Gordon gets a view of the Batmobile, he says:

Lt. Gordon: I gotta get me one of those.

  • Especially in the Golden Age, a lot of super-heroes had Cool Cars. Star-Spangled Kid had one in spite of not actually being old enough to drive.
  • Best of the lot: Vic Sage's red Volkswagen Beetle in Denny O'Neill's run on The Question. It was a bog-standard old-school Beetle, but modified so that, under the bonnet, there was a honking great V-8 engine...
  • Jet Dream and her Stunt-Girl Counterspies drive a variety of sports cars laden with all manner of gadgetry, including machine guns, rear-mounted "stench bomb" launchers, and an Awesome but Impractical (and quite large) TV camera with a zoom lens on a boom extending from the trunk such that Petite can see the faces of the bad guys chasing her on a dashboard-mounted screen.
  • Almost every car used in Sin City is a vintage car with many main characters discussing their love for them. Frank Miller has mentioned that Sin City was spawned from an excuse to draw things he considered cool, such as old cars.
  • Jen's 1958 Corvette in The Maze Agency.
  • Jack Tenrec, the protagonist in "Xenozoic Tales" (later an animated series called Cadillacs and Dinosaurs) lived in a post-apocalyptic future and, in his main job as a mechanic, restored late 1940s & early 1950s Cadillacs and converted them to run on methane generated from dinosaur dung. Fortunately there were plenty of dinosaurs roaming around so running out of fuel was not a concern.
  • The Turbotraction Turbot-Rhino I and its successor were the cool cars owned by Spirou and Fantasio. Andre Franquin's backgrounds were populated by great representations of actual cars of the The Fifties and The Sixties. The Turbotraction, which was his design, blended in perfectly with the 'real' cars as it was based on rocket car concepts of that era. Part of its coolness was the realism with which it was portrayed (and it was really fast because of some sort of jet engine and had a magic roof, too). After the comic was taken over by other artists, Spirou and Fantasio's rides were 'real' and mundane cars, although very likely chosen for their unique design as well.
  • Since Green Arrow originally followed in the footsteps of Batman, it's no surprise that he drove around in the Arrowcar.


Film[edit | hide]

  • The Ford LTD from Men in Black appears to be uncool at first.
    • J even notes that the MIB have "unlimited technology from around the galaxy, and [they] have to drive around in a Ford POS". He eats his words when it comes time to push the little red button on the stick shift...
    • J's Mercedes in the sequel is a nice upgrade.
  • The old police cruiser used by The Blues Brothers was emblematic of the brothers' style and situation. It survived the film's stunts, held together by the very will of The Almighty, until its mission was over. Then it fell apart on the sidewalk.
  • The Fast and the Furious is a series runneth over with Cool Cars so hard, they're pretty much about this trope. Just pick a car, any car. Except for the Chevelle and the Ferraris, being the former apparently uncool and the latter portrayed as "already awesome", all these cars are rigged with the most powerful, badass engine upgrades in the world, enough to make them run like Formula 1 cars, and on top of that, all of them are equipped with bangin' sound systems, neon lights, all sorts of sophisticated control computers (except for the muscle cars, of course, which rely on good ol' humongous block), LCD monitors, and, of course, a lot of Nitro Boost. The list includes:
    1. Two sleek Ferraris (TFATF, 2F2F).
    2. Four Mitsubishis with an awesome paint job (all movies: two were Evolutions (VII and VIII) and two were Eclipses).
    3. Three RX-7s (all movies).
    4. A Dodge Charger (TFATF).
    5. A Chevrolet Camaro (2F2F).
    6. A 1970 Dodge Challenger (2F2F).
    7. An apparently old and rusty Chevrolet Monte Carlo (Tokyo Drift).
    8. A Dodge Viper (Tokyo Drift).
    9. Two Nissan Skylines (2F2F, Tokyo Drift).
    10. A Nissan Fairlady 350Z and Silvia (Tokyo Drift).
    11. A green Volkswagen Touran (Tokyo Drift).
    12. A 1967 Ford Mustang with a Nissan Skyline engine (Tokyo Drift).
    13. And the list keeps going on and on and on...
    • Not Truth in Television. A racer would have stripped his car of everything but the bare essentials to lose weight. Not even rear seats are spared. Not to mention turning off the radio and AC for that little bit of extra power. A giant ICE[1] system? Unnecessary weight and power drain.
    • Indeed. Anyone who races seriously (either street-legal or not) would remove as much weight as possible, and of course would not add more (ICE, neon, screens). The swapped engines are Truth in Television, but fitting a modern engine to a muscle car would be, at the very least, a MAJOR effort, in both time and money. Rule of Cool applies liberally in these films.
  • Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle from The Love Bug and its sequels. Even though the Última Edición version, with its marginal 50-70 hp, is the most powerful version ever made (a stock 1963 model- Herbie's Canon age- had 40 hp), it still manages to be as powerful as a stock car.
    • Notice, however, that thanks to the Beetle's extremely light weight (~750 kg / 1650 lb) it is possible to turn an ordinary Beetle into something as fast as a stock car without having to use a huge engine.
    • Rally-racing Beetles have usually 100-120 hp engines, rarely 150 hp, and they are stripped down to about 650 kg. They outrun Vipers in the twisties. And out-accelerate them in straight lines.
    • Reportedly, the version of Herbie used in the track racing scenes was stripped down and outfitted with a Porsche 911's flat-6.
  • Pick a Bond film, any Bond film.
  • 2012 has the sports cars in Yuri's plane which include a Lotus Elise, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche Carrera GT and a Bentley Continental that they use to escape the crash.
  • The DeLorean in the Back to The Future film trilogy. The version in Back to The Future The Animated Series had even more gadgets attached.

Doc Brown: The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

    • The real-life DeLorean is probably the coolest car ever made, at least in terms of aesthetics. Its gull-wing doors required far less room to open than regular ones, for example. Beyond that, however, it was a perfect example of The Alleged Car. It was horribly unreliable—the "stainless" steel body suffered from staining, the windows would occasionally fall out when the gull-wing doors were opened, and despite the perception that it's fast, Road & Track clocked its 0-60 mph speed at 10.5 seconds—slow even back then. These problems were obviously exaggerated in the movie, especially in that it always fails at the most inconvenient moments, but they are mostly Truth in Television.
      • And the Lamborghini Countach? A DeLorean on steroids.
    • If you think the time machine was cool, you might not want to know what happened to most of the cars after production ended; most of them have sat in warehouses, some even being disassembled for spares to be used on replicas (Why not just restore the cars and use them?!) The pictures are absolutely heartbreaking...until you learn the story of the last one.
    • Although it's not technically a car, the train from the end of the third movie probably counts.
  • The Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters and its related material. It may be a bit of a subversion, as the model of car used was shown to be old and junky (and generally used as a hearse, i.e., to transport dead bodies for burial), yet it is still considered a cool car due to its visually striking appearance.
  • "The Last of the V-8 Interceptors" in the first two Mad Max films.
    • That car is a 1973 Ford XB Falcon, just for anybody wondering.
  • The titular vehicle in the horror movie The Car. Just because the thing is a driverless Satanic serial killer doesn't mean it can't be cool.
  • Ditto the Plymouth Fury in Christine.
  • Every car driven by Will Smith in I Am Legend.
  • Bullitt's incredibly badass 1968 Ford Mustang 390 CID Fastback, although it sports no gadgets or gimmicks, is one of the oldest ones in the book.
    • Steve McQueen could only out-cool the Mustang by using a real racing car - hence the Le Mans movie in 1970. His timing was fortunate since the Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512, two of the coolest cars ever and frankly the main reason for watching the film at all, were outlawed by new rules in 1972 and Le Mans cars were much less cool for many years.
  • Then there was Vanishing Point, considered the Trope Maker/Ur Example of the car chase movie, which essentially starred an Alpine White 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.... and Barry Newman.
  • Eleanor from Gone in Sixty Seconds (and most of the other cars being stolen are pretty darned cool, too).
  • The Looney Tunes: Back in Action movie had a double subversion of this trope. The first car Brendan Fraser and Daffy find in Timothy Dalton's garage is a beat-up old Gremlin which barely makes it out of the driveway. About a minute after they leave, however, the floor of the garage flips over and a stereotypical spy car is revealed, complete with Bond-esque musical sting.
  • Michael Korben's Lotus Esprit in If Looks Could Kill.
  • Ferris Buellers Day Off: The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California.

Cameron: Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love. It is his passion...
Ferris: It is his fault he didn't lock the garage.
Cameron: Ferris, what're you talking about?
Ferris: Whoo!
Cameron: Ferris, my father loves this car more than life itself.
Ferris: A man with his priorities so out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile.
Cameron: No. No! Apparently, you don't understand!
Ferris: [ignoring Cameron] Wow.
Cameron: Ferris, he never drives it! He just rubs it with a diaper!

  • The pedal cars from Bugsy Malone. What kid wouldn't want one of those?
  • The green Gran Torino from well... Gran Torino is an awesome car that kicks off the plot for being too damn cool (aka Theft Bait)
  • Billy's Chevelle in Carrie is a very Cool Car. Shame that Carrie blows it up.
  • Say what you will about Son of the Mask, but you must admit... that car Tim (as the Mask) drives at the end, when he's trying to catch up with Loki to get his son back, is made of 100% insta-win awesome.
  • The titular hero of Disney's Condorman persuades the CIA to build him a Bond-esque racecar that: starts out disguised inside a rickety truck; boasts rockets, mines, a flamethrower, and a blast shield, among other toys; and converts into a hydrofoil for ocean travel. He gets a Cool Boat later in the film, too.
  • Tony Stark in the Iron Man movie had plenty of these.
  • Subverted in 2008's Get Smart. The Tiger Sunbeam he drove in the first few seasons was part of a Cold War museum display, and after his Prison Break Smart takes it to try to catch the bad guys. Unfortunately, though, it runs out of gas shortly thereafter, leaving him needing to find other transportation (other cars from the series, an Opel GT and Volkswagon Kharmann Ghia, also appear in the movie).
  • Frank Martin of The Transporter has used a few these, including a one-off manual BMW E38 750i—or 735i; depends on the interpretation of Tarconi's accent--(the first film), an Audi A8 L, a Lamborghini Murcielago (both in the second) and a W12-powered Audi A8 (the third movie).
  • Xander Cage's car in XXX is cool squared. Not only is it a '67 Pontiac GTO, it's also stuffed with enough weaponry and gadgetry for more than half a dozen James Bond movies.
  • The Wraith. An unnaturally cool car.
  • Malloy's car in Con Air.

Malloy: Beautiful?! Sunsets are beautiful. Newborn babies are beautiful. This? This is fucking spectacular!

  • In Angels Revenge (aka Angels Brigade), the team of "angels" puts together a van that looks like a rip-off from the A-Team, except that this movie was made before the A-Team.
  • Death Proof features several cool cars, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Chevy Nova.
  • The Gumball Rally and The Cannonball Run movies: Cool cars in cross country races: Some were just born cool (Shelby Cobra, Ferrari Daytona, Lamborgini Countach) while others (The souped-up Dodge Ambulance) had coolness thrust upon them.
  • Speaking of cool ambulances, Mother's customized Chevy in Mother, Jugs & Speed.
  • Sam Lowry's car in Brazil - actually a Messerschmitt KR200 - is cool in a similar way to the Steve Urkel/Family Matters example mentioned in Live Action TV, and sometimes shows up at UK car shows.
  • Don't forget the Jet Car from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. I mean, Banzai drove it through a mountain!
  • The pussy wagon in the Kill Bill is an obvious example to this trope.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Almost every car in Death Race
  • Balthazar's car in The Sorcerer's Apprentice can change according to his whims. Naturally, it gets cool.
  • The Car (and Nemo's Cool Boat) are probably the only reasons to watch the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie.
    • This (straight)female troper begs to differ. Sean Connery is a good reason to sit throught anything.
  • From the live-action film series of Transformers: Bumblebee as a fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro, Jazz as the Pontiac Solstice, Sideswipe the Corvette Stingray Anniversary concept, and in the upcoming third film, a Ferrari 458 Italia.
    • The Wreckers. A trio of Nascars that combine this with More Dakka.
  • Centauri's car in The Last Starfighter took the angular wedge design of the DeLorean, turned it Up to Eleven, then made it a transforming Flying Car and Cool Starship.
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle had lots of cool cars, and a special featurette on the DVD to showcase them all.
  • A Cool Ship on wheels picks up the main character from the airport in Waking Life. The painted visual effects make it appear to cruise just as smooth as if it were on water (even without chemical assistance for the viewer).
  • The lifted, nitrous oxide-boosted, bulletproof 1988 Silverado 2500 driven by Tango and Cash, featuring an on-board computer, mounted machine gun, and 120mm cannon.

Tango: What is that?
Cash: That is an RV from Hell. Care to join me?

  • Undercover Brother. The title character's Cadillac Coupe de Ville, with built-in tape launcher and slick sprayer.
  • The so called "Durango 65" from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, actually an M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16 - a super limited edition (only 3 were ever built) supercar built in England in 1969. The car was specifically chosen by Kubrick based on how cool and futuristic it was. It's main party piece was the fact that it was so low (only 86 cm or 34 inches in height) that it couldn't use normal doors, instead driver and passenger ingressed via an electric sliding glass roof.
  • Elvira's Macabremobile.
  • The Deathmobile in National Lampoon's Animal House.
  • The custom-built monster truck in Monster Man. Behind the scenes it was actually unusable for actual driving, as it was hard to steer and ran on expensive rocket fuel.
  • It's not precisely theirs (any more than it is all American taxpayers'), but John & Russell drive the world's coolest GMC RV, aka the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle, in Stripes.
  • Every car in American Graffiti.
  • Every car in Drive Angry.
  • By 1976's standards, at least half of the cars in Cannonball qualify.
  • The Team America Hummer, in all its star-spangled glory. It even has hidden weaponry for when that terrorist just needs to get taken care of.
  • Played with in Revenge of The Pink Panther with the Silver Hornet. For 5 seconds, it's an incredibly cool-looking car ... then it falls completely apart.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Illuminati assassins in Duumvirate have the shapeshifting, fusion-powered Deathmobile. There's a crematorium under the hood for body disposal.
  • Crowley's Bentley in Good Omens. His infernal powers literally protect it from damage, at least until he drives it through a wall of fire formed by a highway shaped like a diabolical sigil. He continues to drive it all the way to his destination, holding it together through sheer force of will, until it no longer resembles a classic Bentley, or a car for that matter.
  • Being a pulp hero Expy, Pendrake from War of the Dreaming has one of these. It's bulletproof, radar-invisible, has a max speed of around two hundred MPH, and comes equipped with its own CMOA.
  • The Great Red Shark and The Great White Whale from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The Great Red Shark is arguably the fourth biggest character (behind Raoul Duke, Dr. Gonzo, and Drugs).
  • Stephen King has written not one but two novels about haunted Cool Cars - Christine and From a Buick 8.
  • The Deliverator from Snow Crash. Probably the only Cool Car with its own pizza warmer.
    • Ng, a weapons dealer who plays a central role in the book's plot, also has a "wheelchair" which he converted from a German airport firetruck and outfitted with all sorts of goodies, such as a spy helicopter, guided missiles, and cybernetic attack dogs.

Ng: I tried prostheses for a while--some of them are very good. But nothing is as good as a motorized wheel chair. And then I got to thinking, why do motorized wheelchairs always have to be tiny pathetic things that strain to go up a little teeny ramp?

  • Harry Dresden's Blue Beetle barely qualifies as a car (except maybe for other wizards), but Thomas' Hummer is cool.
    • And Lara's loaner is the stuff of legends.
    • Grevaine's ride ain't half bad—it's a classic Cadillac with a suped-up sound system used to power the living dead.
  • In Skulduggery Pleasant the title character starts off driving a classic Bentley, but when it gets wrecked is forced to temporarily replace it with a hideous yellow hatchback.
    • The third book reveals that Skulduggery has uncool cars stashed all over the place. This suggests that he is either very fond of his car (and doesn't want to drive it into situations he knows will be dangerous) or it gets damaged a lot.
  • Vigilante Man Mack Bolan uses a decidedly uncool GMC motorhome, which does however have the advantage of being the last thing anyone would expect a One-Man Army to be driving. It has advanced electronic surveillance capabilities, an onboard computer system with phone link (in the 1970s!) and a retractable 4-shot guided missile launcher, but no armour except for some steel plates around the driver's seat, as Bolan only uses it for long-range combat.
  • Tom Swift, Jr.'s Triphibian Atomicar was a convertible that could transverse land, sea and air.
  • The Saint had a Hirondel, which probably doesn't qualify; once, on a trip to Italy, he found himself using a classic Bugatti, which does. In spades. When he finds a bomb strapped to the bottom by the Mafia, his initial reaction is something along the lines of 'a bomb would be bad enough under my normal car, but this is a Bugatti.'
    • The Hirondel DOES qualify; in the story referenced above, "Vendetta for the Saint," even the Italian mechanic who has made it his life's mission to preserve the Bugatti Type 41 Royale is awed when Simon Templar tells him he used to drive one.
  • The villain of Scarecrow owns a Ferrari Modena, a Porsche GT-2, an Aston Martin Vanquish, a Lamborghini Diablo and several Subaru rally cars. They all get stolen and most are destroyed in what is probably the biggest car chase of any medium. The author himself drives a Delorean.
  • Subverted in Charles Stross's The Jennifer Morgue: Bob's company Smart Car is suited for city cruising. It is emphatically unsuited for driving on the Autobahn, where every passing Mercedes and Porsche sets it rocking in the turbulence. It is further unsuited for the offroad driving that he has to do, where the suspension manages to make him nauseous. That is, until Pinky and Brains manage to make a couple of Q-style upgrades to it, which boosts the coolness rating waaay up. And then it's finally subverted again at the end when the engine locks up and demands to be returned to the factory for maintenance.
  • Lord Peter Wimsey drives a Daimler that he has named "Mrs. Murdle," after a character from Charles Dickens. He likes to drive it fast, too, but is fortunately very good at it.
  • The standard Cool Car in Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories is the Rolls Royce ShadowShark, only six of which were ever made. Dr Shade has one. Derek Leech has one. Richard Jeperson has three.

Leech: Mine plays the theme from Jaws when I press the horn.
Jeperson: Mine, I'm delighted to say, doesn't.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The General Lee from the The Dukes of Hazzard
  • KITT and KARR in Knight Rider.
  • Emma Peel's Lotus Elan from The Avengers
    • Not to mention Mrs. Gale's white MGB (admittedly cooler today than it was then); Tara King's Cobra; and of course Steed's stable of fine Bentleys.
  • Ray's GTO from Due South
    • Actually, Ray drove a 1972 Buick Riviera. You're thinking of Ray, who drove a GTO.
  • Duncan MacLeod's black 1964 "Flair Bird" convertible Ford Thunderbird from Highlander the Series, the Seacouver half. (He had a Citroen and then a Land Rover in Paris)
    • Also, Tessa's classic Mercedes in the first season.
  • A different Ray's Corvette in Stingray
  • The Dodge Viper in Viper
  • The A-Team had a cool black GMC van.
  • FAB-1, Lady Penelope's six-wheeled Rolls-Royce from Thunderbirds. While the original was only a model, it was actually built for the 2004 Live Action Adaptation (though in an Egregious example of Product Placement, it was no longer a Rolls Royce but a custom Ford Thunderbird).
  • Miami Vice had many cool cars. Sonny Crockett first drove a black Daytona Spyder, then a white Testarossa, then a red F430 in The Movie.
  • In another Don Johnson reference, the title character in Nash Bridges drove a 1971 'Cuda Hemi ragtop. There were only 7 of them made, one in each color offered on the Barracuda, of which 6 survive to this day. It's worth a couple million dollars at auction, pushing this into Improbably Cool Car territory.
  • Speaking of Ferraris, there was of course the red 308 borrowed by Magnum, P.I.
  • The Gran Torino from Starsky and Hutch. Ironically, it was totally stock except for the stripe, which Ford later offered on several models - even the Pinto.
  • Gene Hunt's Ford Cortina GXL from Life On Mars
    • One of the first things to go into the script, which had the working title of "Ford Cortina".
    • Later, in Ashes to Ashes, Gene Hunt has a bright red Audi. "Fire up the Quattro!"
      • The actual car is a 1983 Quattro (in 1981, the Quattro wasn't available in a native British format). Phillip Glenister admitted in an interview that the producers knew it, but They Just Didn't Care, because...well, it was a Cool Car.
    • Sam Tyler's Chevelle SS in the American version.
  • Steve Urkel's BMW Isetta, from Family Matters, isn't cool. In fact, it's so terrible and antiquated that it may punch through the bottom, wrap around to the top and become cool. Or maybe not. He thinks it's cool, anyway, but he's an Extroverted Nerd.
    • May be so uncool it's cool? You've never seen the action around one at a car show!
  • Gladys Crabtree (aka "Mother") from My Mother the Car is likewise not a Cool Car.
  • Accidental subversion: as part of a Product Placement deal, Hiro and Ando treat the Nissan Versa as though it were a cool car in Heroes—when unfortunately, it's just a mundane family compact. And being from Japan, they wouldn't even know it as a "Versa"—in Japan and Latin America, they call it "Tiida" (that last bit can be explained away by the fact that they read it in the ad for an American comic book. And it's a rental car bought in America).
  • Used somewhat inexplicably in Torchwood, given that the titular organisation is meant to be a secret, making the decision to drive around in a very distinctive and eye-catching vehicle with the name stenciled onto it a rather strange idea.
  • The 1967 Chevy Impala, known by fans as the "Metallicar", driven by the Winchesters on Supernatural, which, some have argued, has achieved co-protagonist status, along with Sam and Dean.
    • Some fans believe it to be sentient, as seen in this webcomic, which is quite popular in the fandom.
  • The old Krofft series Wonderbug combined the titular Cool Car with a Secret Identity as an old junker of a dune buggy called "Schlep Car". The buggy's secret identity was so junky that even the letters on its license plate were crooked, while its superpowered form was sentient, had an actual face (made by its headlights and bumper), and could fly.
    • Why Wonderbug would ever switch back to that old wreck was beyond me, even as a child of the '70s/'80s. There was an episode I vaguely remember, where Schlepcar got stuck on railroad tracks because he didn't have the power to drive over them. Um, how about hitting the magic horn, Barry?
  • In Doctor Who the Third Doctor spent much of his time on Earth driving around in 'Bessie', an antiquated canary-yellow roadster which on first glance would look the furthest thing from 'cool' you could think of. It's quickly revealed, however, that the Doctor's constant tinkering and playing around have made it a super-powered car that anyone would kill to drive.
    • He later traded up for a weirdly incongruous The Jetsons-style flight-capable bubble car, which rapidly acquired the Fan Nickname of 'The Whomobile'.
    • Plus, an antique car fit rather well with his...let's say "classic" opera cape stylings.
  • The Land Rover Defender in Survivors.
  • The Coyote in Hardcastle and McCormick.
  • The Middlemobile [and other vehicles] from The Middleman and to a lesser degree, both of Dub-Dub's mundane cars.
  • The MythBusters treat their cars as cool cars, when most are junkers they got because they knew they would be ruined. Various cars have been fitted with RC rigs, prompting Adam to point out that he and Jamie should cruise for chicks in them, while remaining in the backseat. Their very first myth involved a rocket car, and when speed is a factor in the myths, they tend to call on expert drivers and very cool cars to help.
  • Angel's sleek black convertible, not to mention Gunn's vampire-hunting truck (for which he literally sold his soul)
    • And Angel had a whole fleet of Cool Cars in season 5. Spike destroyed a few of them.
    • Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer initially drove a potentially cool but very run-down Citroen DS but after Spike wrote it off in a car chase he acquired a shiny red BMW convertible, which was seen as a sign of his mid-life crisis and ridiculed by everyone. And Oz had a van which occasionally got close to being the Mystery Machine.
    • Spike's 1959 De Soto is super cool.
  • Mel's classic Mercedes in Tracker, before she sold it to help Jess out.
  • The Core Striker from Tomica Hero Rescue Force, which, due to its AI, also doubles as a Robot Buddy.
  • Hurley's Volkswagen Bus, which he found in the jungle during the third season of Lost.
  • The Equalizer drove a black 1984 Jaguar XJ6 Series III, much to the dismay of potential clients who naturally assumed his services were highly expensive.
  • Stephen Colbert parodies this with his build-a-bear parody build-a-car workshop. It's a tank on monter truck wheels, has a sail and a sidecar attached to it,an American flag on the back and "You steer it with your balls."
    • There actually is a shop like Build-A-Bear, only with model cars. It's called Ridebuilderz.
  • In several third and fourth season episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Solo and Kuryakin got to drive an "U.N.C.L.E. car", which was a concept car developed from the Bertone Pirana.
  • The 1962/4 Volvo P1800 from The Saint, driven by Roger Moore. When they decided to make the movie in 1996, the Volvo coupe had been so well connected to the character of The Saint that Val Kilmer drove the definitely less cool Volvo C70 because it was a Volvo coupe.
  • The Gerry and Sylvia Anderson live-action series UFO had Commander Straker's gas-turbine car (in reality an impossible-to-drive prop whose gull-wing doors had to be opened by an off-screen stagehand), the SHADO Mobiles (tracked armored personnel carriers with radar sets on top) and the missile-bearing Lunar Interceptor. All of them just crying out to be made into Dinky toys.
  • The Spectrum Pursuit Vehicles in Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons (called the Rhino in Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet are similar to the SHADO Mobiles. There was also the Spectrum Patrol Car (the Cheetah in The Remake) Gerry Anderson really likes his vehicles.
    • In fact, the first Supermarionation show was Supercar, which was all about a Cool Flying Car.
  • The Black Beauty from The Green Hornet. In the TV show, a customized 1966 Chrysler Crown Imperial with green headlamps. Generally stored upside down in Britt Reid's garage.
    • The film pretty much takes this Up to Eleven there's at least three of them, all of them armed well enough to destroy several city blocks, and to top it all off it can change color. Possibly the only car cooler than the Batmobile.
  • The car from the show Automan. In the show it's a hologram so it apparently doesn't have to follow the laws of physics. Possibly the only car that could really use inertial dampeners.
  • Semir's 3-Series BMW in Alarm Fuer Cobra 11.
  • Alex Tully's Dodge Challenger from Drive.
  • Inspector Morse drove a Type 2 Jaguar, but for a while every policeman in a British show seemed to drive a classic car.
  • The Prisoner: Patrick Mc Goohan's Lotus Seven, which, apart from the opening title sequence, only appears in one episode in the series.
  • Get Smart: the Opel GT was nice and the Shelby Mustang very impressive, but Max's Sunbeam Tiger was the trademark car with lots of style.
  • Say what you will about The Monkees, that wild custom GTO was pretty cool.
  • And say what you will about The Munsters, the Munster Koach and the Dragula racer were also pretty cool.
  • George from Dead Like Me drives a Mustang that was owned by one of her reaps.
  • Michael Westen's black '73 Dodge Charger is a pretty, pretty thing. Even though it didn't run when he first got it.
    • Yeah, it's too bad he had to blow it up.
    • It came back in early season 5 with Fiona behind the wheel, serving as Michael's getaway vehicle. Seeing the charger run again really meleted this troper's heart and the fact that Michael refers to it as his friend.
  • Pretty much every car seen in Mad Men. After Betty inherits her late father's 1961 Lincoln Continental it's noted in-series that that is a Cool Car for a thirtysomething housewife and mother even in its day, it's not just the Gorgeous Period Chrome.
  • The Batmobile in the campy 1960s Batman series was the coolest thing on the show.
  • Kamen Rider Black RX (and its notorious adaptation, Masked Rider) had a car for the titular protagonist.
    • Kamen Rider Double has a car-like vehicle (it doesn't actually have controls, instead being remote-operated by his cellphone), but it holds the parts for his Cool Bike and is indeed pretty cool.
  • The vehicle the boys use to traverse the titular road in Route 66: it starts off as a '60 Corvette Convertible, but gets updated every season to the latest, sleekest model through means undetermined in-universe.
  • Dan Stark from The Good Guys has a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am of which he is very protective.
  • Every car in the 1980s Rat-Pack era Crime Story, especially Torello's 1957 Chrysler 300.
  • Some Super Sentai series would have a Cool car, mostly ran by the Red Senshi. Here's examples:
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Radbug. A modified Volkswagen Beetle with flight capability and super speed capability while airborne. Technically came from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, but it was used more often in American footage.
  • Jersey detective Jim Bergerac's 'maverick' personality was expressed by driving a Burgundy 1947 Triumph Roadster. The producers thought it looked cool but, as many a critic and viewer noted, it was a car supremely unsuited to Jersey's narrow, winding roads and 40 mph speed limits.
  • The Mentalist's Patrick Jane drives a classic French car - a metallic grey Citroen DS.
  • Mike and Molly has Mike buying a 1957 Chevy Bel Air. It turns in a lemon through dialogue alone, and is sold back to the previous owner.
  • Forever Knight: Nick's 1962 Cadillac Convertible, which has it own fandom faction, the 'Caddywhackers'. He chose it for the trunk space, so he could fit inside if he got caught away from home in daylight. (incidentally, in the original film it was a '59 Caddy).
  • In season 6 of NCIS, Gibbs is required to return to his hometown to solve a case. Whilst there the car he drove up in (an NCIS company car) is fire-bombed to prevent his investigation. Then his father reveals he fixed up the old '70s Challenger he left behind when he joined the Marines. Needless to say, awesomeness ensues.
  • On the show Third Watch, NYPD Officer Maurice Louis "Bosco" Boscorelli's off-duty ride, a blue 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, is significantly cooler (not to mention massively more valuable) than his on-duty patrol vehicle.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Rush's "Red Barchetta", itself inspired by Richard S. Foster's short story "A Nice Morning Drive".
    • Ironically, a car built as solidly as the one described in the short story would be a greater, not a lesser, hazard to its driver since a vehicle with a fully stiffened body will collapse around the largest void space - that being the passenger cabin. Oops. Crumple zones exist for a reason.
      • Doesn't help the case any when this troper's seen full-body steel cars BOUNCE instead of denting...
  • Prominent in Rap. According to Xzibit, his first album introduced him on the scene, his second album established his place, and his third album paid for his car.
  • ZZ Top's Eliminator hot rod.
  • John Lennon's Rolls Royce, famous for its psychedelic paint scheme.
  • The Beach Boys' song "409" praised a muscle car with a 409 cubic inch engine.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has been asked on multiple occasions about the car he drove in UHF and the video for 'All About the Pentiums': a Nash Metropolitan. Notably, it's the same car in both cases.
  • Dick Dale sang about street races and cool hotrods rather frequently.
  • The Dangercar. That is one Badass Trans-Am.


Video Games[edit | hide]

Manny: What a relief. I was getting concerned that our transportation wasn't ostentatious enough.

  • The entire point of the Need for Speed games after Underground is about building and racing in Fast And Furious-style tuned cars. Underground only featured import tuner cars, but Underground 2 also featured a couple of European and American sports cars. Most Wanted and Carbon finally upped the ante by letting you tune exotic cars. Just imagine driving a Lamborghini Gallardo with vinyls, custom paint job and whatnot!
    • Previously, it focused on exotic cars only...which isn't half bad either.
    • The colloquial Cool Car from Most Wanted and Carbon is an FIA GT 2-spec BMW M3 GTR. In Most Wanted, half the reason for the story is to get the car (the other half is revenge) but it's unmodifiable. In Carbon, it's your starting car, but shortly gets trashed. However, completing an arbitrary set of objectives allows you to buy the street version of the M3 GTR, and then modify it to your liking.
  • Racing Lagoon, Squaresoft's old PS 1's "High Speed Driving RPG" game features night racing storyline with customizable cars. Equipping the body modifier parts into a regular city car will turn it into either a custom GT racer, an old-looking car, a gigantic Dragster or even an exotic Le Mans racing car. Not to mention the Tune-Up Of Doom machines that are seriously cool.
  • The Mako from Mass Effect. Technically it's a tank, but even without the guns it would be one heck of a ride.
  • Videogame (and eventually movie) example: Spy Hunter had the G-6155 Interceptor, that can transform into a boat.
    • In the PlayStation 2 game, it could also turn into a bike. In all games, it had smokescreen, machineguns, oil slicks, and a rocket launcher. The series is essentially a Bond Car homage.
  • Every single car in the Twisted Metal games.
  • Sam and Max Freelance Police drive around in a (quite literally) invincible '60 DeSoto Adventurer. It's recently been demoted to No Manufacturers Were Harmed status, though.

Sam: Remember our old car, Max?
Max: I said I was sorry.

  • Gordon Freeman acquires a post-apocalypsized 1969 Dodge Charger as his main method of transport throughout the second half of Half Life 2: Episode Two. Interestingly, the developer's commentary states that they were actually considering subverting this Trope by making Gordon drive a total junker and even having a character comment on its crappiness, but they ultimately decided that it's better if the player has a positive impression of the vehicle.
    • Also, fan reaction to an early preview of the "junker" was not positive, particularly since it was essentially the car from the previous game with a passenger seat and minus the tau cannon.
  • The Warthog from the Halo: Combat Evolved series. Sure it handles like a blind man on roller skates and will flip over if you so much as lean casually against it, but damn it looks awesome. They're so iconic they even serve a vital role in the climax of the first and third games.
  • The cars in the Gran Turismo series range from Joke Cars (the one HP 1895 Benz Motorwagen!), to mundane sedans, to nice muscle cars, to great supercars, to awesome JGTC touring cars, to frikkin awesome Le Mans prototypes, to a MIND-BOGGINGLY AWESOME Formula 1 racer.
    • And then there's the Red Bull X2010. The whole car screams Beyond the Impossible. It was created because Kazunori Yamauchi (GT creator) wanted to know what the ultimate race-car would look like (no rules, no regulations). Powered by a gas turbine generating 1,483 BHP, with 8Gs, or eight times the force of gravity being exerted at full throttle, a maximum speed around 450 km/h or 279 mph, and saddled with an obviously high 0-60 speed; this is the Cyborg of all cars. And that's not getting into the even more Up to Eleven Super Prototype you can turn it into...
  • The cars from Burnout, which range from classic gangster cars to slick fifty's cars to modern sports cars.
  • Fallout 2 lets the player acquire a car if they manage to find the fuel cell controller needed to power it.
  • S.O.P.H.I.A. from the Blaster Master series. It's practically the only way Jason (and later his son Roddy, in Blaster Master: Blasting Again) is able to survive underground against a horde of mutants. Comes equipped with a mounted cannon, homing and dumbfire missiles, and it can be upgraded to hover, among other things.
  • The coolest old cars (oldest Cool Cars?) in a video game ever.
  • The Deuce or "Druid Plow" from Brutal Legend. Cool at the start, and can become even cooler with all the upgrades you can get it.
  • The Laytonmobile is beloved by its owner, but most of the time, it's just a regular car (albeit with a specially raised roof to accomodate the Professor's top hat). In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, however, it gets Crazy Awesome modifications that allow it to morph, with the press of a button, into a glider!
  • Brynhildr from Final Fantasy XIII when in it's gestalt mode. With it's hellfire doughnuts, burnout that causes sparks, droids that fire on enemies, bombs when its jumps up and rolls up in the air, and the power of fire. A damn fine car indeed.
  • Saints Row 2 body shops give a lot of latitude for customization, and reputation boosts for pimping your rides. A few cars rewarded for gameplay are already as cool as they can get.
  • All of the cars from Blast Corps, from the muscle car to the rocket shooting Ballista. Except the Backlash. The Backlash is never cool.
  • The Inter Gray from Night Striker. It's also a Flying Car that can transform into a Humongous Mecha or a bike!
  • Nitronic Rush has a car which can jump, fly for a short time, drive on walls and flip. It also has Nitro Boost.
  • Car Battler Joe is full of these.
  • As is Interstate '76.
  • Many of the vehicles from the Mario Kart series games, especially from Double Dash onwards.


Webcomics[edit | hide]


Web Animation[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Katie in Oktober is a very interesting case. Not only do none of the characters see Katie the same way, but it appears her trunk is some sort of bizarre interdimensional portal.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • C.A.R. from The Replacements is sentient, can fly, and is a lot smarter than his alleged driver, Dick Daring.
  • The Catillac Cats have the "Catillac", a 1950's era Cadillac that on the surface would appear to be The Alleged Car, but is possibly the fastest vehicle on the planet. And most of the time it doesn't even have wheels! It can also transform into an airboat and a camping trailer. It also has a trophy for a hood ornament.
    • In one episode, they even add a submarine transformation.
  • The Gadgetmobile from Inspector Gadget.
  • Cruella de Vil's car in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. It steers like a brick and the chassis flies off like it's paper near the end, but it still pulls off the oh-so-sinister Rich Bitch look.
    • Her car also made a cameo appearance at the very beginning of The Rescuers, where it is now driven by Madame Medusa.
  • The Patty Wagon in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is pretty cool. It can drive even though it's just a stack of unattached pieces, some of which probably aren't even mechanical, and every part of it is fast food-themed. It runs on frying oil, its wheels are pickle slices, it has actual sesame seeds, etc.
  • Speaking of wagons, the Reptar Wagon fom The Rugrats Movie is, as Stu Pickles described it, the "perfect children's toy". Seriously, besides being designed as the eponymous dinosaur himself, the Reptar Wagon is a multifunctional ATV with flashlight headlight eyes, mechanical moving claws and can automatically double out as a flotation boat via "Aqua Reptar" mode. And, to top it off, it's voiced by Busta Rhymes in a Darth Vader-esque voice. Now Defictionalized!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Madame Foster owns a black Firebird. Even with the stylized artwork it can still be clearly identified as either a 1977 or 1978 model.
  • The Question's car in Justice League looks to be a 60's Pontiac GTO. Extra points for using it to drive over some bad guys.
  • Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 is all about this trope!
  • The Incredimobile from The Incredibles. Too bad it was only seen in the opening.
    • Also, the entire cast of Cars.
  • The Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo.
  • Speed Buggy had helicopter & submarine modes. Also, he never lost a race he was in despite competing against race cars.
  • Pretty much every single car of the agents in M.A.S.K..
  • Transformers Generation 1: The Autobots, when in their vehicle modes. All of them.
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades features the Joe's method of transport, The Coyote, and Major Bludd's Mad Max inspired ride. Both also count as a Weaponized Car.
  • The Chan Van from The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan, which doubles as Transforming Mecha thanks to Alan.
  • Dick Dastardly may have been the token villain in Wacky Races, but his Mean Machine was the coolest car in the group. Also it was apparently the fastest, it had to be for Dick to get far enough ahead of everyone else to stop and lay traps for them.
  • The Phooeymobile from Hong Kong Phooey. With the strike of a gong, it can change into anything.
  • The Flintstone Car from The Flintstones, which for some reason is actually powered by the driver's feet.
  • The Lunamobile, from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, is basically a pegasus-with-batwings-pulled flying fourteenth century Batmobile.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers had the Geocruiser, which was solar powered. They also had an eco-friendly plane as well.
  • Megamind's invisible car.
  • Speed Racer: The Next Generation: The powerful Mach 5 itself is found by Speed Racer Jr. and restored for two final races. After it ends up totaled, its successor the Mach 6 is built. Speed's brother X's car, the Shooting Star, is also cool. The Mach 6 eventually gets an air-powered engine.
  • In Oliver and Company, the evil Loan Shark Sykes actually drives a giant black car whose hood ornament is shaped like a leaping Doberman Pinscher (guess which animals he owns as pets!), and in the climax, it can actually shred apart its own tires so that he can drive on rails!


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Jaguar's E-Type. To the point that Jeremy Clarkson called it the beating heart and soul of England.
    • The XJR-15 proves that beauty doesn't need to be traded for performance
      • The body designer went on to design the body for the McLaren F1
    • Also, the XJ220 is fast, reliable, and still comfortable like a Jag' should be on the inside (Such as leather seats, air conditioning and a sound system)
      • This car (atleast modified) was the fastest production road car until the afformentioned F1 came along. Notice a trend?
  • Most Formula One cars easily fall into this trope.
    • Special mention goes to the McLaren MP-4/4 used by one of the greatest drivers who ever lived.
  • Almost any Italian Car easily falls into this trope, though it's not surprising to see them also fall into The Alleged Car territory.
  • Ford GT, the Spiritual Successor to the legendary GT-40, the greatest car that Ford has ever made.
    • Slides close to The Alleged Car territory, if Jeremy Clarkson is to be believed. His GT spent more time in the shop, almost always due to electrical faults, than on the road, but he once said that when it was working, it was quite good.
  • "Halo" cars are built around this trope: car companies showcase their technical prowess by building a really unusual low production vehicle. In turn this makes their regular vehicles look better. Supercars are the most popular (Ford GT-40, Dodge Viper, Honda NSX, etc.) but sometimes high tech cars like the Chevy Volt or the original Honda Insight can fit this category.
  • Jay Leno owns an awesome collection of these. He also owns a lot of cool motorcycles too. In fact....Jay has a rather Cool Garage in general. Jay Leno's Garage shows this to the extreme. In case of doubt, fire up Gran Turismo 4 and look at his Tank Car.
  • Liberace was fond of these, and often had them decorated in his signature gaudy style (including, yes, a rhinestone-covered car).
  • The Tornado Intercept Vehicle, built by IMAX filmmaker Sean Casey so that he could drive into a tornado, film it, and survive while doing so.
  • Reed Timmer's SRV Dominator. To the average outsider (and to Sean Casey, apparently) it comes off as a cheap knock-off of the TIV. But your average engineer can spot the differences. Timmer studied the TIV to determine the main areas in need of improvement and concluded that the TIV's main disadvantage was mobility - it is extremely heavy and travels in a huge convoy. Reed built a lighter, more maneuverable vehicle and travels in a much smaller convoy, resulting in his higher rate of success in intercepting tornados. His planned improvements (air cannons for parachute probes, side scanning radar) follow down this design path to the point where he has nearly condensed an entire storm-chasing convoy into one vehicle.
  • Stephen Fry drives around in a London black cab (don't ask how he doesn't get people hailing him all the time). Perhaps realizing just how cool the idea of Stephen Fry as a cabbie is he even took one on his recent American travelogue.
    • There's something about British actors- Rupert Grint's daily driver is an ice cream truck.
  • Top Gear has the Cool Wall, where new cars 'coolness' is rated by Clarkson and Hammond. One of the rules is that any car actually owned by the presenters must be uncool. Hence the Fiat Panda 1.4 being halfway across the studio at the 'Uncool' end - James May has one.
    • Don't forget, Aston Martins have a special fridge reserved just for them located beyond the Sub-Zero end of the cool wall.
    • They also featured at least two whole episodes where they tried to destroy a red Toyota Hilux pickup truck, but in the end the car kept going every time they restarted the engine. Eventually, they decided with an unanimous decision that the car needed more than a cool wall for its legacy, so they set it on a plinth where it's still on display today.
      • Clarkson and Hammond revealed in series 14 that they think the car company that has made the most great/cool cars is... Lancia. Considering they made the Stratos, Delta Integrale, Monte Carlo, Gamma, Fulvia, etc. and went rallying with most of them, you can see where they're coming from.
      • But, as the episode shows, every very cool feature Lancia cars had - turbo-supercharged engines, extreme rallying performance, and that sleek, sleek look - were neatly balanced out by some seriously WTF design features. I mean, fixing a braking problem by removing the brake servos entirely? Check for the Montecarlo. Passenger having the pedals and the driver having the wheel? Check-check, Stratos HF. Awesome cars, utterly strange design department.
  • Alex Roy's Team Polizei BMW M5. Very possibly the coolest car on the planet - it did go non-stop from NYC to LA in 31 hours without being busted after all.
  • Not only is President Obama's official car really tough, but his Secret Service escort vehicle is even more badass with popout gatling gun turret! equipped-suburban-badder-than-new-cadillac-limo Just check this baby out!
  • This custom car was built around a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. That's right, it's a car powered by the same engine as a Spitfire. Here it is on Classic Top Gear.
  • As was this '55 Chevy, with the ol' Merlin running 3 thousand Horsepower! Here's a video of it.
  • Just to complete the Rule of Three - other performance car projects focus on modding the injection or swapping engines. Charlie built himself a Rover with a Merlin tank engine. Windscreens are for other people.
  • The crown for aircraft-powered cars probably goes to Quad-Al, a dragster with FOUR Allison V-12 engines, totaling 12,000 horsepower. Unfortunately, the car was never completely finished, and never raced. Instead, it was sold off to a guy named Tex, who was promptly shot to death before he could finish it himself.
  • A particular model of Porsche uses an air-cooled engine which, by pure fluke, is the exact right size and shape, with exactly the right mountings, that it can be used as a replacement engine in the original Volkswagen Beetle if the rear shock were strengthened slightly, resulting in a Beetle that can out-accelerate many sports cars.
    • The Porsche family (Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and his son Dr. Ferry Porsche) founded both companies and are responsible for Beetle and the 911. In addition, they both use air-cooled flat engines and have shared technology for years, and will soon merge. It would be surprising only if the VW couldn't fit a Porsche engine.
    • This particular stunt is used succssfully by the protagonist robber in one of the Parker novels by Richard Stark (i.e. Donald Westlake).
    • The Porsche is the 2.0-litre engined 911 (1964-1969) and the engine can provide in stock form from 110-130 hp in milder versions to 180-190 hp in the European non-catalyzed 911S. And a 7000 rpm redline. Good luck.
  • Speaking of Ferdinand Porsche's brainchilds, the humble VW Beetle aka Type 1, Herbie's Real Life counterpart, might have been the sub-zero on the scale of coolness. Most upgradable, tunable and modifiable car in human history, it went from a 1938 puny, below 1-liter engine which was still specifically designed to run for all day at 100 kph, not freeze because it was air-cooled and not overheat while pushing a four-man small Jeep in the North African Campaign at 80 kph... to modern drag-racing monsters running 1000 hp from 2.3 liters and rally-racing Beetles which out-accelerate Vipers. And most mechanical parts like gearbox or brakes are so overbuilt and over-engineered they do not need further upgrades to support engine power. And it stayed in series production for 65 years. This Troper owns a 1966 one and is very proud of it.
  • The Ford Nucleon Awesome but Impractical turned Up to Eleven, and dosed with a lovely green glow.
  • The Citroen DS was a car so revolutionary that Citroen was worried that its future models wouldn't live up to its coolness (they were right). It had, in 1955, power steering, aerodynamic cornering headlamps, front-wheel drive, crumple zones, collapsable steering columns, disc brakes, and a hydropneumatic, self-leveling suspension that gave it an unbelievably smooth ride (and wound up saving Charles de Gaulle's life from an assassination attempt in 1962—the car had suffered two flat tires from bullets but was still able to escape at high speed thanks to this unique suspension system) -- all features that would take decades to show up on other cars. Plus, its aerodynamic outer body design was so slinky and smooth that it would inspire Perverse Sexual Lust out of almost anyone (it is, after all, a French car). It would later be ranked as the third most influential car of the 20th century (behind only the Ford Model T and the Mini), and it is still, in some aspects, a car way ahead of its time.
  • The Classic Saab 900 was the Nordic counterpart of the Swiss Army Knife. Might have looked Boring but Practical in the age of flashy Ferraris and turbocharged Lancias, but its quirky design, turbocharged engines, well-thought suspension, superior ergonomics, very efficient HVAC and long life even in the Scandinavian climate provided an everyday supercar for whomever was brave enough to live with it. Not incidentally it become James Bond's personal car in The Eighties.
  • The Lunar Rover/Moon Buggy. Makes one kinda miss NASA's old Scavenger World aesthetic.
  • Two words: Bugatti Veyron. Three words: Mansory Bugatti Veyron. Four words: Bugatti Veyron Bleu Centenaire. Four words and a number: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
    • One more number: 1,050 horsepower. (Bugatti lists the engine power as 1,001 bhp, presumably because that number is easier to remember.)
      • Not quite so. The request had been to generate "over 1000 bhp" regardless of the measurement system used. 1001 PS (metric hp) means 987 bhp, while 1001 bhp means 1015 PS. To be true to their word, the manufacturers made each engine to generate between 1020 and 1050 bhp, so it's still "over 1000".
      • And just to make things clear, the Super Sport is currently the fastest Production car in the world, it was apparently purposely designed to reclaim its title as fastest production car in the world from the Big-Fast-Shelby-American-Car-Thingy which was the title holder of the time at 256 mph. The Bugatti team were expecting it to go at least 258 mph, but as the onboard-speedometer showed (which read in Kilometers) it ran at 414kph (which was the target speed) and kept climbing. 2 Runs later and after getting an Average speed it could went at 431.81kph which -translated into miles- is roughly 267 mph beating the old record by a mile (or to be precise, 11).. And to think it still has all the luxuries of a normal Veyron makes it even more amazing.
      • The coolest number associated with the Veyron is 120. That's how many feet it needs to accelerate from zero to 60 mph.
  • The Mclaren F1, it may not hold the title of fastest production car anymore, but who cares? its still one of the prettiest, and coolest cars ever to exist (plus the driver seat is in the middle, with a passenger seat on either side, that's one more person you can carry in it when compared to other sports/super cars)
    • Actually, it still holds the title of fastest naturally aspirated car, as the Bugatti Veyron, Konigsegg CCR and SCC Ultimate Aero TT exploit forced induction (turbochargers and superchargers) to reach their top speeds.
    • How cool is the F1? The engine bay is lined with gold. This is not some vanity feature, though. The F1's carbon fibre body panels and monocoque required signifigant heat insulation. No common material was really up to snuff, so Gordon Murray used gold for it's superior heat reflection capabilities. In other words, the bling literally keeps it cool.
  • Further, the mother of all hippie buses.
  • Racing cars in general, such as Formula One and Le Mans cars.
    • Let's be more specific... How about the Dome S102, Peugeot 905 'Supercopter' (never raced sadly), Audi R8C (only raced once, sadly).
    • The 1971 Porsche 917 LH, in Martini colours. To quote from the Autosport.com message board; "I asked a teenage Lewis Hamilton fan when this car was from. He said, 'dunno, nineties?'"
    • Special mention to the McLaren MP4/4 driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost for the 1988 Formula 1 season. The car was one of the last of the "turbo monsters" with a 1.5 litre 1200 hp twin-turbo Honda V6 engine. In the hands of Senna and Prost it became the most dominant Formula 1 car ever made winning 15 out of 16 races it competed in (10 of which were 1-2 finishes) as well as 15 pole positions and 10 fastest laps.
    • The 1990 Mazda 787B, listed because it's the only japanese car to have won Le Mans, as well as without a piston engine, which produced it's limited max power at 9000 RPM (in an endurance racer!), the true maximum power beeing 930 hp at '10500 RPM(!). The noisiest le mans racer ever ?. But the best is that by the end of the le mans win, mazda engineers (after telling the driver to ignore the limiter in some parts) dismounted the engine and found that it could still do another 24 race. The rotary engine was banned afterwards.
    • In any list of cool race cars, there are always 2 cars that are bound to compete for the top slots. The Ferrari 250 GTO and its rival, the Ford GT40. The former is so iconic and nowadays, so rare that when it appeared on Top Gear, it could not be driven simply because the BBC could not afford to pay the insurance for it.
  • The older electric cars could be heart-stoppingly ugly, but some of the newer ones are certainly cool looking at least - the Aptera 2 Series, which looks like it was made for George Jetson, and the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car that managed to impress Jeremy Clarkson (a man who is usually rather disdainful of electric cars).
    • For those too lazy to dig up links:
    • And while we're on the subject of electric cars, just about anything John Wayland races, such as the White Zombie.
    • Speaking of old electric cars, Nikola Tesla once modified a 1931 Pierce-Arrow with an all electric engine, which drew power from the air, letting his Pierce-Arrow hit speeds up near 90 miles per hour. In the 1930's!
  • Many official cars used by heads of state fit into this category. The limousine currently used by the President of the United States (often called "Cadillac One" or "The Beast") is a monster, fitted with 5-inch thick armor plating that could take anything short of a direct hit by an anti-tank round, yet can accelerate and move faster than most commercially-available vehicles. Has difficulty with driveways, though.
  • The Caterham Super Seven. descendant of the old Lotus Seven. Yes it looks like a cross between a go-kart and a 1930s racer, and yes, its 250-hp 2-liter engine may appear to be a joke by virtue of it being from a Ford Mondeo. Now that you're done laughing, take into account the fact that it is so friggin' light (506 kg, or 1,116 pounds) that it has a power-to-weight ratio greater than the Bugatti Veyron. Let's reinterate: its power-to-weight ratio is better than the Bugatti Veyron, the fastest production car in existence (it actually got around the Top Gear test track a second quicker than the Veyron did). It's also a fraction of tthe cost and is a hell of a lot more fun to drive.
  • Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima's Pikes' Peak Suzuki Escudo. Holder of the record time up the mountain. Cool Old Guy + Cool Car = Win.
  • The agricultural-looking humble Land Rover Defender. It literally started its life as an agricultural implement which could also burn banana oil in 1948, far from the glamorous military career of the American Jeep. Extreme construction simplicity combined with aluminium-alloy bodywork immune to corrosion made it able to outlive modern Jeeps, SUVs and other 4x4 animals by decades, and has remianed unchanged in that time (excluding a few engine upgrades). It has become the hallmark of African safaris, the all-enduring donkey able to carry what it breaks the camel's back and a bit more. And the British military still clings to it above all the Humvees in the world.
    • the Land rover Perentie LRPV, part of the 'Perentie' 6x6 series of land rovers developed by and for the australian army and SASR, its essentialy a defender put on steroids to cope with the australian conditions, features include 2 machine gun mounts (one on a cupola the other on the passgengers seat), 6x6 drive, a fuel capacity of 365 litres (giving it a range of about 1600 km between drinks), an integrated cab and body structure with stowing facilities for equipment and rations as well as a low profile over the crew area. and a mounting rack so it can carry its own motorcycle for scouting purposes. as demonstrated here
      • It should be noted, however, that both the LRPV and standard 4x4 110s used by the Australian Army do away with the notoriously unreliable stock engine and install an Isuzu Diesel.
  • The American counterpart of the Ferrari... errr... the Studebaker Avanti was a car so cool that it outlived by decades the company who designed it, simply because it was too cool to drop. Although designed by the early 1960s, it was far beyond what the traditional American car was supposed to be: aerodynamic fiberglass body, modern disc brakes, modern suspension, powerful V8 engines, a design straight from Buck Rogers strips. Just after the Studebaker closure of 1964, all it took were a few enthusiastic people and leftover parts to keep production running up to The Eighties, when another company took over, got bankrupt itself, let another one to take over... even when the last owner got imprisoned for fraud the brand still didn't give up. As of 2005, they were still in production.
    • Ian Fleming got one of the original Avantis. Knowing his taste, it was quite a statement.
    • A better example of the American counterpart to the Ferrari is the Pontiac Fiero, being a mid-engine sports car. Especially the Fiero Mera, which looks nearly identical to the Ferrari 308. Unfortunately, Ferrari sued Pontiac and they had to stop producing them. Both the Mera and the Formula models are really cool cars.
  • Corvette ZL-1 (all of 2 made), and 1964 Corvette Grand Sport (5 built).
  • The Renault Espace F1, featured in Gran Turismo 2, is a racing minivan.
  • The Ford GT-90 concept car. Too bad it was never produced.
    • To go into detail, this car used two engines fused together, raising the horsepower to 720 and the top speed to around the Veyron... Along with the exaust being so darn hot that it required ceramic inulation like that of the space shuttle to keep the car from melting.
  • Almost everything Lamborghini has ever made can qualify as a Cool Car. Some of the most famous names of cars from this company are the Miura, Countach, Jalpa, Diablo, Murcielago and as of late, the Aventador. Special Mention goes to the Reventon, just looking at it is explanation enough.
    • The 1995 version of the Lamborghini Diablo SE30, it has most of the accesories removed in exchange for more horsepower and a high enough top speed to rival NASCAR, only 150 were ever made and Jamiroqaui frontman Jay Kay owned one of them, he wanted it shipped overseas so it could appear in the video for Cosmic Girl, too bad for him the car's handler couldn't resist taking the Diablo on a joyride and smashing it up beyond repair.
    • On the subject of Lambo's, the Countach would count since it was the first Lamborghini to use their infamous swing up doors. (Fact: They were used because normal doors just would not work with the design, a classic case of Awesome Yet Practical.)
    • The Miura was still a fast car despite how long time passed since '67. It's that badass of a grandpa.
    • The Murcielago, named after the bull that survived 28 sword strokes. "Be assured. It is a fighter" Indeed.
  • The 2010 Onyx Ranger Rover, only 300 were ever made and GI Motors gave one of them as a free gift to none other then Lindsay Lohan.
  • The Overfinch Holland & Holland Range Rover. A collaboration between Land Rover tuner Overfinch and custom gun make Holland & Holland. In addition to all the usual luxury refinements, the car has the best optional extra ever fitted to any car in the whole of human history - a self replenishing drinks cabinet filled with Vokda, Whisky and Champagne that Overfinch will top up free off charge for the first year you own the car.
  • Buick GNX and it's siblings. Not only because it could out-accelerate the magnificent Ferrari 288GTO to 60 mph, but because it was a wolf in sheep's skin, so ugly and dated that few people would believe what sort of punch could it pack back then.
  • Duesenbergs. They were some of the biggest, fastest, and most luxurious American cars ever made and were highly regarded by even the car makers in Europe. The most famous were the Model Js.
    • The supercharged "SJ" introduced in 1932 could do 0-60 in 8.5 seconds, hit 104 MPH in second gear, and top out at between 135-140. If that somehow does not impress you, keep in mind that a Duesenberg Model J typically weighed around 5,000 pounds and had the drag coefficient of a barn door—and that in 1932, most production cars couldn't do 60 MPH, period. As the saying went, the only car that could pass a Duesenberg was another Duesenberg—and only with the lead driver's consent!
  • Any car that has the title of a famous racer or driver such as the Lamborghini Gallardo 550-2 Valvetino Balboni or the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss.
  • The Pontiac Banshee concept car. It was a two-seat sports car that rivaled even the Corvette in coolness in the early-mid sixties. Too bad it was shot down before production.
  • The Pope-mobile. Only the best for the head of the Catholic Church!
  • The Daewoo Lacetti. Average-looking, but now popular again, despite criticism at the time. Its Spiritual Successor, the Chevrolet Cruze hasn't quite got this response, though.
  • The Holden Hurricane. so cool that when they found it again in 2006, it was returned to holden who promptly undertook a massive restoration process (right down to duplicating the original paint) that took 3 years to complete, and was only just revealed recently in october 2011.
  • You wouldn't expect a rather mundane car company like American Motors Corporation (aka AMC, now bought out by Chrysler and later turned into the Eagle company) to show up here, but take a good look at the AMX/3. Sadly, this car never reached the market due to exorbitant costs and bumper regulations during the 1970s. However, while the AMX/3 never went into production, they did produce a bunch of other cool cars, like the outlandish red white and blue muscle car, the American Rebel Machine. They also made the AMC Spirit AMX - the first American car to compete in the 24 hours of Nurburgring - and it won both first and second place in its class of 100+ cars - also one of the few racing cars to receive a documentary. The Javelin AMX, a car designed to compete with the giants like the Ford Mustang Boss, curb-stomped most of the other racers in the SCCA races.
  • The Chevrolet Confederate BA Deluxe Sport Coupe was built in true 1950's style, with a large body, chrome all over, whitewall tires, and ridiculous curved bits here and there. The only problem? It was made in 1932, and it generally handled like a '30s car, with the most glaring problem being its low engine power.
  • Most American Muscle cars could fall under this category, the Ford Mustang comes to mind when this troper thinks about it.
  • The SCC Ultimate Aero comes to mind, it beat the original Bugatti Veyron as world's fastest car and was American, which is impressive depending on your opinion of American cars (which for at least some is not very high).