Given the hijinks and bad behavior associated with many an animated character, it makes sense that they all own vehicles that help them get away from the scene of the crime — fast. The sequence is a classic one: the tires spin but the car stays in place, the sound of screeching mixes with the vrooming of the engine, dust gets kicked up under the scorching body, and then suddenly the car shoots off at a comical speed.
While they're no match for the F-TYPE, these getaway cars deserve props nonetheless. Below, a refresher course on these famous cartoon cars — Saturday morning cartoons not included.
The town of Bedrock wouldn't be the same without Fred's pedi-powered, very old-school Flintmobile, equipped with rock-solid wheels (well, they're literally rocks), classic wooden sides, and a nice animal skin roof. But even a heavy vehicle like this can make a clean getaway, as evidenced by the many times it's saved Fred and Barney from trouble. Whether it's the episode where Barney gets accused of being a kleptomaniac, or the one where they try to outrun The Great Gazoo, the Flintmobile gets the gang out of trouble — courtesy of Fred's two feet.
Built by Pops Racer for his son Speed, the Mach 5 might be the slickest, coolest-looking car in cartoon history (and it's real, kind of!). But it's not just a pretty face: the Mach 5 has a series of buttons that make it zoom past and stave off any threatening opponents. Button A, for example, lifts the chassis up for quick repair, Button C releases razor-sharp cutter blades, and Button F puts the car into Frogger Mode — that's right, the Mach 5 can go underwater. All of these things come in handy when Speed is trying to escape from a Royalton thug.
The Mystery Machine doesn't seem like the ideal getaway car. It's enormous, it's old, it's loud, it's painted in bright colors, it says "Mystery Machine" right on the side in case pursuers needed help finding it, and even if the usually reliable Fred is behind the wheel, it is not easy to drive with such a traveling circus. Solving mysteries involving secret identities and supernatural powers brings on a lot of enemies, though, so the Mystery Machine had to come through in the clutch. And did it ever — I can't imagine any other car outracing the otherworldly creatures like the Tar Monster or the Pterodactyl Ghost. It's mean, it's green, it's the Mystery Machine.
Sterling Archer's reckless behavior, insatiable sexual appetite, and dependency on alcohol makes him an easy target for all kinds of traps and trouble. Thankfully, he's able to escape in his olive-green Plymouth GTX. Though he upgrades to more tricked-out cars in later seasons, it's the flamboyant, slightly bizarre GTX that best suits him. I'm not sure what he's driving in the latest season, but given his career change, he's going to need a top-notch getaway car.
Though it's usually a 1983 Toyota Supra, Inspector Gadget's Gadget Mobile can be so much more. It can go into van mode, becoming a boxy anonymous vehicle designed to evade bad guys, or it could go into police car mode, which comes equipped with a robotic crane that bursts out of the front when needed. All of these tools come in handy when Inspector Gadget has to evade the evildoing of Dr. Claw, his genius antagonist. Go go gadget getaway car!
Next time you need to jet away from a spot fast, the nefarious fellows closing in behind you, take a few pointers from these classic cartoon getaway cars. If Fred Flintstone can get out of a jam using his feet, your car will do just fine. And if I left out your favorite car (or you just want to throw your support behind the Mystery Machine), let me know.
Image by Michael Erazo-Kase