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Recreating the Mystery Machine

As a child we all had our favourite cartoons, characters and gadgets. Vehicles were always a hot topic of discussion amongst children, who would often debate over who had the best car or van. Common favourites included the Bat Mobile, Optimus Prime/Bumblebee, the Jetson’s flying car and possibly every car on Wacky Races. One of the most iconic cartoon vans however, was without a doubt the Mystery Machine, made famous by Scooby Doo and “those meddling kids”.

Since its debut in 1969, the show has been a regular feature of generation upon generation of children’s television. The gang of 4 and their cowardly Great Dane went on countless adventures, hunting bitter people in creepy fancy dress and running through suspiciously repetitive corridors. Each episode however would not be possible without the support of their trusted, psychedelically painted van, known as the Mystery Machine. Racking up countless miles and mishaps, one would hope they protected their getaway van with good van insurance.

Mystery Machine Inspiration

The show left a lasting impression with many adults today as it is not difficult to find numerous pictures of super fans that have redesigned their vans to look just like the mystery machine. For those interested in creating a quality replica, the first stage of making your own Mystery Machine is to find a van that has a similar body and design.

You could liken the Machine to any van that features sliding doors, two roof racks, spare tyre on the grill of the van and the capacity to carry up to 6 passengers, with spacious room in the rear similar to a VW bus. However as the show was created in the late 1960s and reached its peak throughout the 1970s, vans made during this time are more likely to have inspired the animators. Most have likened it to the Chevrolet G-Series Third Generation Van while some van enthusiasts who examined the car more closely saw it as a hybrid of multiple vans. It includes the front of a VW bus, the body of a Citroen Camionette and the rear of a Chevrolet Van.

Super Fan Stats

One fan of the show has gone to great lengths to assess the qualities of the fictional vehicle. After conducting extensive research, this fan determined the following features of the van:

Engine Size: 6 Cylinder
Height: 6ft 2in
Width: 6ft 1in
Length: 14ft 2in
Max Speed: 60mph

After watching numerous episodes, this fan then calculated the following statistics on the vans overall performance (or lack of):

Flat Tyres: 10%
Flat Tyres on a Deserted Country Road: 30%
Overheated Radiator: 10%
Overheated Radiator near a Haunted House: 23%
Headlight Problems: 5%
Headlight Problems while Travelling Through Fog: 29%
Steering Problems: 3%
Steering Problems when Daphne is driving: 65%
Brakes Failing: 8%
Drive Away with a Zoom in the Nick of Time: 80%

Looking at these detailed statistics it is clear that strong opinions still remain over our favourite childhood vehicles. Do you agree with the Mystery Machine being the best cartoon van, or perhaps you know of a better one? Let us know!

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