The Friday Five- Cartoon Vans

Even in the world of cartoons, characters needed to get from A to B, sometimes with a considerable amount of baggage. So our Friday Five this week lists our favourite cartoon vans, some of which would be pretty awesome if they were real.

1. Mystery Machine

This is now the second time this van has appeared in our Friday Five, but only because it’s such an iconic van. It would be surprising if any child who grew up watching TV never encountered the Mystery Machine. Its quirky paint design added some brightness to the gloomy findings of Scooby Doo and the gang. During countless series from 1969 to the present, its look has remained relatively untouched but if my memory serves me right, there were just two spin offs where the van was not featured. A Pup Named Scooby, set when the gang were just kids and The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo which revamped the original cast for one series.

2. Pat’s Delivery Van

For over 27 years the residents of Greendale village have had postman Pat Clifton deliver their letters in style. Driving the always clean and pristine red van with his cat Jess for company, in the early years it was branded with the Royal Mail logo. The overall design of the van was based on the Bedford HA which was produced from 1963 to 1983. It looked like a car and van hybrid, with features taken from the Vauxhall Viva (HA). Funnily enough, art imitated life as the Bedford HA was used by the Post Office and inspired Pat’s chosen mode of transport through peaceful countryside lanes which are based on Longsleddale Valley in Cumbria.

3. The GadgetMobile

A more unconventional vehicle on the list, this van was almost as tricked out as its owner. Some would argue that the last thing Inspector Gadget needed was a van with even more gadgets, but something had to get him to the scenes of various crimes. Also his sheer incompetence proved he required all the help he could get, even with his young niece and dog in tow. Some of the van’s gadgets included converting into a police car, extending wheels that raise the car metres into the air, a protective shield and even an accordion. You never know when folk music could come in handy!

[Image Credit –]

4. The DogMobile

Just like the Mystery Machine, we’ve featured this van before in our Friday Five. It’s just so unique and quirky, you have to appreciate it. Based on the hit film, the cartoon series of Dumber and Dumber was short lived with only 13 episodes but parts of it held true to the original movie. (Except for their purple pet beaver, Kitty. Random!) The Mutts Cutts van was renamed ‘The Dogmobile’ and with the help of animation, the cute and cuddly vehicle added a childlike innocence and naïveté to Lloyd and Harry’s simple characters. But no matter how dumb they may be, hopefully they knew to get van insurance for their furry vehicle.

[Image Credit –]

5. Magic School Bus

Okay, technically yes it is a bus BUT just like the Gadgetmobile, it has a rather ludicrous arsenal which is allowed in the realms of children’s TV. The show was educational, mixed with exciting adventures that took children literally into the centre of various science topics. They ranged from astronomy to the human body, various ecosystems, the basic laws of physics and chemistry. All of these journeys required different modes of transport, each more radical than the last. So I’m pretty sure this bus had the capacity to turn into a simple van, which is why it’s made our Friday Five.

[Image Credit – Scholastic Corporation]




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