Cartoons come with witty characters, exciting and pleasantly ridiculous plots, and, of course, awesome wheels. To capture the experience of sitting in one of those amazing vehicles, some folks go beyond sitting in cardboard boxes while wearing swimming goggles and making funny noises. They take it upon themselves to craft real-life replicas of cartoon cars. Here are some of their cool creations.

The Mystery Machine

Mystery Machine

Image via Flickr by pop culture geek

What would Scooby-Doo and his crew have done without the Mystery Machine? Certainly, many ghost impersonators would have gotten away with their dastardly schemes. While the owners of the real-life Mystery Machines may not make a hobby out of unmasking bad guys, they do get a high score on the coolness meter for their wheels.

Michael Yates, who lives in the Seattle area, owns a van with a paint job that mirrors the Mystery Machine. The van is almost 40 years old and guzzles gas, but the fun makes it worth it. Quoted on, Yates says, “When I’m driving that [van], I’m a kid.”

The Mach 5

The Mach 5

Image via Flickr by TV Squad Julia

Go, Speed Racer, go! Yes, there is a real-life Mach 5 out there. Custom car builder Mark Towle created this masterpiece, which has fans all over the place. It has made appearances on TV shows and in prestigious autoshows. In 2009 it even strutted its stuff at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The real Mach 5 includes some of the same nifty features as its animated counterpart, including saw blades in the front and a working periscope. Its speed tops out at 180mph. Whoosh!

The Batmobile

There are as many versions of the Batmobile as there are versions of Batman. One standout among the real-life Batmobiles is the one based on the car that the Michael Keaton version of Batman drove. It has a Jaguar 3.2 liter engine and an automatic transmission, but the real draw is in the gadgets and gizmos. This baby includes a smoke release feature, hydraulic suspension, and, of course, a flamethrower.

If that version of the Batmobile seems a little too close to reality, there are oodles of other Batmobile replicas out there. For instance, when the 1960s TV show took the world by storm, the producers had several replicas built. One such replica, pictured at, sold for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

Light Cycles

The real-life Light Cycles inspired by TRON are bad in the best way. These customer motorcycles will take a big chunk out of anyone’s wallet, but can you put a price on cool? Built by Parkers Brothers Choppers, these beauties are more like the bikes in the live action movies than the ones in the animated series, but the resemblance is still obvious.

The real Light Cycles are electric, so they are almost as quiet as the ones you see whooshing along on the TV screen. And, of course, they glow. Nobdy cares about how uncomfortable they probably are to drive.

The above cars have the potential to make any reasonable adult abandon common sense and embrace all their childhood fantasies. While you may not have a bank account that lets you become the proud owner of your own cartoon-inspired ride, it never hurts to dream.