Awesome real-life versions of fictional cars

The wonderful thing about fiction is that literally anything can happen, which makes for some pretty addictive escapism. All those crazy stories, amazing gadgets, and awesome vehicles just catch the imagination, and sometimes it's hard to let it go. But while most people can watch, read, or play fiction and return to their lives with just a persistent happy memory, there are a few fans who need it to be real, and will go to some incredible lengths to make that happen. For some, that means buying an action figure, dressing in a uniform, getting a tattoo, or writing fan fiction. But sometimes, as you will see, it means taking their favorite fictional car, and building a real world version that they can look at (and possibly even drive) whenever they want.

Star Wars' X-34 Landspeeder

A landspeeder is a form of futuristic personal transport featured in the Star Wars movies. Luke Skywalker owned an X-34 landspeeder which, like most of its kind, lacked any wheels or similar structure, but rather hovered above the ground and moved with the aid of turbine engines. The funny thing about Skywalker's landspeeder is that, despite being an example of a highly advanced technology, it's still a beater. Nevertheless, such an iconic machine can't help but gather a following, and that includes Tommy Built Design Studios, who decided to bring it to life. Unfortunately, while they were able to replicate the bodywork to a surprising degree of accuracy, that accuracy didn't extend to the underside where, instead of a satisfying floaty gap between vehicle and floor, there are boring old wheels. But we shouldn't be too upset about that: the technology did come from a long time ago, which definitely makes it ahead of its time.

Halo's Warthog

The Warthog, vehicular star of the Halo video game franchise, looks a bit like a dune buggy crossed with a light tank. Featuring massive all-terrain tires, a triple-barreled rotary cannon mount on the back, and usually an armed space marine riding shotgun, the Warthog could go anywhere, cause trouble, and roll over on the way out (that's just the way God made it).

So it's no surprise that a more than a few fans decided they wanted a piece of that insane off-road action. Ultimate Halo fan, Peter Cooper, not only decided to produce his own fan-film, called Operation Chastity, but converted a 1983 Land Rover Defender into a working Warthog to star in it. Unfortunately for Cooper, enthusiasm doesn't seem to have been enough to see the project through, because the film has been delayed indefinitely, and the Warthog sold. Bet it was fun while it lasted, though.

The Flintstones' car

The inspiration to build this car was clearly rooted in childhood nostalgia, because it certainly wasn't performance. The Flintstones' iconic foot-powered whip is part of the general parody of the Flintstones universe, which recreates modern technology as prehistoric by making them out of stone, wood, and animals. The car is essentially built of a wooden frame, stone rollers, and animal skin coverings, and is moved by the occupants feet. However, since the occupants would have to be something akin to super-men to actually move such a contraption, real-life versions are typically either made of much lighter materials, or they incorporate working engines to get around.

One such vehicle was built by German Flintstones enthusiast Sebastian Trager, who incorporated a 1.3-liter engine in his project to help it move. Unfortunately, the lack of a windshield, wipers, lights, or indicators inevitably prevented the contraption from becoming street-legal, so now it travels by trailer instead. Another life-size Flintstones vehicle featured in the news recently, when it was parked illegally on a street in Florida (the dream machine pictured above). The police were even having difficulty tracking down the owner, which is odd—you'd think people would remember a barefoot guy wearing animal skins.

Tron: Legacy's Light Cycle

One of the coolest science fiction machines ever has to be the Light Cycle from the 2010's Tron: Legacy. One of the coolest things about this bike is that, not only does it come from fiction, but even in that fiction it's not real, existing only within a virtual digital environment. So, considering it was never expected to even begin to obey the laws of physics, the creation of a functioning, road-legal version can only be considered doubly amazing.

Constructed by Florida's Parker Brothers Choppers, who specialize in building unlikely vehicles, it was originally powered by a 1000cc V-twin engine, then later as an all-electric model. With the relatively sensible asking price of around $55,000 (well, reasonable for crazy custom bikes, anyway), this might seem like every man-child's dream. However, due to the disturbingly wide tires, and impractically long wheel base, the only thing it's really good for is a dramatic entrance.

Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine

The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo is actually a pretty easy build—it's just a van with a goofy paint job, after all—which explains why there are so many kicking about. But just because it's easy doesn't mean it can't be done badly, and not just because of ugly paint jobs—too many are based on the VW Microbus, and that's just wrong. Nobody knows for sure what kind of van the Mystery Machine actually is, but it's not that. So don't do that.

One guy who didn't get it wrong is Jerry Patrick of Newnan, Georgia, who makes a habit of building iconic cars. It took him thirty days to convert a 1968 Chevy van into his version of the Mystery Machine. The thing that makes it stand out from the rest of the groovy crowd is total the attention to detail. It has a beautiful paint job, a themed, upholstered and lit interior, and vanity plates that read "OSCOOBY." It even comes with a stuffed toy Scooby to ride shotgun. Rumor has it that the donor van was haunted, and so the project nearly didn't happen at all. Thankfully, that was soon uncovered as a hoax, presumably thanks to a group of meddling kids.

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