Young and old alike have fond feelings toward one of the greatest crime-solving vehicles ever, the Mystery Machine. The main form of transportation for Scooby-Doo and the gang, the unique van is instantly recognizable to fans around the world.
How well do you know the Mystery Machine? See how many of the following facts you already knew and be prepared to learn some more.
That iconic blue and green paint scheme with the orange flowers wasn’t selected by Fred, Daphne, or anyone else in Mystery Inc. instead, it came from the previous owners, a child pop band named the Mystery Kids. Flash Flannigan, the pianist for the band, was the one who painted the famous design.
The back of the Mystery Machine seems to have an endless supply of hidden items. Whatever the gang needs while hunting down a ghost or ghoul is always available in the van, be it a ladder, lantern, computer equipment, a table and chairs, kitchen cabinets, literally anything the plot needs.
At one point the Mystery Machine was transformed into the Monstrous Machine by the Amazing Krudsky. The design was somewhat inspired by Rat Fink art done by Big Daddy Roth, completely with side exit exhaust pipes, bat wing fins, a staggered stance, and other monster-inspired elements.
People will debate endlessly about what the make and model of the Mystery Machine is. Well, the truth is it’s a fictional vehicle and isn’t based on a real-world production model. While it’s definitely a 1960s panel van, the design drawn for the original Hanna-Barbara cartoons borrowed details from several real models and improvised some more. This is why you’ll probably never see a tribute vehicle that looks exactly like the one in the show.
There was a less popular, more modern version of the Mystery Machine was introduced in the 90s in the direct-to-VHS movie Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. It looked more like a Dodge Caravan, with the engine out in front instead of a forward control design, and was also a news van. Don’t ask too many questions because there are many reasons why we try to pretend this abomination never existed.
Images via IMDB, IMCDB