The cars of Speed Racer: Racer X

February 16th, 2012
by JP Trostle

Ah, the Masked Racer. Say it quickly now, in one breath: “Racer X! Unknown to Speed, this is his older brother Rex, who ran away from home years ago.” The long-lost Racer sibling appeared frequently in the animated series and was a major character in the big screen movie adaptation, where he used the mysterious masked racer persona as a cover for his “real job” as a secret agent — and to come to his younger brother’s aid when needed.In the live-action flick Racer X was an officer working for the World Racing League, investigating the criminal and corporate elements involved in fixing races, but in cartoon he was a full-blown secret agent in the globe-trotting mold of James Bond, often using races in other countries as a cover for espionage. Like James Bond, Racer X also apparently never learned the art of blending in.Whenever he appeared, Racer X was usually behind the wheel of the Shooting Star, a sleek two-seater of improbable design that was as powerful as the Mach 5. It came with the assortment of weapons and devices one would expect in a secret agent’s ride, including an oil slick in the cartoon, and, in the movie, four heavy caliber machine guns. And while they were never directly seen, it was apparent Number 9 had booster jacks similar to the Mach 5.In addition, the Shooting Star was notable for having the biggest ass of any vehicle on the show. Just look at those tailfins!For the live action version, the design of the Shooting Star was toned down a tad, though it still kept its distinctive pointed-toe grill and yellow jacket color scheme. Above is the life-sized prop, one of several complete vehicles built for the movie.Dude, bitchin’ blaupunkt!Racer X was also seen driving a T-180 in the Fuji Helexicon. While it is not designated in the movie, the car goes by the name “Augury” in the Speed Racer video game. (Interestingly enough, while everyone knows Racer X’s car is called the Shooting Star, it is never actually named in either the cartoon or the movie.)As with many other things in the live-action Speed Racer, the Wachowskis and the designers spent a great deal of time and effort paying tribute to the original, in ways only a hardcore fan will notice: in this case, Racer X’s T-180 essentially has a giant thorax, an homage to the massive trunk of the original.Here the “Harbinger of Boom” takes out what appears to be a Type J car at Fuji.The designers clearly had some fun with the look of Racer X’s T-180, giving it multiple crossing lines. As with all T-180s, the Augury came industry standard with booster jacks and no weapons. Even though it only appeared in the movie for a couple of minutes, this car was one of the vehicles showcased in the DVD extra feature “Supercharged.”Due to its key roll in the Speed Racer story, there are almost as many models and scales of the Shooting Star as there are of the Mach 5. Here are three of the 1/64 scale die-casts, including the Johnny Lightning version of the Japanmation design, and the Hot Wheels versions from the movie.

Racer X Car Numbers sighted: 9


Posted in The cars of Speed Racer | Comments (4)

  • This car reminds me speed racer’s car, mach 5. When I compared both cars, I realize that my choice suddenly changed and I like racer X car now. It is well designed and looks are pretty much suits with stock cars.

  • Punky says:

    The best e and most beautiful car from animes and live-actions. And this car and his pilot are better than Mach 5…kkk. and Speed too.

  • Michael says:

    My Mock 5 car finally died and I replaced it with a yellow Smart car. I’m really tempted to give it a Shooting Star paint job and license plate! 😉

  • Eric says:

    Does anyone know who actually owns the Shooting Star from the movie? Been trying to track it down for a while.

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