The cars of Speed Racer: Type S

December 25th, 2011
by JP Trostle

Our next vehicle gets the award for the most promoted car from the movie with the least amount of screen time. Snake Oiler’s T-180 is a stunning piece of machinery that looks like a cross between a rattlesnake and a jet. The car is front and center in the movie trailers, and multiple versions made it onto toy shelves.In fact, Mattel made a big deal out of how accurate their Hot Wheels designs reflected the movie cars — using the Hydra Cell T-180 as their example — and, indeed, the paint job on this die cast is gorgeous. Apparently a lot of time was spent transferring the CGI files to the toy maker’s specs so the tampo was just so.Unfortunately, as anyone who’s seen Speed Racer knows, Snake Oiler and his stunning T-180 are taken out of the race a few seconds after they are introduced in the opening scene at Thunderdome Thunderhead, never to be seen again.Although, you gotta love Snake’s slack-jawed expression when it happens…None of which takes away from the unique design of the vehicle (shown here with the original from the cartoon and the Hydra-cell street car, the Type O). The Type S is one of the T-180s that can be driven in the Speed Racer video game — where it is named “The Hydrophiidae” — and you can still find plenty of copies of the Hot Wheels version on eBay.

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