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1/18 The Green Hornet Black Beauty - 6 Feb, 2016

1/18 The Green Hornet Black Beauty

The Green Hornet is one of the oldest and most enduring characters in the American pantheon of crime-fighting heroes. The radio drama that began in 1936 became a film serial in the 1940s, a short-lived 1960s glam-culture TV series, and a 2011 feature film. It follows the adventures of playboy media mogul Britt Reid, the owner and publisher of The Daily Sentinel. As the masked Green Hornet, Britt fights crime with the assistance of his martial-artist partner Kato and his weapons-laden car, the green-eyed Black Beauty, sporting license plate “V-194.”

The single-season TV series premiered on September 9, 1966, and ran through March 17, 1967, lasting 26 episodes. It starred Van Williams as both the Green Hornet and Britt Reid, and Bruce Lee as Kato. Lee was the first Chinese national cast to a major role in Hollywood and afterward became the international Kung Fu legend.

The Black Beauty in the TV series began as a 1965 Chrysler Imperial Crown sedan before falling under the torch of iconic Los Angeles customizer Dean Jeffries. In the series, the Black Beauty lived underneath Britt Reid's garage, and a set of switches on a secret control panel behind a tool wall would sequentially: 1) lower the lights; 2) attach clamps to the axles of Reid's personal car (also a Chrysler); 3) rotate the floor of the garage to hide Reid's car and bring up the Black Beauty; and 4) unclamp the Black Beauty's axles. The Black Beauty would then exit the garage through a hidden rear door and enter the street from behind a billboard.

Able to fire explosive rockets from tubes hidden behind retractable panels below the headlights, the seemingly bullet proof Black Beauty had a full arsenal on board, including a deployable nozzle for knock-out gas hidden in the grille, and a small flying audio/video surveillance device called “the Scanner” that presaged today’s aerial drones. It launched from a small rectangular panel in the middle of the trunk lid, which had its own phalanx of rockets and gas nozzles.


As with other famous vehicles from television and film, AUTOart has faithfully reproduced the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty in meticulous 1/18th scale. All the weapons are there, revealed when you open their secret doors in the bumpers and grille, and the Scanner drone emerges from the trunk. The hood rises to expose an accurately replicated Chrysler 440 V-8, and all four doors swing out so you can peer into the interior, reproduced in every detail from the wood door trim to the Black Beauty’s many extra console buttons and switches.

Behind the rear wheels are the brushes deployed to erase the car’s tracks on sandy or muddy roads and thus elude pursuers. The Black Beauty is one of the greatest crime-fighting cars in superhero lore, and will make an “explosive” addition to your collection.