Monday, November 22, 2021

Hornets of Green

 Last week I brought you a bunch of Batmobiles, so this week I bring you another super car: The Black Beauty!

The Green Hornet was a one season only show that featured Val Williams (as Britt Reid- the Hornet) and Bruce Lee (as Kato). Of course, the real star of the show was the mildly modified car.

The car was a 1966 Imperial Crown hardtop. Dean Jeffries (of Monkeymobile fame) designed it, and kept it pretty close to stock in appearance. Of course, it had all kinds of weapons and gadgets for crime fighting. 

Here's a trivia question for you- who drove the Black Beauty? If you said The Green Hornet, you'd be wrong. The driving was all done by Kato, the Hornet's sidekick. The Hornet rode in the back, where most of the gadgets were. 

The car was hidden right in Britt's regular garage in an intetesting way. Britt would pull his car into the garage, get out and flip some hidden switches on the wall, and clamps would grab his car. Then the whole floor would flip and there was The Black Beauty clamped to the other side! As someone who has owned a lot of cars that leaked oil, I can't really see how this would work in the real world. Fluids everywhere! Oh well.

Today, we'll look at three examples that I happen to have. First, we have the coolest: the Corgi Green Hornet from 1966. Actually, the Batmobile and the Black Beauty were released at about the same time. The Batmobile was Corgi model 267, and the Black Beauty was 268. It makes sense, since the cars were on the same network and lived in the same "universe." 

Here's my example:

Corgi was big on functioning features, and the Black Beauty has a few. The grill pops down to launch a red missile, the trunk pops open to launch a spinning radar...thingy..., and by turning a green tab on the bottom of the car, you can make the Green Hornet aim at bad guys. Although he's tough to see due to the green windows, Kato is driving...

My car does have issue in that I don't have any missiles or spinners so I'm not sure if those functions work.  Still, it's pretty cool.

Next we have a Johnny Lightning example from 2001. That seems like just yesterday to me, but it was 20 years ago when I bought it new. Here she is:

The details are probably closer to the real car...but it doesn't actually DO anything other than roll. It's kind of cool to display next to the much bigger Corgi model.

Lastly, we have a model kit by Polar Lights from a couple years later:

As you can see, I put it in a display case. It blended in with the black base, so I painted the base gray (to look like a road...sort of) and added a couple of details I cut out from the box. High art it's not, but I like it. 

The gadgets are probably best represented on this car. The silver nozzle on the back is a smoke screen generator. At least I'm pretty sure it is. As you can see, it has missiles aplenty, which beggs the question; where does one buy replacement exploding car missiles? 

So there you have it! There are other examples out there, but I've never been as interested in the Black Beauty as in the Batmobile. Still, I'm glad I have them!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!


  1. …aaand now I have Al Hirt’s trumpet riff from the theme song stuck in my head. Thanks! I haven’t thought of that in years.

    Now that I think of it, I think the only time I ever saw the show was on Sky Network…in a hotel…in Thailand. We were there for six weeks for an exercise, and my roommate and I made sure we caught that - shown back-to-back with Batman - every day when the work schedule permitted.

    Cool stuff, Stu!

    1. Thanks!
      Yep, that Flight of the Bumblebee will drive ya nuts!
      I saw the show a few times, but it just wasn't as good as Batman in my opinion. As a kid, I think I thought it took itself too seriously. ...or something.

  2. Yeah, that theme song was a very effective earworm! I loved the Green Hornet show; even though it was in the same universe as the Batman show it strove to be more realistic. Every once in a while I watch the whole series on YouTube.

    I love all the details on the Corgi model. Tiny Scale Model Kato would be very proud.

    1. Lol, you're probably right! He does look sharp in his uniform!

  3. With the help of my beautuful wife, I now get notified when someone comments!


Apparently Blogger doesn't like people commenting from anything but a computer. I'm trying to find a solution, but so far no luck. If your comment doesn't go through, please try from a computer. Thanks.