These Car Dudes Turn Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine Into a Monster

Scooby and the gang in the Mystery Machine.
Scooby and the gang in the Mystery Machine.
Image: Warner Bros.

I don’t know much about cars. But I do know Scooby-Doo. And I know the Mystery Machine is the rockin’-est, mystery-solvin’-est van around. So when these mechanics decide to have some fun with a van painted to look like the Mystery Machine, I can see the appeal.


In this video from Cleetus McFarland, the creator and his crew of car boys decide, for some reason, to refurbish a Mystery Machine and put a turbo rotary engine. I don’t know much about cars, but this is, so far as I can tell, an engine meant for a race car, not a mystery-solving van. At any rate, the experiment is neat and ridiculous, especially if you’re interested in cars at all. Or if you just like seeing people do incredibly ridiculous things with your Scooby-Doo nostalgia.

This is a four-part series of work and experimentation, but I’m linking here to the fourth part, where McFarland’s crew actually gets the van up and running. It’s loud, and not practical. But those ghosts will almost certainly not be outrunning Scooby. If the van doesn’t blow up first.

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That thing is in no way a “Mystery Machine.” A flowery Scooby-do inspired paint job does not a “Mystery Machine” make. It lacks everything that made the original Mystery Machine awesome, many of which never existed in the real world.

The original Mystery Machine was not based on any real world van. It was a pastiche of various styling cues from different manufactures. For instance, it has a flat front windshield very reminiscent of a mid-60's Chevy G-van, as well as other styling cues. However, the Mystery Machine has a front bench seat that four teens can cram themselves into, something a Chevy G-van never had. Also, the Mystery Machine is shown specifically in one episode as having a rear mounted engine like a VW Transporter, except it was an inline water cooled engine. This would be necessary for it to have a front bench seat. The G-van has a mid-mounted engine between the front single seats, same as the Ford Econoline and Dodge A-100.

Also, that thing has windows down the sides. It’s some form of Kei car micro-van people hauling bimbo-box. The Mystery Machine is a full size cargo van.

Sorry, but this just punches my buttons. I was born the year Scooby-Do came out, and I grew up watching it on Saturday Mornings. It was my #2 favorite Saturday Morning Cartoon after Jonny Quest. That was the whole thing about The Mystery Machine: It was itself a mystery.