30 Automotive Editors Share What Cars Remind Them of Halloween
Happy Halloween, TopSpeed faithful, and as we do on most holidays, we have put together a special article to get you in the spirit of the season. This time around, we polled 30 key members of the automotive editorial industry, yours truly included, to find what car best symbolizes Halloween to them.
Now, the symbol of Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean it is a scary car. It could be a car that simply reminded the person of their childhood and trick-or-treating; maybe a car that looks like a pumpkin; maybe one that is set to tackle the zombie apocalypse; maybe a car so ugly that it looks like it is wearing a scary costume; or maybe even the car that the bad guy in a horror flick drove.
So, kick back, relax, snag a few mini chocolate bars from you kid’s bag — claiming the wrapper looks "tampered with" — and check out what cars remind the brass of automotive journalism of Halloween.
Click past the jump to read all 30 journalists’ favorite Halloween cars.
Justin Cupler - Editor in Chief at TopSpeed.com
There are so many cars to choose from. The Pontiac Aztek is way up there in both disgusting looks and butchering of a name and the Mustang II has to be on the list because it nearly ripped the still-beating heart from the chests of most Mustang enthusiasts. But I have to give my vote to the Lamborghini Egoista.
This monstrosity looks as if the Batwing and a UFO had one too many cocktails and had one hell of a night together, then nine months later the Egoista popped out. Plus, all of those orange accents are just hideous...
Phillipe Daix - Founder of TopSpeed.com
For me, the car that Halloween brings to my mind is Scott Sullivan’s ’55 Chevy.
I discovered it back in France in an edition of Hot Rod Magazine before I was even old enough to drive.
Not only does its orange hue remind me of a Jack O’ Lantern, but it is so perfect that it’s scary...
Jamie Page Deaton - Managing Editor at U.S. News Best Cars
The scariest cars, to me, are the ones that aren’t driven safely. If you’re just talking about cars that look scary, the Honda Crosstour tops my list. It looks like something off the island of Doctor Moreau.
To get away from any sort of Halloween monster, I’d probably choose the Subaru Outback. It’s quick, has the ability to handle different terrains, has the ground clearance to run over zombies, and if some axe-wielding maniac popped out of the back seat and started attacking me, the Outback’s excellent crash test scores mean I could probably hop right out and start running. Its large cargo area could also hold plenty of stakes and garlic to ward off vampires.
Michael Rockich - Contributing Editor at AllCarCentral
When I think of cars at Halloween the color orange naturally comes to mind. Orange conjures up memories of orange Lamborghinis, and a lovely orange Dino Ferrari I saw once. Halloween also reminds me that the Formula One Drivers and Constructors Championships are drawing to a climax after nearly a year of competition.
Brian Moody – Automotive writer at Autotrader
Of course, the scariest car to see in the rear view mirror is a Ford Crown Vic or Dodge Charger, even if it’s not the Highway Patrol, you can’t help but get that sinking feeling in your stomach.
Also, I recall driving a Porsche 911 GT3 and thinking "This car is scary fast, it has fooled physics - it is impossibly quick." Driving the GT3 was one of the few times where I had to admit "I’m in over my head." Driving that car, it’s like there’s a little devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. One is saying "Slow down," the other yelling "Faster, Faster!"
Anthony Alaniz - Online Production Associate at Car and Driver
When I think of Halloween, I think of watching The Munsters on Nick-at-Nite as a kid. The Munster Koach built by custom-car designed George Barris captures, to me, captures the essence of Halloween in its spirit—over-the-top, and playful, while emitting a aura of awesomeness that isn’t seen much anymore. With a 289-cubic-inch Ford V-8 engine sitting between where the fenders should be, the Munster Koach is the epitome of Halloween cool.
Hannah Elliott – Forbes Staff Writer at Luxury Autos
Obviously the first car that comes to mind when I think of a Halloween car is the Gremlin. It’s also on my mind because it was the first car my dad owned when he was a teenager, and he always told me stories about driving it. I think his was orange, too, so that’s even more fitting. (Pumpkin vibes!)
After that my mind wanders to the Volkswagen Thing (it sounds like a monster or a character from the Adams Family) and to the El Camino (because it’s hilariously grotesque).
And then lastly I remember the DeLorean, especially the scene from Back to the Future when Doc returns in the car across the parking lot of the mall late at night. Don’t ask me why – it just seems like a witchy scene, and the car helps with the look.
Tom Voelk - Automotive Contributor at The New York Times
Similar to scary movie characters, the most terrifying cars are the ones that seem so ordinary, so normal. Personally, the one that spooks me the most is a retired law enforcement Ford Crown Victoria. It’s tough to tell if it’s an unmarked cruiser or a police poseur at the wheel. Traffic always backs up warily behind them until people understand it’s just some guy in a t-shirt. It’s never a woman. Ever.
Of course, an on-duty Crown Vic is worse. Even more so when I’m driving a Mustang GT, M3, or Vette. There’s nothing more horrifying to see in the rear-view mirror than those flashing lights…
Miranda Lightstone – Auto Journalist at Auto123
Since Halloween is all about the adrenaline rush you get from that chill in the air (and the chill down your spine); as ghosts, ghouls and goblins roam the streets you’ll want to make sure your ride is capable of creeping out the neighbourhood. Nothing says full-on creeper like a dilapidated, rotting, but somehow still-faster-than-you 1941 Chevrolet YV... especially when it sports the license plate ’BEATINGU’. Creeped out yet? I know I am.
Andy Stoy - Digital Editor at Autoweek
For sheer entertainment value on Halloween, the disfigured Frankenstein that is the Sir Vival safety car concept would be a sight to behold. Picture a disembodied hand pulling itself down the street lugging a huge, semi-attached mechanical Cyclops. Within, the driver, who’s head appears to float in a glass terrarium approximately where the Cyclops’ brain would reside, guides the tortured beast, no doubt to a fiery salvage yard for its merciful end. It’s a monster that Toy Story’s Sid would have been pleased to call his own, and one we’d gladly idle down any Midwestern subdivision’s main drag come Halloween night.
Jack Rix – News Editor at AutoExpress
At Auto Express we have our very own pumkin carriage on order – a Jaguar F-Type V6 S finished in garish orange with black wheels. It arrives in a few weeks, can’t wait to light it up. Besides that there’s only one other that springs to mind, the McLaren 12C Spider, and it’s nothing to do with the arachnid name. The first time I gave it the full throttle and felt those turbos come on boost, I turned white as a sheet.
Matt Moore – Editor at HeadlineAuto
Scariest Halloween ride? Lexus LF-NX crossover concept!
What happens when Dr Frankenstein does work experience at Lexus. This monstrous creation appeared in Frankfurt and gave us nightmares for a week. A sabre-toothed ogre with a haunting, ghoulish face, and piercing running lights that burn in to your soul… Mind you, with CO2 emissions as low as 109g/km from its hybrid powertrain it will be killing you softly.
Jason Udy - Associate Online Editor at Motortrend
The scariest ride for Halloween is the Ectomobile used in Ghostbusters!!!
James Waddington - Co-Founder of Carhoots
If I ever see a Chevy Coe, I’m running. Ever since I saw Jeepers Creepers this truck has scared the hell out of me. Among the first encounters in the film is with this evil rusty truck, honking its demonic horn and trying to run the teens off the road. From its imposing front with cow catcher and styling that makes it look as if it was designed in a morgue. It is truly a sin against all that is godly and true!
Nick Kurczewski – Autos Editor for the New York Daily News
When I think of Halloween cars it’s impossible not to think of my dad’s old Pontiac Parisienne. That massive and floaty ride transported me in full Halloween regalia to parties, or to see house displays and make a visit to the local pumpkin patch. It was maroon with a maroon interior, and I’m sure it felt like piloting a boat. But from my perspective, there was tons of stretch out space — which made rummaging through my haul of candy a lot easier.
In terms of scary cars, well, driving a Caterham in the rain, in England, with the top down (!!!) was pretty hair raising. I even had to take my shoes off, since they were getting jammed in the narrow foot-wells. Nothing like hitting the brakes AND the gas while driving on the ’wrong’ side of the road.
A Pontiac Aztek with the camping package would be my top pick for surviving a zombie apocalypse. You’re mobile and in survival mode, so all that camping gear would be handy. And the Aztek is so darnn ugly, not even zombies would want to come near it.
Phil Berg – Contributor and Former Senior Editor at Car and Driver Magazine
My perfect car for Halloween was actually a 1992 Mazda Miata, a Car and Driver test car, which I drove for reasons of visibility. That’s important on Halloween. It was the new Sunburst Yellow color, and transported myself and date to several Halloween parties. I was dressed in my gorilla costume, something I bought in reaction to also having to buy a tuxedo that year, an attempt to fix a desperate need for a fashion balance. Date was dressed in a Tarzan’s Jane leopard minidress and Lady Godiva blonde wig. The head of the gorilla costume had small openings that I could see forward out of, but peripheral vision was severely limited. In Michigan that year, the temperatures were mild in October, so I had the roof down on the Miata, and that enabled me to see around traffic much better with the gorilla head on. It also allowed date’s blonde wig to fly in the breeze as we drove up and down Woodward Avenue from Royal Oak to Bloomfield Hills from party to party, drawing looks and tailgaters. I remember passing cops on the road, and never was stopped despite the costume. Probably the Sunburst Yellow prevented any accidents and saved my life, due to its visibility.
Tom Appel – Auto Writer at The Daily Drive
The vehicle that most occurs to me during discussions of Halloween is the 2006 Mtsubishi Eclipse. The car was all-new for ’06, and the launch color was this especially autumnal bronze metallic—a color which comes off as decidedly pumpkin-like in the right light.
Richard Read – Automotive Writer at Gaywheels
I hate Halloween.
I know that my fellow Gays and I are supposed to love it because it gives us license to dress in drag —which is obviously what every single gay man on Planet Earth wants to do every minute of every day. But (a) no one looks twice at drag queens anymore, so who cares? And (b) I live in New Orleans, where any given Wednesday night is fine for costuming. Meh.
So, when I think of America’s second-favorite pagan holiday, I don’t think of warm, fuzzy thoughts from childhood, the crisp evening air, the smell of fireplaces, the magic of trick-and/or-treating. Nor do I really think of nightmares. I think of mundane, unpleasant things like root canals or shopping at Costco. Also, the following cars:
The Kia Soul reminds me of Ben — the bland, unwatchable horror flick from the 1970s and Michael’s Jackson’s bland, unbearable rhapsody to rodents. That’s not because of the Soul’s small stature and beady headlights, but because of those damned CGI hamsters Kia uses in its ads.
Anything with Lincoln’s new grille. If Ford’s designers hoped to craft cars that could conjure up thoughts of the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz, they totally nailed it.
The MINI Coupe is a single-car accident in an empty parking lot: it makes no sense. To me, the Coupe looks like Herbie the Love Bug fell headlong into the Death Star’s trash compactor and didn’t quite make it out in time. Which, come to think of it, probably would’ve made all those Herbie movies much more interesting.
The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is the most bizarre creature to rise from Black Lagoon since the Pontiac Aztek learned to walk on dry land. The question is: will a cable show about meth dealers ever be able to give the CrossCab a little street cred?
The Smart fortwo is simultaneously cute and terrifying. Remember those dolls in Barbarella, the ones with all the pointy teeth that Jane Fonda could’ve probably punted to Peoria if only she weren’t so DAMNED AFRAID? The fortwo is their automotive equivalent. Don’t you just want to kick ’em?
Jake Holmes – Associate Web Editor at Automobile Magazine
Scariest car: Ford Shelby GT500 convertible. This car has far more power than any Mustang needs, especially in convertible form. The brutal engine and flimsy chassis made putting the pedal to the metal downright terrifying, even on a dry summer’s day, as the entire car twisted, hopped, and broke traction on anything but the smoothest roads.
Best car for trick-or-treating: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. The goal of Halloween is to amass lots of candy quickly, right? So how about an SUV that is luxurious and spacious in every trim level? Better pick the SRT8 version, though, to have the power to get to as many houses as possible.
Best vehicle for zombie apocalypse: Ford SVT Raptor. When things go crazy and gangs of zombies roam the streets, you’ll want the Raptor’s huge ground clearance and powerful 6.2-liter V-8 to outrun them – or many even run right through them.
Scariest looking cars: Fiat Multipla, Hyundai HCD-14 concept, Mercedes-Benz G63 6x6. Styling may be subjective, but these vehicles are pretty shocking to look at.
Mark Rechtin - West Coast Editor at Automotive News
While many people think being an auto journalist involves nothing but non-stop testing of supercars, it mostly involves more pedestrian Hondas and Hyundais. But on one rare occasion when I was privileged to drive a Lamborghini Murcielago, it happened on Halloween. This ridiculous V-12 Italian UFO arrived at my office glistening with metallic-orange paint. It was the fastest pumpkin ever.
As for my scariest car, the late-’90s Daewoo Nubira was so poorly assembled that, when I reached under the seat to find the fore-aft adjuster lever, I slashed open my hand on a jagged piece of metal. It remains the only car that has actually tried to kill me. I won’t even get into the terrifyingly vague suspension and paper-thin brakes that Daewoo chose to give the compact sedan that, thankfully, only sold in the US for a couple years.
The ultimate apocalypse vehicle – hybrid owners be damned – would be the Hummer H1, as I learned during another coincidental vehicle loan. I had taken my friends skiing in Mammoth Mountain, near Yosemite, when the 1994 Northridge earthquake hit in Los Angeles. Although freeways toppled and roads buckled, resulting in a huge detour to get home, I had no doubt the go-anywhere Hummer could have traversed the Tehachapi mountains if need be.
Should the zombie uprising occur, my choice of transport would be any of the Jeep Wranglers you might see at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, including this model, properly outfitted for mobile neighborhood defense.
Jim Gorzelany –Automotive Journalist at Forbes
The most fearful car that comes to my mind for Halloween has to be the bright orange AMC Pacer bought brand new in the late 1970’s by my good friend Judy Montalbano. Tall, wide and stubby it looked (appropriately enough) like a big pumpkin with giant windows. It was truly scary in that it would break down frequently, and usually due to a different mechanical malady each time, as if it were possessed by poltergeists. I would keep telling Judy to get rid if it after every costly trip to the repair shop, but she’d always insist that it had been rendered “perfect again” (as if it was ever…). She (the Pacer, not Judy) finally gave up the ghost when its automatic transmission lost the ability to shift into reverse gear, rendering parallel parking impossible. Nevertheless she managed to sell it to some poor lost soul circa 1985 who no doubt would later come to trade it in for a brand new Yugo.
Sharon Carty – Executive Editor at Aol Autos
To survive a Halloween zombie apocalypse, I want a 1976 Volkswagen Golf, diesel-powered. Something that can be fixed up with generous amounts of duct tape, and can be tweaked to run on old vats of french fry oil if need be. I know I won’t be able to sleep in this thing — that’s what my house is for (and why I’ll be digging a moat and installing gun turrets on the roof.)
Danny Choy – Editor at iMotor Times
The following are the two most terrifying movie cars I can think of:
In terms of production cars, this is scary too:
Ciprian Florea – Editor at AutoEvolution
"The Bumblebee Camaro is the perfect Halloween car if you don’t want to spend money on candy. All the kids will want to ride in the car and you’ll be the most popular muscle car owning dad ever. You can even tell them you secretly battle Decepticons at night."
Some say the butt-ugly Aztek is the vehicle that killed Pontiac. We know that’s not true, but we recommend you stock up on candy just in case GM gets any bright ideas and sends one of these trick-or-treating (*creepy music in the background*).
The cleanest and most fuel efficient way to scare your neighbors. Not to mention stealing other people’s candy... Batman would kill for one of these.
Arman Barari – Editor at Motorward
Without willing to attract any unnecessary hostility towards myself, I have to admit I am not very fond of Halloween, or indeed any other kind of costume party. So when asked what comes to mind when I think of cars and Halloween, I immediately thought of not the scariest, but the stupidest cars I’ve come across. And on the top of my list there is the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. This car can turn up at a costume contest dressed as itself, and win the prize for the weirdest look. It didn’t really work well as a car, but it is impeccable as a laughing stock. Happy Halloween!
Jim Holder – Editor at Autocar
I started with an Aventador, simply as it looks so terrifying, veered towards a bright green Focus RS or orange ST (goo/pumpkin) but will settle on the affordable in-betweener, a Ford Fiesta in the slightly more toned down pea green or reddish orange you sometimes find. This white Fiesta is spooky and ghost-like!
Mark Williams - Senior Editor at Cars
Ever since the debut of The Walking Dead TV series, I have not been able to separate the idea of Halloween and zombies—it seems to be the perfect match. So when I have to choose what vehicles come to mind for me, of course it has to be a pickup truck. Either is has to be the pickup The Govenor drove when he left Woodbury or this latest "Black Ops" truck we saw at the 2013 Texas State Fair. We especially like all the twinkles in the bed, as a reference to Woody Harrelson’s character in Zombieland. Either one we believe would be great for zombie killing, especially during Holloween.
Phil Huff - Motoring Journalist at Front Seat Driver
The word Halloween instantly brings up thoughts of the Fiat Multipla. Now you’ve brought me out in cold sweats!
Fifteen years after its introduction, the Fiat Multipla MPV still makes me look away, in much the same way that an angry-faced bloody and disemboweled zombie might do. The proportions are just plain wrong, with a low slung front end and bulbous glass house resembling something of an upside-down Weeble. Traditional headlights were augmented by a pair of spiders eye like windscreen mounted light units that would make any false widow spider proud. It seated six people, but to ensure maximum awkwardness Fiat made sure that three of you shared the front seats. Anybody not used to driving with a dashboard mounted gear lever might cause some serious alarm for the centre passenger.
Secretly, I actually admire Fiat for what they did with the Multipla. In a world of homogeneous design and model ideas created by setting a photocopier to 110%, Fiat eschewed every principle of good taste and created something unique. When they facelifted it, a small part of me was sad. The bonkers design was replaced by something conventional and recognisably Fiat. The world collectively sighed in relief, but I just thought they’d bottled it.
Christopher Chin – Automotive Writer at Autonation
When I think of Halloween and cars, a demonically possessed bright red 1957-1958 Plymouth Fury with limo-tinted windows comes to mind. You might remember it as the starring villain in the Hollywood adaptation of Stephen King’s Christine. Nothing says sinister to me other than something from the peak days of America’s automobile industry, whether it be a 1930s Lincoln hearse or the Ghostbuster’s Cadillac station wagon. The monstrous proportions, circular sealed-beam headlights, massive bits of chrome and the proper color could bring the right amount of intimidation. In the case of Christine, her seductive red hue hides the real side of the one furiously frightening Fury.
Clifford Atiyeh - Senior News Editor at MSN Autos
I’ve driven lots of fast cars, and they always manage to incite fear at least a few times. A surprise entrance-ramp powerslide in a Ferrari 458 Spider, the tunnel vision at full throttle in a Corvette ZR1, or a testicle-clenching dip in the road at 120 mph – I’ve been there, and would gladly repeat it. But the scariest car I’ve driven was in a parking lot at 20 mph. It was a lime green electric car cobbled together by a now-defunct automaker that tried bungling batteries – literally, lead-acid car batteries stacked high in the boot – into the paper-thin body of a cheap Chinese hatch. It sounded like an industrial forklift, but that wasn’t the worst of it. The steering wheel didn’t turn the wheels until you had it at a ridiculous angle compared to your intended trajectory. And then the brakes wouldn’t stop the car. There was a missing wire so I almost crashed into a line of parked cars. The company’s CEO riding with me said he’d be selling a few thousand of these for $18,000 a piece. He was absolutely mad. Soon after my review, he went out of business and proceeded to blame me for his failures. I’m glad his company is dead, because the scare I got in the lot could have been truly deadly on a real road.