The 10 Mightiest — and Nerdiest — Monster Trucks


?While most automobiles are content to ferry drives and passengers from points of interest, monster trucks perform for the sake of spectacle. The gladiators of the auto kingdom, monster trucks are designed to mete out punishment. Crushing pedestrian vehicles, leaping over illogical expanses, and sometimes battling their own kind, these machines embody many of mankind’s most aggressive and competitive impulses. As such, some of escapist fiction’s most colorful characters make for suitable monster truck skins, festooning cold beasts with the style needed to give them symbolic power. Continue reading to admire outrageous autos augmented with nerdy aesthetics — or just to see big cars mercilessly crush little cars. It’s fun!

10) Godzilla

While this monster truck bears no real lizardly modifications and smashes Godzilla-style in name only, it’s worth celebrating for the mere mention of the godfather of kaiju (and daikaiju) madness. One day it’d be nice to see this signature vehicle equipped with a rubber skin and some atomic fire, but for now settling on steel and fiberglass crushing will have to do.

9) Taz

In terms of the capacity for spectator destruction, Looney Tunes seems like an excellent place to look for characters worthy of their own monster truck. In this instance, Taz the Tasmanian devil was chosen to embody destruction. Unfortunately, unlike its cartoon counterpart, this Taz can disastrously flip over if it spins too fast.

8) Scooby Doo

While it’s definitely no Mystery Machine, this Scooby Doo ride makes a beast out of a typically fearful canine. The dog’s monster truck incarnation seems remarkably more focused as well, meaning it probably gets a vaguely stoner-based snack or two for a job well done.

7) Wolverine

As awesome as it would have been to watch a truck armed with razor-sharp adamantium claws rip through enemies and obstacles, this “un-popped” version gets the character across with a suitable paint job and berserker road rage. It’s unclear what the emission standards are on novelty vehicles like these, but watching online clips may inspire fans to imagine mufflers that contort the engine’s roar to a sound approximating “Buuuubbbbb!”

6) Hulk

Similar in design to the “Samson” monster truck, this two-fisted brute is adorned with Hulk’s traditional green skin and purple pants. Given that cars don’t wear pants, the paint job takes pains to situate the color scheme in a way that makes sense – not that anyone watching a vehicle with monster arms should really notice. It’s strong. It smashes and bashes. The Hulk monster truck does everything it needs to aside from transforming from the form of a Smart Car or equally meek automobile equivalent.



5) Iron Man

Tony Stark’s the kind of guy who likes mechanical toys in all forms. As such, the idea of him cruising around in a monster truck seems as appropriate a form of recreation as his upcoming Iron Man 2 formula car race. Without boot jets or repulsor rays, this machine isn’t much of a stand-in for a fully weaponized suit of armor, but its visual value lends itself well to Stark’s armory.

4) Spider-Man

This car does few things a spider can, but it does do a few things a spider can’t. It houses a human driver for one, which, aside from a few size-changers’ adventures, most spiders have refused to allow. There’s also the matter of the Spidey truck’s covered shell – a fine safety feature for its car-smashing tasks. The original Spider-Man dune buggy may have been great for catching rays and jumping over Sandman, but this truck seems like it’d be far more efficient in confrontations with most domestic criminals.

3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

When the Turtle Van (or Battle Shell if you nasty) and Turtle Blimp are in the shop, there’s no better way to face down the Technodrome than with this Turtle-styled monster struck. It’s just as flamboyant as any of the turtle’s rides, but nearly 90 percent more functional than its pizza-shooting, water-spraying vehicular peers in many practical regards. And while it may seem unfair that Raphael’s signature red mask adorns the car, it’s actually a very suitable choice considering the original turtles lineup sported identical uniforms, meaning this ninja time truck has turtle power in any era.

2) Batman

Having driven every variety of vehicle – including scores of completely original creations – it should come as no surprise that there have been numerous monster truck incarnations of the Batmobile. Many came modeled after the Caped Crusader’s movie cars, and the latest Dark Knight version is perhaps the most intimidating. To date, this tank-like monster truck hasn’t demonstrated an ability to climb walls, but it’s easy to imagine it crashing through the junkyards of Gotham en route to a confrontation with The Mutants’ leader Frank Miller-style.

1) Robosaurus

As introduced to…dozens?…by the failed TV pilot “Steel Justice” (longtime TR readers know the one) this monster-eating, flame-spewing mechanical dragon has been something of a staple at monster truck events for years. Robosaurus isn’t technically a truck, sure, but it is most definitely a monster on wheels and shares a common diet with its peers. There have been other dragon-like destroyers built in more recent memory, some arguably improvements over Robosaurus in terms of engineering. Still, Robosaurus’ sheer spectacle (and possibly an ability to house the reincarnated souls of exploded children) keep the beast thriving past any technological expiration date.