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Hubcap Hovercraft

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Where we're going, we don't need roads.

This is a sci-fi trope in which a wheeled vehicle of some kind is capable of flying or hovering by simply rotating the wheels 90 degrees, usually up and into the vehicle in question. The hubcaps then become thrust-capable engines, propelling the vehicle upwards.


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    Comic Books 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • The Back to the Future trilogy:
    • The DeLorean in Back to the Future Part II (and the final scene of Part I) is the Trope Codifier. Turns out that by 2015, all cars can undergo a "hover conversion" like this.
    • The Time Train from the end of Back to the Future Part III also has these, except it has its own thrust engines - the wheels are still, for some reason, rotated by the steam pistons in their flying position. Doc is a big fan of Rule of Cool, it seems.
  • A rough-draft version of such a car appears in Captain America: The First Avenger when Howard Stark is showing off a futuristic car at the World Expo. However, it only floats for a few seconds before suddenly crashing. It didn't have wheels, though, just props placed in front of it so the audience didn't know it was a hover car until The Reveal.

  • Although it doesn't use this for flying, Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang may be the Trope Codifier. To wit: the Pott family is picnicking on a beach, and the tide comes in. Mr. Pott turns a knob, causing Chitty's wheels to turn down and out in this manner. The car glides along the water exactly like a hovercraft.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Agent Carter it seems that Howard Stark managed to produce at least one fully functional version of the prototype seen in Captain America, and in the climax of Season 2 it's used to tow a Gamma Cannon through a miniature black hole to seal it.
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., another version is seen, also implied to have been based on Howard's design, installed on a 1962 Chevy Corvette. Agent Coulson calls it Lola.

  • Some of the M.A.S.K. cars were this.
  • The Foot Cruiser from the original Ninja Turtles toy line had wheels that folded under to give off this look, since the car is from Dimension X in the backstory. The toy itself couldn't fly, obviously.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Pole Position Theme Song

The hubcap hovercrafts in Pole Position.

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Main / HubcapHovercraft

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