Like many of the characters in Roomies! and It's Walky!, Ultra Car is based upon a character designed by David Willis during his younger years. Unlike other early Walkyverse characters, however, Ultra Car was practically an honest-to-god franchise - complete with his own comic books, natch - in the 'late 80s and early '90s.
It was... something.
- Ultra Car - A mischievous, pie-throwing car with a bit of a superiority complex.
- Joe - An engineer, and Ultra Car's creator.
- Rachel - A fellow engineer and love interest for Joe.
- Danny - Ultra Car's hapless owner.
- Sal - Danny's girlfriend.
- Mike - Some nerd. Later known as "Howard".
- Monkey Master - Actually an ape.
- In Ultra Car #1, Joe built Ultra Car out of Danny's red Jeep so that they could investigate the disappearance of the space shuttle Destiny. They quickly found out that the remains had floated through a black hole, turning its crew into Obsticons, green zombies bent on destroying Earth! Sound vaguely familiar?
- In Ultra Car #20 (not all twenty stories were written; the author liked to jump around), it was revealed that during an electrical storm in the previous (unwritten) issue, Ultra Car was suddenly alive. He now liked to throw "car-made" sweet pickle pies and steal frozen pizzas out of Danny's freezer. Ultra Car also thought it was hilarious to violently eject his passengers out of his bottom hatch at twenty thousand feet.
- Elsewhere, he fought Monkey Master a lot.
- In Ain't Plastic Surgery Keen?: The Fourth Ultra Car Collection, Rachel turns Ultra Car into a horrific, car-faced humanoid to win the "Mechanic of the Year" competition, preempting the Shortpacked! storyline by almost 20 years. This story can be read in its entirety on David Willis's Tumblr.
Ultra Car Prose Novels
In addition to the comics, David Willis also wrote at least five Ultra Car prose novels in his younger years. On his Tumblr, he outlined the plot of one of these, Obsticant 2:
"It was the fifth Ultra Car prose story, and I think it’s the first one I didn’t actually ever finish. Did I start it? I don’t even recall. All I remember is that the Obsticons (evil space zombies) were building a new home planet, as their original (Obsticant???? what kind of name for a planet is that???) had been blown up by Ultra Car and his boys in a previous story. And I guess fighting the Electric Man was involved."
Ultra Car: Obsticon Onslaught
Some years later, David Willis created a side-scrolling shooter entitled Ultra Car: Obsticon Onslaught, based on the plot of the first Ultra Car comic.
- Ultra Car's very first design (circa '87) was a multi-hued non-sentient vehicle that converts from car to jet to submarine. (Early apocryphal designs also included a battle station and a robot.) The reason for all the various colors was that each colored area was intended to be camouflaged in a specific environment -- the blue tires were disguised in water, the brown rear would be disguised in the mountains, the orange front would be disguised in... uh... orange places, the yellow headlights and hubcaps would be disguised in the desert, and the green periscope and top hatch would be disguised in the forests. The main body was red because, dammit, red was awesome. *
- The horrible logic of this setup did not occur to the author at age 8. Later versions thankfully switched the patchwork paint scheme for a uniform red.
- The premise for the Ultra Car comics was re-used for the Ultra Car cartoon in Dumbing of Age.