Some may argue what made The Black Beauty unique to TV viewers was its wide array of lights, gadgets and crime-fighting equipment. Although the impact of these features was sometimes augmented by special effects, most were fully functional on the car. Presented here, in no particular order, are the many attributes of The Green Hornet's rolling arsenal, The Black Beauty…"Let's roll, Kato!"
Infra-Green Headlights | Kato's Infra-Green Visor | Front Rockets | Rear Rockets | Front Gas GunGO TO THE WEAPONS PAGE
The Scanner | The Mortar | Secret Garage Turntable | Front Phone | Front TV Screen
Dash Speaker | Onboard Tape Recorder | Kato's Control Panel | Rear TV Screen | Rear Speaker & Oscilloscope
Rear Main Control Panel | Hornet Rear Phone | Divider Panel | Hidden Weapons Pockets | Hornet Door Control Panel
Smoke Screen | Silent Running Mode | Rear Gun | Rear Brooms | Revolving License Plates
The Black Beauty has a total of six separate headlights, with a maximum of four in use at any one time. The headlights are capable of revolving to reveal either one or two lights per side. One set might be called the “standard white incandescent style", of which there is one light per side, sometimes used as a spotlight feature.
Kato’s Infra-Green Visor:
Kato's pull-down "Infra-Green" visor worked in combination with The Black Beauty's Infra-Green headlights. It enhanced Kato's mask filter's capabilities as well, greatly aiding him in his night driving duties.Return to menu
The Front Rockets:
A total of sixteen front rockets, eight per side, are located below the headlight area. Upon activation, hidden doors open electronically to reveal one of the most often used weapons in The Green Hornet's arsenal.
On the set, stage pyrotechnic experts would load the rocket tubes and fire them remotely. This was handled separately from other aspects of production, in order to keep the actors safely out of range while filming the explosion effects.
The Rear Rockets:
The rear rockets have been seen in various configurations, but on TV only the "X" formation style was utilized (ten per side in two banks of five rockets).
Front Gas Gun:
A front firing "gun" was used to dispense non-lethal Hornet gas. Based on the gas gun's nozzle, it appears to have been capable of other effects as needed during production. However, no other effect was ever suggested.Return to menu
Located inside the trunk of the car, atop an electric lift, the scanner would rise on command through double doors in the trunk lid. In the TV series, it was capable of flying high above the city, looking down to film areas of interest. Much like predator drones of today.Return to menu
Located inside the trunk of the car, atop an electric lift, the Mortar would rise on command through double doors in the trunk lid. Seen in only one episode, “Freeway To Death”, it was used when the rockets were not sufficient to disable several bulldozers.
In the closing scenes of “Freeway To Death”, the Mortar could be seen protruding out of The Black Beauty's trunk... unable to retract due to its large sizeReturn to menu
Secret Garage Turntable:
During the daytime, Britt Reid’s leisure car (a 1966 Chrysler 300 convertible) occupied the only space in his garage. In order to have The Black Beauty hidden from prying eyes, it remained suspended beneath the floor that the convertible occupied.
Whenever The Green Hornet and Kato needed The Black Beauty, they would access a hidden control panel in the garage to activate the floor turntable. On both The Black Beauty and the Chrysler 300, protruding rams extended out of each corner of the cars. Bracing clamps locked onto the rams and held the car in position in preparation for the floor's rotation. Once the turntable stopped, and The Black Beauty was at street level, the clamps would release and the rams would then retract back into the body of the car.
Hornet Front Phone:
Standard early design mobile unit for making and receiving telephone calls. A VERY big deal in the 1960s!Return to menu
Front TV Screen
Although the front TV screen was accessible only by Kato, it was sometimes seen in episodes being used by The Green Hornet. Located in the front dash, it was capable of displaying images beamed to it by the scanner.Return to menu
Front Dash Speaker:
The front dash speaker was capable of receiving transmissions from The Green Hornet's watch microphone and other bugging devices. It was also shown to be used in conjunction with The Black Beauty's onboard tape recorder (pictured below).Return to menu
Onboard Tape Recorder:
The Black Beauty's onboard tape recorder.Return to menu