Fifty-seven and a half years after it’s destruction, Flattop Junior’s car has returned. Swindler and murderer Silver Nitrate and his sister Sprocket are on the run from the police and have just the vehicle to escape, the sweet ride of the late Flattop Jr!
Introduced in March of 1956, the teenage son of Flattop was a mechanical genius who modified his ride with features well ahead of his time. Sporting a dash-board fridge, passenger side television and safe, with a running water sink and a hot plate stove in the back, young Jones and his passenger Joe Period lived for a time in the car, listening to tunes on a hi-fi LP record player. Everything was available at the push of a button and hid back into the vehicle just as easily. To help keep ahead of the cops, Flattop Jr. also installed a short wave radio scanner, bulletproof glass and a hidden emergency brake to keep the vehicle where he left it.
The Junior Jones’s car is one of the well remembered technical marvels created by Chester Gould. It reminds some of the James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, but that spy-mobile didn’t come about until Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger in 1959 (the movie came later) so Flattop’s vehicle has seniority. As an interesting side note, Fleming was also the author of another well-known car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which he wrote for his son Caspar.
As if often the case of these engineering marvels, destruction occured. Flattop Jr’s awesome car was trapped inside an abandoned theater when police surrounded him and he chose to burn the theater down. The vehicle was torched with very little besides the frame surviving. Still it allowed the teenage criminal cover to escape…for a time. Now it appears the vehicle has been restored to its original glory and will once again take part in a classic Dick Tracy chase, which begs the question, where do Silver and Sprocket put their Hyena, Lena?