The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 158: Green Hornet Special

Premier Date: December 15, 2010

Seth Rogen, star of the 2011 film The Green Hornet, appeared on this episode to give the cast two myths concerning the Green Hornet’s car, Black Beauty.

If a car is completely buried with a bulldozer parked on top, it can set off onboard explosives to throw the bulldozer out of the way without injuring the passengers, as long as they shield themselves properly.


Adam and Jamie fitted a car’s front seat backs with armor plating and loaded in 16 pounds of explosives, replicating Black Beauty’s rockets and seats. They then fitted two dummies (representing the Green Hornet and his assistant Kato) with pressure sensors and placed them in the back seat behind the armor. The car was then lowered sideways into a trench and buried, and a bulldozer was placed on top. When the explosives were set off, they created enough of a crater for the bulldozer to sink partway in; however, both the car and the dummies were severely damaged and the sensors were destroyed.

Declaring the movie myth busted at this point, Adam and Jamie turned their focus to making the bulldozer fly. They built two steel models and tried two different explosives – 4 pounds each of TNT (high speed) and ANFO (low speed). The TNT blasted one model to pieces, while the ANFO tore the other apart at the welds and threw the pieces far enough to convince Adam of its usefulness in this respect. For a full-scale test, they buried 250 pounds of ANFO under a bulldozer, with the goal of moving it away without destroying it. The resulting blast ripped the machine apart, left a deep crater, and threw pieces over 500 feet. Adam and Jamie commented that any explosive charge big enough to move the bulldozer would certainly kill the occupants of the buried car.

If a bullet-riddled car drives halfway into an elevator that begins to ascend, the car will be cut in half when the elevator reaches ceiling level, and the front end can be driven out.

busted (first half) / plausible (second half)

Kari converted a car into a Black Beauty replica, and Grant and Tory fired over 200 rounds of submachine gun ammunition into it to replicate the movie car’s condition. The Build Team then constructed a rig to replicate the elevator, using a forklift that could generate 35,000 pounds of lifting force. When they put the car in position and lifted, it got caught and crushed at “ceiling” level without being sliced in half.

The team declared the first half of the myth busted, but Seth revealed that Black Beauty was equipped with a system to split itself in emergencies. Concentrating on the possibility of driving the front half, they cut the rear half off another car. After several adjustments, they were able to get the front started and drive it a short distance until it hit a wall. Seth then said that Black Beauty had a reserve fuel tank under its hood, so the team installed one in their half-car and took it to Petaluma Speedway for one more test. This time, Tory was able to complete 20 laps at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. The team decided that the idea of driving the half-car was plausible, if the driver made the needed extensive modifications ahead of time.