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"Au revoir to the rest... The Gray Ghost is the best!" -The Gray Ghost


The Grey Ghost or Gray Ghost is a racing driver of French nationality that appears in the movie. Driving for the "Écran Etablissement" team, a French sponsor that according to events on the movie is not in partnership with any other team, running as an independent, the Gray Ghost believes in fair winning and honesty although most of the times he does not show it when racing. His nickname has its origins in his famous racing maneuver which consisted in slipping in and out in a sideways manner from an enemy´s rear position, this making the driver become unsure if he was in the left or right sides and wreaking confusion. His method of racing comprises his classical maneuver and also makes use of the awesome maneuvers that the T-180 vehicles have, combining it with him shouting challenging phrases and wise sayings while he battles his enemies. Although he is not seen in the classic anime series, the Gray Ghost has several appearances in the film.




Fuji Helexicon Race

"Show me what you´ve got kid! SHOW me what you´ve got!"

-The Gray Ghost, while battling Speed Racer


The Gray Ghost is seen racing in this famous tropical course with skilled driving and holding the first place until Speed Racer engages him in a struggle full of twists and shunts in a segment of the raceway only to leave Speed Racer behind and exposed to the Three Roses Team illegal maneuver, ending in a fiery crash. Apparently Gray Ghost wins the race, but there is no proof of this, as the story continues without leaving a concrete ending to the race.


Ghostface

Grey Ghost at Fuji





Cosmopolis Grand Prix

"Here we go again"

-The Gray Ghost on the final lap of the WRL Grand Prix

The last appearance of him is at the Grand Prix celebrated at the Colosseum of Cosmopolis City. Here, although the race was fixed and the finishing positions were already established, he again shows his skilled driving at the final part of the movie where in the last lap Speed fights him and Musha Motors at the same time. After having an easy path to the first places, the Ghost finally faces Speed Racer in the last run for the finish line in the Grand Prix. While spinning and shunting, Speed gets to defeat him by jamming his jump jacks in the Gray Ghost´s front part of his chassis, spinning with the inertia of his own speed and sending him in an fiery barrel roll ending in the car´s explosion. After this incident, the Gray Ghost´s fate is unknown, although the movie shows us that he survives thanks to the kwik-save device.




Grayghostgrandprix

Gray Ghost, moments before getting into his car








The Car

The Gray Ghost drives a car with unique characteristics, the Fumeé. The car´s racing number is 23 but the three is substituted by a reversed E representing Écran Établissement (E2 for short), the team he is driving for. The stressed-skin brushed metal paintjob and deco of the car is a black background with gray and blue colored smoke trails that covers the entire chassis and sporting in the car´s sides and rear wing the French sponsor over a titanium alloy body. Some sources (this is actually in debate) indicate that the unique illegal mod that his T-180 has is a cloaking device that renders the car completely invisible, but judging by the respectful and honest attitude of the driver and his ideal of winning fair and square, this may be impossible, and still has to be proven. Added to that, the paintjob was also described in the Supercharged featurette as keeping vehicle camouflaged until its driver passes his opponents by. The vehicle's powerplant is a pulse detonation engine (PDE) powering a 26-cylinder Karasugoi hotblock, complimented by the world's first negative displacement undercharger, which turns oxygen into "liquid fire". For the joint system in its wheelbase, the Fumeé also boasts Ellief twice-folded Amber Axles with fibertronic cyberg bearings. 

The car shares the chassis model with the Masurai and the Autobacs racing teams.


Grayghostfuji2

Fumeé at the Fuji

Fumeé

Car views compared to human scale












Speed Racer: The Videogame

Among the whole group of racers, the Gray Ghost car has average attributes regarding Power and Speed, but overall is the car with the highest acceleration in the game. The character is known among the other ones by his wise phrases and elegant tone of voice. When a championship is played, Ghost´s main ally by default is Racer X.


Quotes (Videogame)

Here are some of the character´s quotes:

  • "I´m here, I´m there... I´m Savoir-Faire"
  • "Looks like we have a real race here!"
  • "Ha ha! Oui Oui!"("Yes yes!" translated to English)
  • "Oh snap!"
  • "Here I come kid! Watch out!"
  • "Show me what you´ve got! Woohooo!"
  • "Time to go back to the front"
  • "Perhaps an alliance could help us both." (When accepted his alliance proposal)
  • "A ghost works alone" (Refusing an alliance)
  • "Ha ha!! That Spooked you!"
  • "Oui!! I won!!"
  • "Ha ha!! Very good choice."
  • "I´m quick, I´m hard... I´m Avant-Garde!"
  • "This is a mistake you'll have nightmares about." (When alliance is broken up)

Trivia

  • The Grey Ghost was portrayed by German actor Moritz Bleibtreu
  • His character was intended to play a more important role in the film, but his parts were eliminated.
  • He is shown wearing two different types of racing suits; one completely black (video game) and one with a metallic appearance (film).
  • His voice changes pretty much in the video game, sounding like a more experienced, veteran driver.
  • His car was featured in the Hot Wheels 2008 Speed Racer Car Collection, curiously the overall length of the original vehicle in the film is reduced becoming a funnier compact car.
  • His helmet in the film bares a strong resemblance to a military style helmet, but in the game his helmet has more a race car driver look.
  • The film shows a rather young Ghost with a little mustache, while in the game his face is without facial hair and seems more aged.
  • His actions during the movie make him look like a furious and aggresive racer, but behind that personality is a man that seeks to win with honor and honesty.
  • The Fumée's name is a French word meaning "smoke".
  • The Karasugoi is a species of koi fish distinguished by a solid black coloration.


References:

  • "Speed Racer" (2008 Film by the Wachowski Brothers) Warner Brothers Pictures
  • "Speed Racer: The Videogame" (2008)
  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001953/ Moritz Bleibtreu Profile at IMDb

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