All this rover action on Mars has got me roving through my archive, where I chanced upon these pics. I know we've discussed it many times but the GM Moon Buggy from their Futurama expo at the 1964/65 New Yorks Worlds Fair is such a tremendously cool design. With it's balloon wheels and articulated body, it predates our friend the Project SWORD Scramble Bug by a good two years.
But there are toy stories to be told about the GM Buggy. On closer inspection of the pilots in the cockpit I realised that they are actually a couple of spacemen from the Marx Moon Base Play Set, cut off just below the knees! See what I mean below and whether you agree.
A further discovery came tonight when googling the GM Space Buggy. I came across a reference in the superb Gerry Anderson Complete Comics History site to a very similar, if not the same buggy design in a US Space 1999 Charlton Comics Strip. You can see it below. Further surfing led me to a very nifty blog called Diversions of the Groovy Kind, where it's possible to see the entire Undisturbed Strip! Swell or what! Since it's Space 1999 then I suppose it's Century 21 and that makes this a later distant cousin of the C21 Scramble Bug!
The final toy connection I can see is a Johnny Apollo one, a further Marx link. Comparing Johnny's Space Buggy with the driver's cab of the GM rover, as pictured below, the two do look similar. What do you think?
If that's not enough of the GM rover for you then why not finish off by watching it in action on You Tube here. The rover crawls into view around 1.08 minutes in.