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Nintendo, West Coast Customs unveil life-size Mario Kart racers

Nintendo commissioned the construction of two full-size Karts to celebrate the launch of the Mario Kart 7 game for the 3DS handheld.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

LOS ANGELES--This may be the strangest unveiling of the LA Auto Show's history...

Nintendo at the LA Auto Show
WCC also built a replica of Luigi's Bumble V car. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

In celebration of the first title in the Mario Kart franchise to feature 3D graphics, Nintendo commissioned West Coast Customs to truly bring the game into the third dimension by building working examples of two of the cars from Mario Kart 7.

Mario's personal race car and Luigi's Bumble V car were constructed and can be driven under their own power. However, the hang glider and underwater propeller on Mario and Luigi's rides, respectively, are not functional. Visitors will be able to view the cars here during the show's public days, where they will be displayed alongside the playable Mario Kart 7 game. Those who can't make it to the show will be able to view details of the Karts' construction on an episode of "Inside West Coast Customs" in early 2012.