Herbie the Love Bug appeared in quite a few films. While Herbie was good, Christine was less so, and is one of many possessed vehicles appearing in literature, film, and TV. The most famous is probably Butterfly Lightning McQueen. The headlights and radiator of the car are a natural anthropomorphizing feature as the eyes and mouth. Most such vehicles however lack the senses of smell and sound.
The movie Cars, and its knockoffs (e.g. Little Cars), and spin-offs (Cars Toons) dominate the animated genre. But they did not invent it.
Other shows with anthropomorphic vehicles include:
- Roary the Racing Car
- Speed Buggy
- KITT [updated due to Bill Lindeke, I am not sure how I missed this. I guess I am a fan of neither Knight Rider nor Knight Ridder]
Sodor has a few off-track vehicles, mostly trucks and tractors, while Sir Topham Hatt’s car is not anthropomorphized. So nothing from the land of Thomas today.