||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2012)|
|Directed by||Charles A. Nichols|
|Voices of||Mel Blanc
Phil Luther Jr.
|Theme music composer||Hoyt Curtin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original release||September 8 – December 22, 1973|
Sixteen 30-minute installments of Speed Buggy were produced in 1973. The show was so successful that it aired on all three major networks. It aired first run on CBS until 1975. Reruns aired on ABC in 1975-76 (later replacing Uncle Croc's Block), then on NBC, replacing the canceled McDuff, The Talking Dog, from November 27, 1976 until September 3, 1977 (thus completing the cycle of being on all three networks). It was then picked up by the USA Network for their Cartoon Express shows from 1982 to about 1990. Like most cartoon series produced by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, Speed Buggy contained a laugh track (later removed for repeats on Cartoon Network and Boomerang).
Although closely patterned after the meddling kids characters of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, some Speed Buggy episodes were actually reworkings of Josie and the Pussycats storylines, including Captain Schemo and the Underwater City ("The Nemo's a No-No Affair"), "Out of Sight" ("X Marks the Spot"), "Gold Fever" ("Midas Mix-Up"), "Kingzilla" ("Plateau of the Apes Plot"), "The Incredible Changing Man" ("Never Mind a Master Mind"), and "Island of the Giant Plants" ("A Greenthumb is not a Goldfinger"). Additionally, the episode "The Hidden Valley of Amazonia" was similar to the Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space episode "Warrior Women of Amazonia".
This show followed the adventures of an anthropomorphic, fiberglass Dune Buggy, Speed Buggy (voiced by Mel Blanc), his driver Tinker (voiced by Phil Luther, Jr.), and Tinker's friends Mark (voiced by Michael Bell) and Debbie (voiced by Arlene Golonka). The three young adults and their car traveled from race to race, often encountering spy capers and mysteries along the way. Speed Buggy's trademark quotes were always "Roger-Dodger!" and "Vroom-a-zoom-zoom!" Though Speed Buggy—nicknamed Speedy by his friends—had a mind of his own, much like Disney's Herbie the Love Bug, he was vulnerable to commands given through a communicator/remote control device made by Tinker when he first built Speed Buggy. Speedy's friends rarely used the device to control his actions, using it mainly for its communication function, but criminals and other ne'er-do-wells would sometimes steal or duplicate the device and manipulate Speedy for their own purposes.
|No.||Title||Original air date||Production
|1||"Speed Buggy Went That-A-Way"||September 8, 1973||65-1|
|On the way to the Riverside Raceway, the gang visits the ranch of Debbie's Aunt Belle. They soon discover that Aunt Belle's cattle herd is being targeted by Beef Finger and his henchmen.|
|2||"Speed Buggy's Daring Escapade"||September 15, 1973||65-2|
|Upset with his invention being a robot with allergies, Dr. Kluge plans to capture Speed Buggy in order to learn his secrets.|
|3||"Taggert's Trophy"||September 22, 1973||65-3|
|While participating in the latest race, Speed Buggy and the cars are hit by a motion-control ray fired from a mysterious zeppelin. Tinker, Mark, and Debbie trace the zeppelin to a criminal called the "Chief" whose identity is someone that they'd least suspect.|
|4||"Speed Buggy Falls in Love"||September 29, 1973||65-4|
|When Speed Buggy is invited to participate in a race in Bulgonia, Baron Vulch plants a sophisticated bugging device in Speed Buggy's trunk to avoid customs when flying there. He then creates a female automobile named Mata Cari whom Speed Buggy falls in love with in a plot to get the bugging device back.|
|5||"Kingzilla"||October 6, 1973||65-5|
|While flying over the Andes Mountains when en route to the Pan-American Road Rally, the gang experiences plane trouble and are forced to bail out. They wind up in a valley inhabited by giant gorillas including Kingzilla (who takes a liking to Speed Buggy). They are then used by Professor Grovac and his assistant Kar in a plot to capture Kingzilla and the other gorillas in a plot for world domination.|
|6||"Professor Snow and Madame Ice"||October 13, 1973||65-6|
|While the gang is on vacation, Professor Snow and Madame Ice take interest in Speed Buggy and plan to trick Tinker into modifying their Freezemobiles with his remote control technology in their plot to freeze the world.|
|7||"Out of Sight"||October 20, 1973||65-7|
|While in Egypt, the gang comes to the aid of Professor Rigby who is fleeing from his evil colleague Professor Rishna. Professor Rigby reveals that the two of them have discovered a recipe for an invisibility potion which Professor Rishna uses for his evil needs. Since Professor Rigby has made an antidote for the invisibility potion, Professor Rishna and his assistant Abdul plan to prevent Professor Rigby from using the antidote on him.|
|8||"Gold Fever"||October 27, 1973||65-8|
|While in Hawaii, the gang encounters the villainous megalomaniac Gold Fever who is using special satellites in order to steal all of the world's gold.|
|9||"Island of the Giant Plants"||November 3, 1973||65-9|
|During an ocean cruise that is en route to the South American Grand Prix, the gang falls overboard and make it to a remote island where they find unusual mutant plants created by Dr. Meangreen with his assistant Krelb. Dr. Meangreen plans to steal Speed Buggy's remote in a plot to control the mutant plants and take over the world.|
|10||"Soundmaster"||November 10, 1973||65-11|
|Speed Buggy and the gang are wrongly accused of stealing an advanced battery called the K-233 Supercell as a result of the dreaded Dr. Ohm and his assistant Panku using a replica of Speedy and robbing the armored car shipping the supercell.|
|11||"The Ringmaster"||November 17, 1973||65-10|
|While racing in the Bayou 500, Speed Buggy and the gang end up on Pleasure Island which is occupied by an evil ringmaster who uses a special animal-controlling calliope which he plans to use in a plot to rule the world.|
|12||"The Incredible Changing Man"||November 24, 1973||65-12|
|While participating in the U.S.-Mexico Cross Country Race, Speed Buggy and the gang run into Jerick the Incredible Changing Man who has the ability to alter his size and form. He targets them for a special tape that was placed in Speed Buggy's cassette player by a scientist trying to keep it from having fall into the wrong hands.|
|13||"Secret Safari"||December 1, 1973||65-13|
|While Speed Buggy and the gang are racing at the Nawambi Speedway in Africa, the evil scientist Varzak and his assistant Emil steal a museum's special diamond large enough that can power his the Laser-Blazer (an invention which he hopes to use to rule the world).|
|14||"Oil's Well That Ends Well"||December 8, 1973||65-14|
|In Oklahoma, Speed Buggy and the gang learned that the entire state's oil supply has been stolen. They end up stumbling upon an underground city full of storage tanks and learn that Dr. Vesuvio is planning to use the stolen oil in a plot to take over the world.|
|15||"The Hidden Valley of Amazonia"||December 15, 1973||65-15|
|While racing in the Himalaya 500, Speed Buggy and the gang come across the hidden valley of Amazonia where women rule and men are slaves. They end up meeting Queen Sheba who uses a mind-ruling device to take control of Tinker and Mark's minds. Debbie is made an Amazonian, but when she is made to do things their way she decides the ruling women are as oppressive as any male despots. She and Speed Buggy work to break Tinker, Mark and the native men from the mind ruler and try and turn it on the femnist fascists.|
|16||"Captain Schemo and the Underwater City"||December 22, 1973||65-16|
|With a break in their racing schedule, Speed Buggy and the gang take and island vacation where they go fishing. When a marlin pulls them out to sea, they make it to a remote island that is actually an artificial island that brings them to an underwater city run by Captain Schemo. They soon learn that Captain Schemo plans to use his submarines in a plot to rule the oceans and take over the world.|
- Chris Allen -
- Ron Feinberg -
- Virginia Gregg -
- Jim MacGeorge -
- Sidney Miller -
- Alan Oppenheimer -
- Mike Road -
- Charles Martin Smith -
- Hal Smith -
- John Stephenson -
- Janet Waldo -
In popular culture
- Speed Buggy and the gang guest starred in a September 29, 1973 episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "The Weird Winds of Winona"; it was the only time that Mark, a Native American, was shown in a darker skin color.
- In 1975, Charlton Comics published a 9-issue Speed Buggy comic book series.
- In 1977, Speed Buggy and Tinker also competed in the "Laff-A-Lympics" as part of "The Scooby Doobies" team (where Tinker was voiced by Frank Welker) on Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics.
- In the Johnny Bravo episode "Bravo Dooby-Doo", Speed Buggy makes a cameo at the end offering Johnny a ride after the Scooby Gang ties him to a tree and leave him there. He was voiced by Frank Welker, long after the death of Mel Blanc.
- Speed Buggy also features in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law episode "High Speed Buggy Chase" with Speed Buggy voiced by Maurice LaMarche, Tinker voiced by Chris Edgerly, and Debbie voiced by Nika Futterman. Speed Buggy was arrested for speeding and Harvey Birdman had to represent him.
- Speed Buggy appears in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" once again voiced by Frank Welker. He and his team appear alongside several other Hanna-Barbera mystery teams in a fever dream of Scooby-Doo's where all of the teen sleuths are kidnapped by Lord Infernacus, leaving Scooby-Doo, Speed Buggy, Jabberjaw, Captain Caveman, and The Funky Phantom to solve the mystery.
- Speed Buggy also has an indie point-and-click adventure game released as freeware called: "Speed Buggy: Manifold Destiny" available at Adventure Game Studio.
On January 11, 2011, Warner Archive released Speed Buggy: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.
The first episode, "Speed Buggy Went That-A-Way", is featured on the DVD compilation Saturday Morning Cartoons: the 1970s Volume 1 released on May 26, 2009.
- Speed Buggy at the Internet Movie Database
- Speed Buggy at TV.com
- Cartoon Network: Dept. of Cartoons: Speed Buggy - cached copy from Internet Archives