Saturday Supercade: Speed Buggy (1973)

I was a little too young to catch Speed Buggy on its debut on the CBS Network in 1973, but I can assure you that I caught it in reruns when it aired on ABC and then on NBC! That’s right, Hanna-Barbera’s Speed Buggy was so popular that it aired on three different TV networks! That is of course not including when it was picked up by the USA Network for their Cartoon Express line up!

Speedy Buggy, an intelligent dune buggy, was voiced by none other than the legendary Warner Bros. Looney Tunes voice man, Mel Blanc. In fact Speed Buggy does sound a little like one famed animated Tasmanian Devil. Speed’s best friend and mechanic, Tinker, was voiced by Phil Luther Jr. (his only voice work that I can find). Tinker’s friends were also part of the gang, Debbie being voiced by Arlene Golonka (appearing in everything from the likes of Get Smart to Matlock), and Mark who was voiced by animation vocal legend, Michael Bell (Plastic Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and the Smurfs among many other roles).

The show was setup like the more famous Hanna-Harbera Scoody-Doo, with the Speed and his friends traveling the country getting into all manner of trouble. In fact, in the New Scooby-Doo Movies, the two teams meet up in the episode entitled “The Weird Winds of Winona”. Speed Buggy has shown up in other animated fare though, such as joining up with Tinker to be part of the Scooby Doobies on Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. He has also popped up as a statue in Invader Zim and was seen in the episode, “Yakko Goes Banannas”, on Animaniacs.

Besides showing up in the comic book version of the Laff-A-Lympics, Charlton Comics ran a Speed Buggy comic for 9 issues in 1975.

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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2 thoughts on “Saturday Supercade: Speed Buggy (1973)

  1. Vinvectrex says:

    I was pretty young when I first saw Speed Buggy on tv, and we were living in the desert at the time. I saw a lot of dune buggy enthusiasts and was always disappointed that their dune buggies didn’t have the personality that Speed did.

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Speed Buggy was tops back then.
    After catching Disney-era Kurt Russell’s Dexter Riley speeding around with his gang in a (non-speaking but cool-looking) dune buggy several times, and falling in vehicular love with Herbie’s lively honking presence, I was starved for magical mechanical entertainment.
    This cartoon fit that bill wonderfully and Mel Blanc’s sputtering vocals gave a comforting recognition that made every minute of it enjoyable and memorable.

    I envy your desert dwelling early days Vinvectrex, and I would’ve also been disappointed by the lack of personality in real buggies.
    Kinda glad I never saw one back then.

    Actually, being a city populator even now, I dunno if I ever saw one in front of me.
    Besides my Hot Wheels Buggy, that is (which spoke just like the real thing).

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