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.
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