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And now here they are! The most daredevil group of daffy drivers to ever whirl their wheels in the Wacky Races! Competing for the title of the World’s Wackiest Racer. The cars are approaching the starting line:

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    Peter Perfect (Driver of the Turbo Terrific) 

Peter Perfect

Car: Turbo Terrific (#9)

First is the Turbo Terrific driven by Peter Perfect.
The Announcer
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The Turbo Terrific
Voiced by: Daws Butler (1968 cartoon), Greg Burson (2000 video game), Jeff Bennett (Wacky Races Forever pilot), Diedrich Bader (2017)
A gentlemanly racer in the Turbo Terrific who's extremely strong but also very vain, and he often boasts about the virtues of his high-tech race car - which regularly falls to pieces seconds after he praised it. He is fond of Penelope and often helps her.

    Rufus Ruffcut & Sawtooth (Drivers of the Buzzwagon) 

Rufus Ruffcut & Sawtooth

Car: Buzzwagon (#10)

Next, Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzzwagon.
The Announcer
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The Buzzwagon
Voiced by: Daws Butler (Rufus Ruffcut, 1968 cartoon), Don Messick (Sawtooth, 1968 cartoon), Greg Burson (Rufus Ruffcut, 2000 video game)
Rufus Ruffcut, a lumberjack, and his companion Sawtooth, a beaver, drive the Buzzwagon, which is entirely made of wood, features four circular saw blades as wheels, and Sawtooth is able to cut through obstacles (such as trees and other objects) at super-high speed.

    Sergeant Blast & Private Meekley (Drivers the Army Surplus Special) 

Sergeant Blast & Private Meekley

Car: Army Surplus Special (#6)

Manoeuvring for position is the Army Surplus Special.
The Announcer
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The Army Surplus Special
Voiced by: Daws Butler (Sergeant Blast, 1968 cartoon), Paul Winchell (Private Meekley, 1968 cartoon), Greg Burson (Sergeant Blast, 2000 video game), Jim Cummings (Private Meekley, 2000 video game)
A pair of soldiers who drive in an armored half-track called the Army Surplus Special. The Sergeant uses "fire power", i.e. shooting cannon balls from his turret, to power up the car.

    The Ant Hill Mob (Drivers of the Bulletproof Bomb) 

The Ant Hill Mob (Clyde, Ring-A-Ding, Rug Bug Benny, Mac, Danny, Kirby & Willy)

Car: Bulletproof Bomb (#7)

Right behind is the Ant Hill Mob in their Bulletproof Bomb.
The Announcer
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The Bulletproof Bomb
Voiced by: Paul Winchell (Clyde, 1968 cartoon), Don Messick (Ring-A-Ding, 1968 cartoon), Jim Cummings (Clyde, 2000 video game)
A group of seven pint-seized 1920's-style gangsters composing of Clyde, their leader, Ring-A-Ding, Rug Bug Benny, Mac, Danny, Kirby and Willy who race in the Bulletproof Bomb. They are constantly preoccupied with getting caught by the police and are able to use "getaway power", which involves all members, except for Clyde, extending their legs through the bottom of the car and running.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Clyde is based on Edward G Robinson.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: All of them gain separate personalities once they appear in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.
  • No Name Given: Clyde and Ring-A-Ding are the only ones named in-show. Supplementary material has the others named as Rug Bug Benny, Mac, Danny, Kirby, and Willy.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Somehow, they always can fool the cops (and some of the racers) with obvious disguises. Only Dick Dastardly can tell it's still just them.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Supposedly gangsters, but spend all their time racing. Subverted in that they had trouble with the police at least once and were seen casting away quite a lot of loot to make their car lighter once. When this happened Ring-a-ding is clearly heard confirming the stuffs ill-gotten and wonders why anyone ever said crime pays as they toss the items away. This does suggest they are a bit more fond of racing than crime however...
  • The Roaring '20s: The Bomb is a twenties sedan, and their dress sense is that of the stereotypical Prohibition gangster.
  • Recoil Boost: One of their methods of going faster is firing their Tommy Guns out the back window. Typically, this goes poorly for whoever is unfortunate enough to be behind them.
  • Running on the Spot: Their "getaway power" has their legs and feet extend through the car's floor, for extra speed. When they start, they do the "whirl in place" cartoon thing.

    Prof. Pat Pending (Driver of the Convert-a-Car) 

Prof. Pat Pending

Car: Convert-a-Car (#3)

And there’s ingenious inventor Pat Pending in his Convert-a-Car.
The Announcer
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The Convert-a-Car
Voiced by: Don Messick (1968 cartoon), Scott Innes (2000 video game)
An inventor in the Convert-a-Car. He can transform his car into pretty much anything that moves.
  • Alliterative Name: Professor Pat Pending.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: He frequently stops and uses his car's inventions to help the other racers, or uses it to deal with whatever trap Dastardly has set up.
  • Laughing Mad: Wacky Races Forever depicts him as a cackling lunatic.
  • Mad Scientist: Unworldly inventor of weird devices.
  • Punny Name: "pat. pending" is an abbreviation for "patent pending".
  • Transforming Vehicle: The Convert-a-Car usually looks like a car/houseboat hybrid, but can turn into a wide range of ridiculous vehicles, including some that only qualify in the loosest definition (such as a bowling ball).
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    Penelope Pitstop (Driver of the Compact Pussycat) 

Penelope Pitstop

Car: Compact Pussycat (#5)

Oh, and here’s the lovely Penelope Pitstop, the glamour girl of the gas pedal.
The Announcer
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The Compact Pussycat
Voiced by: Janet Waldo (1968 cartoon and 2000 video game), Kath Soucie (Wacky Races Forever pilot), Nicole Parker (2017)
The lone female, in a 1930s racing costume in the Compact Pussycat. A southern belle, Penelope is more concerned with her looks than with racing and often gets herself into trouble.
  • Action Girl: In "Idaho A-Go-Go", when lured by Dastardly into a Red Riding Hood trap, Dastardly has Muttley dress as the Wolf, and, as Grandma, asks her to hide in the closet. But she answers the door and gives everyone who answers, including Peter Perfect, the old Frying Pan of Doom.
  • Alliterative Name: Penelope Pitstop.
  • Breakout Character: Like Dastardly and Muttley, Penelope is popular enough to get her own spin-off series.
  • The Chick: The only girl racer, and stereotypically feminine.
  • Depending on the Writer: She can be either a stereotypically useless Woman Driver or a very girly Wrench Wench, depending on what the writer thought would be funnier at the time.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female racer.
  • Southern Belle: Pretty and innocent, with a heavy Southern accent, with a tendency to use "little ol'" and "Ah do declare", and, of course, "Hay-ulp! Hay-ulp!"
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: A car with lipstick and big eyelashes.
  • Verbal Tic: Her heavy Southern accent aside, it'll be easier to count the times she doesn't describe something as "lil' ol'", including herself and other people.
  • Women Drivers: A few episodes have gags with her not knowing how to fix the car, doing make-up (or even showering) at the wheel, cooking on the engine, and so forth.

    The Slag Brothers (Drivers of the Boldermobile) 

The Slag Brothers (Rock and Gravel Slag)

Car: Boldermobile (#1)

Next we have the Boldermobile with the Slag Brothers: Rock and Gravel.
The Announcer
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The Boldermobile
Voiced by: Daws Butler (Rock Slag, 1968 cartoon), Don Messick (Gravel Slag, 1968 cartoon), Jim Cummings (2000 video game)
Two cavemen, Rock and Gravel, who drive in the Bouldermobile. Their car is made out of rock, the brothers, who talk in caveman-like gibberish but with occasional intelligible words, power it up by hitting it with their clubs and are also able to re-build it from bare rock, always using their clubs.

    The Gruesome Twosome (Drivers of the Creepy Coupe) 

The Gruesome Twosome (Big Gruesome & Little Gruesome)

Car: Creepy Coupe (#2)

Lurching along is the Creepy Coupe with the Gruesome Twosome.
The Announcer
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The Creepy Coupe
Voiced by: Daws Butler (Big Gruesome, 1968 cartoon), Don Messick (Little Gruesome, 1968 cartoon), Jim Cummings (Big Gruesome, 2000 video game), Billy West (Little Gruesome, 2000 video game)
Two monsters, Big Gruesome and Little Gruesome who race in the Creepy Coupe. Their horror-themed car includes a small belfry tower inhabited by a fire-breathing dragon, bats and other creatures.

    The Red Max (Driver of the Crimson Haybaler) 

The Red Max

Car: Crimson Haybaler (#4)

And right on their tail is the Red Max.
The Announcer
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The Crimson Haybaler
Voiced by: Daws Butler (1968 cartoon), Greg Burson (2000 video game)
A Manfred von Richthofen-styled aviator who speaks with a German accent, in a car/plane hybrid called the Crimson Haybailer. His vehicle is able to fly, although for short distances.
  • Ace Pilot: His appearance and vehicle are themed on World War I fighter pilots and post-WWI barnstormers.
  • Funny Foreigner: Has a weird Franco-German accent.
  • What a Piece of Junk: The Haybailer straddles the line between this and The Alleged Car. It is an old fashioned plane that can fly...but not terribly well.

    Lazy Luke & Blubber Bear (Drivers of the Arkansas Chuggabug) 

Lazy Luke & Blubber Bear

Car: Arkansas Chuggabug (#8)

And there’s the Arkansas Chuggabug with Luke and Blubber Bear.
The Announcer
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The Arkansas Chuggabug
Voiced by: John Stephenson
Lazy Luke, a hillbilly, and Blubber Bear, a fearful, timid bear, drive in the Arkansas Chugabug. Luke maneuvers the steering wheel with his feet and his car is steam-powered from an old and rickety boiler.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Blubber wears a blue helmet with goggles and a green scarf.
  • Alliterative Name: Lazy Luke.
  • Bamboo Technology: Not quite as bad as the Slag Brothers or Rufus Ruffcut, but their car is powered by a steam boiler made out of an old-fashioned potbellied stove. One episode reveals that their engine is assisted by a squirrel on an exercise wheel.
  • Beary Funny: Blubber may be a bear, but he's hardly scary.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Luke is barefoot at all times.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Luke almost always has his eyes closed, even while driving.
  • Fat and Skinny: Blubber and Luke, in that order.
  • The Fool: Luke steers with his bare feet and almost always has his eyes shut, yet rarely crashes.
  • Hayseed Name: Luke, obviously.
  • Hillbilly Moonshiner: At least two episodes imply that Lazy Luke is a moonshiner. He displays a jug at the start of "The Great Cold Rush Race", and another episode has him mistaking Dick Dastardly's siren for that of the revenuers.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Blubber is a bear.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Blubber mostly just whimpers in terror.
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    Dick Dastardly & Muttley (Drivers of the Mean Machine) 

Dick Dastardly & Muttley

Car: Mean Machine (#00)

Sneaking along last is that Mean Machine with those double-dealing do-badders, Dick Dastardly and his sidekick Muttley. And even now they’re up to some dirty trick. And they’re off! To a standing start. And why not? They’ve been chained to a post by shifty Dick Dastardly… who shifts into the wrong gear.
The Announcer
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The Mean Machine

Dastardly voiced by: Paul Winchell (1968 cartoon), Jim Cummings (2000 video game, Wacky Races Forever pilot, and Wacky Races: Crash and Dash for Wii and DS), Peter Woodward (2017), Jason Isaacs (SCOOB!)
Muttley voiced by: Don Messick (1968 cartoon, SCOOB!), Billy West (2000 video game, Wacky Races Forever pilot, Wacky Races: Crash and Dash for Wii and DS, the 2017 version and SCOOB!)
The villains of the series, Dick Dastardly and his dog sidekick Muttley are in the Mean Machine, which is a purple, rocket-powered car with an abundance of concealed weapons and the ability to fly. Dastardly's usual race strategy revolves around using the Mean Machine's great speed to get ahead of the other racers, and then setting a trap to stop them and maintain the lead; but most of his plans backfire, causing him to fall back into last place. Dastardly (almost) never sees victory.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Muttley wears a red collar.
  • Alliterative Name: Dick Dastardly.
  • Angrish: When not snickering, Muttley's dialogue mainly consists of muttered grumbling such as "Sassarassafrassa..."
  • Badass Moustache: Dick's handlebar moustache.
  • Breakout Character: Dick Dastardly and Muttley are easily two of Wacky Races' most notable characters, enough that the two got their own series, a recurring villain role in Yogi's Treasure Hunt and Yo Yogi!, and they are the main villains of SCOOB!. The two also almost always show up in revival efforts or similar Hanna-Barbera racing series (with one of the outliers being Laff-A-Lympics, which couldn't use Dastardly due to legal issues).
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Implied with Dick, who is a genuinely good racer but would rather cheat than win fairly.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dick is constantly getting injured and humiliated.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Dick Dastardly's "Drat, drat and double drat!", and "Muttley, do something!!!"
    • Muttley's Evil Laugh.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Dick Dastardly is based on the English actor Terry-Thomas.
  • Cool Car: The Mean Machine, naturally. Not only does it look badass, it's also a high-tech, jet-propelled armored car with lots of hidden weapons at its disposal, enough to give the Batmobile a run for its money.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: The unaired pilot for Wacky Racers Forever reveals this is Dick Dastardly's motivation for invoking Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat.
    Dastardly: We are villains. Ergo, we have to cheat!
  • Dastardly Whiplash: The joint Trope Namer, mixing the mustache, Edwardian style, and parodic Card Carrying Villainy.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In the NES game, Muttley is the playable character, and the goal of the game is to rescue Dastardly. The Wacky Racers serve as the game's bosses.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Trope Namer, as he constantly wastes time trying to set traps for people when he has a legitimate lead.
  • Dub Name Change: The Spanish dub renamed Dastardly as Pierre Nodoyuna (Punny Name from "no doy una" meaning "I can't get anything right", a reference to his cheating constantly backfiring on him) and gave him a French accent, while Muttley was named Patán ("Lout").
  • Expy: His villainous habits, personality and costume are based on Professor Fate from The Great Race.
    • And later on, H-B had to create a few expies of this guy for various other shows to use, chiefly because of legal issues with Heatter-Quigley.
  • Harmless Villain: Too incompetent to actually harm anyone.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Really, when you get down to it, Dick should've won every single race out there. His car is faster, stronger, and more versatile than almost everyone else's, and there's a good argument to be made that he's also the best racer among them. If only his mind wasn't plagued with such self-destructive obsession to cheat...
  • The Hyena: Muttley's signature snicker.
  • Leitmotif: A fast paced piano track usually played when he was trying to cheat while driving.
  • Only Sane Man: Zig-Zagged in bizzare fashion- compulsive cheating aside, Dastardly and Muttley are the most likely to note the ludicrousness of other racer's antics, see through lame tricks like the Ant Hill Mob's Paper-Thin Disguises, and point out that everyone else is technically cheating too.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: most notably the race where Dastardly and Muttley crossed the finish line first, fair and square... while driving the wrong car, thus disqualifying themselves and the others who were swapped in the home stretch.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Constantly, due to their own actions, like a trap backfiring or stopping for a victory pose inches from the finish line.
  • Never My Fault: He usually blames his losses on Muttley. "Muttley, this is all your fault!" On occasion, he's actually right thanks to Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Muttley is a dog.
  • Scary Teeth: In Wacky Races Forever, Dastardly's teeth look ghastly and neglected.
  • Spanner in the Works: Muttley constantly sabotages Dick's plans just to mess with him.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Muttley's mutterings, giggles and growls are probably the Trope Codifier.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Never in the main series, but on a few occasions in spinoffs they manage to win races (in spite of their best efforts) generally through things like the other competitors being eliminated by their own misfortunes on the race course
  • Villain Protagonist: Gets the most screentime out of all the racers.

And away they go! On the way-out Wacky Races!
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