Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Speed Buggy

Go To
"Who put the antifreeze in my carburetor?"

Hanna-Barbera created this Saturday-Morning Cartoon, one of several following the lead on Scooby-Doo, for CBS in 1973. Throughout the rest of the decade, Speed Buggy rotated among the three networks' schedules.

Speed Buggy was a talking dune buggy, possibly the grandson of Chugga-Boom from The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. When his mechanic, Tinker, wasn't driving him in a race, Speed Buggy fought crime with Tinker and his friends, Mark and Debbie. Speed Buggy also crossed over to The New Scooby-Doo Movies and competed in the Laff-A-Lympics

The voice talent comprised Mel Blanc as Speed Buggy, Michael Bell as Mark, Arlene Golonka as Debbie and Phil Luther Jr. as Tinker (shown left to right in the page image).

This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Tinker has a lot of problems remembering Gold Fever's name.
  • All There in the Manual: While you would never be able to directly tell from this series, Mark was intended to be a Native American character even though he was never colored as such.
    • In The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode crossover "The Weird Winds of Winona", Mark's skin darkens significantly to better convey this but without this information, the viewer might as well assume he got a very bad suntan before the crossover.
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: Even Speedy needed this trope once.
  • Board Game: Yep, it had one. The box art shows Mark with blond hair.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Tinker's "Gol-LY!" (itself an Expy of Gomer Pyle's catch phrase)
    • Also, Speed Buggy's "Va-room-a-zoom-zoom!" and "Roger dodger!"
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Two issues in Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera Fun-In and seven standalone issues from Charlton. In the Gold Key stories, Speedy's eyes are blackened.
  • Crossover:
    • In the 1973 The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Weird Winds of Winona", Mystery Incorporated solved a mystery with Speed Buggy and co.
    • Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics — Tinker and Speedy played for the Scooby Doobies.
    • Speed Buggy appeared as the Crossover Punchline on the Johnny Bravo episode "Bravo-Dooby-Doo".
      • And again in the Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? episode "A Mystery Solving Gang Divided!", an episode guest starring the gang from The Funky Phantom. At the end of the episode, Speed Buggy and teammates appear, too late to help solve the mystery, and causing Scooby and Shaggy to laugh at how ridiculous the idea of a talking car is. Someone seems to like using Speed Buggy for Crossover Punchline endings.
    • Speed Buggy and co. appear in "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, though as only the mascots were prominently featured, Speed Buggy got more attention than his teammates did.
  • Disguised in Drag: In "The Hidden Valley of Amazonia", Mark and Tinker are forced to disguise themselves as women to infiltrate Amazonia. They get really embarrassed, but suck it up.
  • Handy Remote Control: Speed Buggy can be forcibly controlled by a special remote control of Tinker's design.
  • An Ice Person: The titular villains of the episode "Professor Snow and Madame Ice".
  • It Wasn't Easy: In the episode "The Ringmaster", the eponymous car says of bringing the villain to justice, "It wasn't easy, pulling all those circus wagons!"
  • Lady Land: In "The Hidden Valley of Amazonia", the group stumbles upon Amazonia, a secret valley in the Himalayas where the women, who are all incredibly tall, enslave men with a mind control ray called the Mind Ruler. They force Debbie to join them and enslave Mark and Tinker, then their Queen Sheba reveals she is working on a giant version of the Mind Ruler to take over the entire world. After Debbie and Speed Buggy free Mark and Tinker, they manage to turn the Mind Ruler on Sheba, then free all the slaves.
  • The Leader: Debbie is actually the leader of this group despite being the only female. The boys usually go along with her instructions. This is even lampshaded in the Amazon episode, where the Amazon leader insists that now Debbie can tell the men what to do, which Mark and Tinker try to explain sometimes they are lucky to get a word in edgewise.
  • Like a Surgeon: The opening animation shows Tinker, Debbie and Mark assembling their vehicle under a sterile cover. The former calls for a wrench and socket the way a surgeon calls for forceps and scalpel. The end result is Speed Buggy.
  • Lorre Lookalike: Varzak, one of the two mad scientists the gang confront in the episode "Secret Safari", is based off Peter Lorre in both appearance and voice.
  • Lost World: The Speed Buggy crew's plane has issues over one in "Kingzilla". This version contains multiple giant King Kong–like apes.
  • Lovable Coward: Both Tinker and Speedy to extents.
  • Mad Scientist: Speed Buggy's typical antagonists are villainous scientists who often use nefarious inventions in their schemes.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Particularly given his signature catch phrase, Tinker's voice sounded exactly like Gomer Pyle, the Jim Nabors character from The Andy Griffith Show and its eponymous spinoff.
  • The Power of Friendship: Present but downplayed especially in one episode where the villain offers the kids a lot of money to buy Speed Buggy. They value his friendship and being a member of the team more than money.
  • Punny Name: A cattle rustler named Beef Finger.
  • Reused Character Design: From the Scooby-Doo gang — Tinker has a design similar to Shaggy, Mark is based on Fred and Debbie is the reused model of Daphne. They even reuse their walk and run cycles when they crossed over with Scooby Doo himself.note 
  • Sentient Vehicle: Speedy himself
    • Also in "Speed Buggy Falls in Love", the Mata Cari character is a fraud driven by the antagonist's henchman. But at the end she winks to Speedy without a pilot.
  • Spoofy-Doo: The show has some parallels with Scooby-Doo, and was subject to numerous crossovers with it.
  • Verbal Tic: The various automotive "sputtering" Speed Buggy makes. Many of them were Mel Blanc recycling sound effects from Jack Benny's Maxwell.
  • Wacky Racing: When Speedy is shown racing, this is to be expected.
  • Weirdness Magnet: When you are a Hanna-Barbera meddling kid, this is to be expected.
  • Your Size May Vary: Speed Buggy is usually depicted as a three-seater, with two seats up front and one in back. However, at times, he has been able to seat four, and sometimes the angle of the drawing can make him look like a one-seater if there is only one person riding in him.