Speed Buggy is a Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and broadcast on CBS from September 8, 1973 to August 30, 1975. 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 January 1976 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).
The series was then picked up by the USA Network for their "Cartoon Express" shows from 1982 to about 1990. The series would next appear on Cartoon Network in 1992. As of 2012, Speed Buggy is in the library of Boomerang (Time Warner's archive cartoon channel) but does not air on a regular basis. When it does air, it is typically as part of the channel's block of mystery-solving cartoons, "Those Meddling Kids!" or pops up in the two-hour tribute block of "Boomeroyalty".
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 "Out of Sight" ("X Marks the Spot") and "Island of the Giant Plants" ("A Greenthumb is not a Goldfinger"). "Hidden Valley" was similar to the Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space episode "Warrior Women of Amazonia".
This series followed the adventures of an anthropomorphic, fiberglass Dune Buggy, Speed Buggy, his driver Tinker, and Tinker's friends Mark and Debbie. 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.
Unlike most cartoon series' produced by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, Speed Buggy did not contain a laugh track.
- Michael Bell - Mark
- Mel Blanc - Speed Buggy
- Arlene Golonka - Debbie
- Phil Luther, Jr. - Tinker
- "Speed Buggy Went That-A-Way"
- "Speed Buggy's Daring Escapade"
- "Taggert's Trophy"
- "Speed Buggy Falls in Love"
- "Professor Snow and Madame Ice"
- "Out of Sight"
- "Gold Fever"
- "Island of the Giant Plants"
- "The Ringmaster"
- "The Incredible Changing Man"
- "Secret Safari"
- "Oil's Well That Ends Well"
- "The Hidden Valley of Amazonia"
- "Captain Schemo and the Underwater City"
- Speed Buggy and the gang guest starred in a October 13, 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 series Speed Buggy comic book.
- 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.
- Speed Buggy appeared in a joke flashback in Stroker and Hoop, in which they think back to when they had caught a criminal named Beeffinger.
- Speed Buggy appeared at the end of an Johnny Bravo episode, "Bravo Dooby Doo" voiced by Frank Welker. He finds Johnny Bravo tied to a tree near the road and asks Johnny to hop in.
- Speed Buggy made a guest appearance in an episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot, in the episode Jenny accidentally knocks Sheldon into the street, at that point Speed Buggy who is coming down the road sees him and he makes a turn, but ends up crashing into a fire hydrant.
- A statue of Speed Buggy is seen in a race car stadium in an episode of Invader Zim.
- 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 makes a cameo as one of the combatants of the good imaginary characters in the South Park episode "ImaginationLand Part III using a mounted buzz saw as a weapon.
- Speed Buggy appears in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" 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 appears in the basement of the mansion in the video game Scooby-Doo! Classic Creep Capers on the Game Boy Color.
- Speed Buggy is mentioned in the Futurama episode "Law and Oracle" (series 6 episode 17) where Fry becomes a police officer and aspires to become a real investigator like Sherlock Holmes or Speed Buggy.
- In the film Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon, there is someone that cosplays as Tinker with an attachable Speed Buggy piece in the Hanna-Barbera convention.
On January 11, 2011, Warner Archive released Speed Buggy: The Complete Series on DVD 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.