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Wacky Races


Wacky Races

Wacky Races
Genre Racing
Written by Larz Bourne
Dalton Sandifer
Tom Dagenais
Michael Maltese
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of Daws Butler
Don Messick
John Stephenson
Janet Waldo
Dave Willock
Paul Winchell
Narrated by Dave Willock
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 17 (34 segments)
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time 20 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
(Warner Bros. Animation)
Heatter-Quigley Productions
(Orion Pictures Corporation)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original channel CBS
Picture format 4:3
Audio format Mono
Original release September 14, 1968 (1968-09-14) – January 4, 1969 (1969-01-04)
Followed by The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (1969–1970)
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (1969–1970)
Related shows Yogi's Space Race (1978–1979)
Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1985–1986)

Wacky Races is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Heatter-Quigley Productions.[1] The series, inspired by the 1965 slapstick comedy film The Great Race,[2] features 11 different cars racing against each other in various road rallies throughout North America,[3] with each driver hoping to win the title of the "World's Wackiest Racer." The cartoon had a large number of regular characters, with 23 people and animals spread among the 11 race cars. The show ran on CBS from September 14, 1968, to January 4, 1969. 17 episodes were produced, with each episode featuring two different races.


  • Background 1
  • Characters and vehicles 2
    • Dick Dastardly and Muttley in the Mean Machine #00 (The Double Zero) 2.1
    • The Slag Brothers in the Boulder Mobile #1 2.2
    • The Gruesome Twosome in the Creepy Coupe #2 2.3
    • Professor Pat Pending in the Convert-a-Car #3 2.4
    • The Red Max in the Crimson Haybaler #4 2.5
    • Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat #5 2.6
    • Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in the Army Surplus Special #6 2.7
    • The Ant Hill Mob in the Bulletproof Bomb #7 2.8
    • Lazy Luke and Blubber Bear in the Arkansas Chuggabug #8 2.9
    • Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific #9 2.10
    • Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzzwagon #10 2.11
    • The Narrator 2.12
    • Interaction 2.13
  • Voice cast 3
  • Credits 4
  • Episodes 5
  • Spin-offs and similar series 6
  • Video games 7
  • Home media releases 8
  • Race results 9
  • Cultural references 10
  • Non-English language titles 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


One of the unused plans for the series was that the races would be part of a live-action quiz show made by Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley Productions in which contestants would bet on which Wacky Racer would cross the finish line first. Although the game show concept was eventually scrapped, the series still retained a Hanna-Barbera/Heatter-Quigley dual production credit. Like Orion's back catalog from the 1978–1982 joint venture period and some post-1982 films, it is one of the few Heatter-Quigley series not currently owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's subsidiary Orion Pictures Corporation since September 11, 2014. The MGM studio is where Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera got its start with Puss Gets the Boot. In 1988, a made-for-television movie, Around the World with the Wacky Racers, was planned as part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 series of telefilms, but it never got past the concept stage.

Characters and vehicles

Dick Dastardly and Muttley in the Mean Machine #00 (The Double Zero)

The villains (and also the stars) of the series, in a purple, rocket-powered car with an abundance of concealed weapons and the ability to fly. Dastardly (voiced by Paul Winchell, in a manner that Winchell would use several years later to portray the Smurfs' nemesis Gargamel) is an archetypal mustache-twirling villain; Muttley (voiced by Don Messick) is his trademark wheezily snickering, anthropomorphic dog henchman.

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. Sometimes he would be so far ahead that if he carried on without trying to cheat or stop the other racers, he would have surely won that particular race.

Dastardly's rocket car was arguably the fastest car in the series, as evidenced by Dastardly's repeatedly zooming to a stunning lead from far behind. Dastardly never saw victory, but came close at least three times: once when he crossed the line first, and is seen to do so in the original and official footage, but a tampered replay viewed by the judges showed him cheating, and another time when he was battling with three other cars to finish first, but he stopped to pose for the photo finish. He also came close to winning another race, but he stopped again, this time to sign an autograph for Muttley.

Dastardly never even officially finished in the top three. In fact, he only crossed the line five times: twice in last place, once in fifth place (beating the Army Surplus Special), once in fourth place. In the fourth place finish, he appeared to win but the instant replay video-tape shows the Double Zero car seemingly using a device to stretch out the nose of the vehicle, resulting in Penelope Pitstop being declared the winner by the race Judges. This is odd, however, as in another race, Rufus Ruffcut used a similar tactic and was considered to be a winner, although the distinction might be that Rufus actually extended his own neck to a ridiclous degree, while Dastardly extended his vehicle.

Regardless, it is often considered to be either a mistake of the series, or that the judges purposefully ruled against Dastardly to ensure he did not obtain a victory. In modern times it is now possible to pause the original footage and see that the nose cone was not originally extended. However, in the "instant replay" it shows the nose cone extending,[4] leading some fans of the series to believe that the Judges colluded to create a fix.

He is sometimes foiled by the finishing line itself, where he makes a sprint at the end to gain the lead, but while sneering and looking behind him at the other competitors, fails to notice that parts protruding from the Mean Machine (often sails or rockets) are too big to get under the finish banner and he subsequently crashes into it. Often it appears that if Dastardly had not bothered to cheat, then he might have won fairly. Upon tasting defeat, Dastardly would utter his catchphrases, "Drat!!! Drat!!! And Double Drat!!!", "Triple Drat!" and even "Curses, foiled again!" This is often followed by Muttley's snickering. His other main catchphrase was "Muttley, do something!"

The Slag Brothers in the Boulder Mobile #1

Rock and Gravel Slag (voiced by Daws Butler and Don Messick) are cavemen driving a wheeled boulder. They are almost completely covered in wild and unkempt hair and communicate mostly in grunts and broken mumbled phrases. If their car is ever destroyed, the Slag Brothers will usually reconstruct it from scratch simply by using their clubs on any large boulder they can find. The Slag Brothers can also summon up a Pteranodon to help them. They accelerate by hitting the car (or at times, each other) with their clubs. They will sometimes directly attack other drivers with their clubs or by launching rocks at them. The Slag Brothers' character design was re-used for Captain Caveman.

The Gruesome Twosome in the Creepy Coupe #2

Big Gruesome (a lurching, huge humanoid character voiced by Daws Butler) and Little Gruesome (a purple-skinned vampire voiced by Don Messick) are monsters driving a hearse-like car with a belfry which houses a dragon, ghosts, serpents, witches, and other horror-themed characters as well as storm clouds. The Gruesomes can summon these creatures to either help them along in the race or fend off other drivers. The Gruesome Twosome are quite prone to foul play and use their range of creatures to scare off or sabotage the other competitors. Little Gruesome acts as the brains of the duo while Big Gruesome acts as the muscle. However, they aren't without a sense of decency, as they once used their sea serpent power to help the other racers cross a stretch of water after Dastardly destroyed the bridge.

Professor Pat Pending in the Convert-a-Car #3

A scientist (voiced by Don Messick) in a boat-shaped airplane-like car which can change into just about anything that moves, from mundane vehicles (such as a motorcycle or helicopter) to outlandish ones (such as a giant bowling ball or a massive coiled spring). He often uses his car's multitude of gadgets to help out the other drivers if they all get caught in the same trap. His alliterative name is a pun on the phrase "patent pending". Most of his gadgets seem to be defensive as opposed to Dastardly's offensive devices.

The Red Max in the Crimson Haybaler #4

An air ace (voiced by Daws Butler) whose name is a combination of the Red Baron and the Blue Max, in a car/plane hybrid that is capable of limited flight, usually just enough to leapfrog over racers or obstacles in its path. The Haybaler has a mounted machine gun which is used sporadically. The machine gun can fire bullets, pepper, and other substances. The Haybaler's transformations from plane to car seems to have significantly weakened its flying ability, and Max often has to bail out when the Haybaler breaks down. The character and name of his vehicle are partially derived from the barnstorming stuntmen of the 1920s.

Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat #5

Penelope Pitstop (voiced by Janet Waldo) is the lone female among the Wacky Racers. She is a Southern belle dressed in a 1930s racing costume. The Compact Pussycat is a fancy pink convertible fitted out with all manner of girlie beauty supplies—effectively, a beauty parlor on wheels. Penelope often takes time during the race to maintain her appearance, which causes the other racers to lose ground when her gadgets malfunction. The other male racers are very chivalrous towards her, and rarely attack her car, sometimes even allowing her to pass them. Turbo Terrific driver Peter Perfect is particularly fond of her, frequently calling her "Pretty Penny". Penelope also had her own cartoon, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, which also featured the Ant Hill Mob.

Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in the Army Surplus Special #6

Two soldiers, one a sergeant (voiced by Daws Butler) and the other a private (voiced by Paul Winchell), racing in an Army tank/Jeep hybrid with a small steamroller's wheel attached to the front. The Army Surplus Special makes use of its tank facilities while racing, including its cannon, which can spin around to face forward or back, and the hatch, where Sergeant Blast rides. The Surplus Special is equipped with a supply of land mines and back-mounted thrusters. The Surplus Special is capable of firing its gun backwards to propel itself forwards for extra speed. As their names suggest, Private Meekly is very meek and merely follows orders without question, while Sergeant Blast "blasts" orders in a stereotypical drill-sergeant voice.

The Ant Hill Mob in the Bulletproof Bomb #7

The Bulletproof Bomb (occasionally referred to as the "Roaring Plenties") is a 1920s limousine sedan, driven by a group of seven pint-sized gangsters all of whom sit in the front seat: leader Clyde (voiced by Paul Winchell), Ring-A-Ding (voiced by Don Messick), and five others. Clyde is a pastiche of Edward G. Robinson's character in the film Little Caesar and of the male half of Bonnie and Clyde. Their typical method of improving the speed of their car is "Getaway Power", which is achieved by extending their feet through the floor of the car and running, much like Fred Flintstone's method of propelling his "cave car" in his own series. On occasion, the Ant Hill Mob would use their tommy guns against the other racers. Their name is derived from the film The Lavender Hill Mob.

The Ant Hill Mob reappeared in the spin-off series The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, with Clyde in a silver outfit and a tall bowler hat with a red hat band and his wingmen, with new names, wearing blue outfits and different brown hats each with a different colored hat band and riding in a living car, Chugga-Boom. The Mob were the protagonists in this series, along with Penelope herself, and were constantly rushing to her rescue.

Lazy Luke and Blubber Bear in the Arkansas Chuggabug #8

Luke (voiced by John Stephenson) is a hillbilly who tends to drive steering with his feet while half-asleep, in one episode he refers to himself as Dog-Nosed Luke; Blubber (also voiced by Stephenson) is his timid pet grizzly bear, clad in a scarf and early aviator's helmet with goggles. The Chuggabug is constructed of wood and is powered by a coal-fired pot-bellied stove in the rear of the vehicle. The stove can be prone to exploding, usually if another competitor blocks the exhaust. Luke tends to use old-fashioned means of improving the performance of his car. He pours various liquors into the stove for a quick speed boost (but the stove would often explode afterward). He has also been shown using various balloons and gum type traps.

Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific #9

A gentleman driver (voiced by Daws Butler) driving a dragster. The Turbo Terrific, despite its name and Peter's adulation, is highly unreliable; it often falls to pieces in the middle of a race, usually after Peter praises it for how well it is doing. Peter Perfect has a crush on Penelope Pitstop (whom he calls "Pretty Penny"), who often returns his affections. The Turbo Terrific seems to be able to sprout an additional four rear wheels, giving eight wheels in total, for extra speed.

Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzzwagon #10

Rufus Ruffcut (voiced by Daws Butler) is a tough, muscle-bound lumberjack, while Sawtooth (voiced by Don Messick) is his anthropomorphic pet beaver. The Buzzwagon is a wagon made of logs, with buzzsaws for wheels, hence its name. The buzzsaws gives the car the ability to cut through almost anything, destroying the object in the process. For instance, in one race through a densely wooded area with a route full of long curves, Ruffcut is able to temporarily take the lead by carving straight line shortcuts through the foliage. Unfortunately, the buzzsaws have a tendency to detach from the vehicle and cut through the other racers, in one case cutting two wheels off the Ant Hill Mob's car.

The Narrator

Every episode is introduced and commented on by an unseen Narrator (voice by Dave Willock), who often communicates with the racers as they drive. The racers respond by speaking to the audience, breaking the fourth wall. Dick Dastardly has oddly nicknamed the Narrator 'Boopsie', used as a female character's nickname in Doonesbury shortly thereafter.


The other characters seem to get along with each other, they are often seen (especially Pat Pending and usually Peter Perfect and Penelope Pitstop) helping each other out of traps set by Dastardly. They also at times use "dirty tricks" on each other (Army Surplus shooting other cars or Gruesome Twosome using their Dragon). Some of these tricks are as bad as Dastardly's, but they seem to get away with them.

Voice cast


  • Produced and Directed by: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
  • Associate Producers: Alex Lovy, Art Scott
  • Story: Larz Bourne, Tom Dagenais, Mike Maltese, Dalton Sandifer
  • Story Direction: Art Davis, Earl Klein, Paul Sommer, Irv Spector
  • Voices: Daws Butler, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Janet Waldo, Dave Willock, Paul Winchell
  • Animation Director: Charles A. Nichols
  • Production Design: Iwao Takamoto
  • Production Coordinator: Victor O. Schipek
  • Character Design: Jerry Eisenberg
  • Layout: Jerry Eisenberg, Bert Freund, Willie Ito, Don Jurwich, Henry Lee, Phil Lewis, Jack Manning, Erni Nordli, Grace Stanzell, Al Wilson
  • Animation: Ed Aardal, Frank Andrina, Ed Barge, Bob Bemiller, Frank Braxton, Emil Carle, Patsy Crudden, Isadore Ellis, John Garling, Terry Harrison, Jerry Hathcock, Bill Higgins, Sam Kai, Hicks Lokey, Tony Love, Robert Maxfield, Tom McDonald, Kenneth Muse, Casey Onaitis, Jack Parr, Bud Partch, Bernard Posner, Morey Reden, Veve Risto, Carlo Vinci, Ray Young
  • Backgrounds: Hal Ashmead, Barbeara Begg, Al Budnick, Daniela Bielecka, Bill Butler, Robert Gentle, Mike Kawaguchi, Walt Peregoy, Don Watson, David Weidman
  • Title Design: Bill Perez
  • Titles: Robert Schaefer
  • Music Director: Hoyt Curtin
  • Technical Supervisor: Frank Paiker
  • Ink and Paint Supervisor: Roberta Greutert
  • Xerography: Robert "Tiger" West
  • Sound Direction: Richard Olson
  • Film Editors: Richard Allen, Milton Krear, Chuck McCann, Norm Vizents
  • Camera: Gene Borghi, George Epperson, Charles Flekal, Frank Parrish, Cliff Shripser, Clarence Wogatzke
  • Production Manager: Gerald Ray
  • A Hanna-Barbera Production in association with Heatter-Quigley, Inc.
  • This picture made under the jurisdiction of IATSE-IA, Affiliated with A.F.L.-C.I.O.-C.L.C.
  • RCA Sound Recording
  • © 1968 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.


Episode # Episode title Original airdate
WR-1 See-Saw to Arkansas (35–1)

Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist (35–2)

September 14, 1968 (1968-09-14)
WR-2 Why Oh Why Wyoming (35–3)

Beat the Clock to Yellow Rock (35–4)

September 21, 1968 (1968-09-21)
WR-3 Idaho a Go-Go (35–5)

Mish-Mash Missouri Dash (35–6)

September 28, 1968 (1968-09-28)
WR-4 Scout Scatter (35–7)

Real Gone Ape (35–8)

October 5, 1968 (1968-10-05)
WR-5 By Rollercoaster to Upsan Downs (35–9)

Free Wheeling to Wheeling (35–10)

October 12, 1968 (1968-10-12)
WR-6 Baja-Ha-Ha Race (35–11)

The Speedy Arkansas Traveler (35–12)

October 19, 1968 (1968-10-19)
WR-7 The Great Cold Rush Race (35–13)

Eeny, Miny Missouri Go! (35–14)

October 26, 1968 (1968-10-26)
WR-8 The Zippy Mississippi Race (35–15)

Hot Race at Chillicothe (35–16)

November 2, 1968 (1968-11-02)
WR-9 Traffic Jambalaya (35–17)

The Wrong Lumber Race (35–18)

November 9, 1968 (1968-11-09)
WR-10 Rhode Island Road Race (35–19)

Wacky Race to Ripsaw (35–20)

November 16, 1968 (1968-11-16)
WR-11 Oils Well That Ends Well (35–21)

Whizzin' to Washington (35–22)

November 23, 1968 (1968-11-23)
WR-12 The Super Silly Swamp Sprint (35–23)

The Dipsy Doodle Desert Derby (35–24)

November 30, 1968 (1968-11-30)
WR-13 Race Rally to Raleigh (35–25)

Dash to Delaware (35–26)

December 7, 1968 (1968-12-07)
WR-14 The Dopey Dakota Derby (35–27)

Speeding for Smogland (35–28)

December 14, 1968 (1968-12-14)
WR-15 Fast Track to Hackensack (35–29)

Ballpoint, Penn. or Bust! (35–30)

December 21, 1968 (1968-12-21)
WR-16 Race to Racine (35–31)

The Carlsbad or Bust Bash (35–32)

December 28, 1968 (1968-12-28)
WR-17 The Ski Resort Road Race (35–33)

Overseas Hi-Way Race (35–34)

January 4, 1969 (1969-01-04)

Spin-offs and similar series

Penelope Pitstop and the Ant Hill Mob were spun off into another cartoon series in 1969 titled The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. In the same year, Dick Dastardly and Muttley were given a spin-off series titled Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. The series is sometimes mistakenly known as Stop the Pigeon, after the show's working title and theme song. Both series ran for two seasons.

The basic ideas behind Wacky Races and some of the characters were used again by Hanna-Barbera in later years:

  • The new character of Mumbly (star of the 1976 The Mumbly Cartoon Show) bears a strong resemblance to Muttley.
  • The new character of Captain Caveman (star of the 1977 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels series) bears a strong resemblance to the Slag Brothers.
  • In 1977, Mumbly (who, in contrast to his role as a detective on his solo series, is now depicted as a villain) and Dread Baron (who strongly resembles Dick Dastardly) became the leaders of the Really Rottens team on the Laff-A-Lympics cartoon, which featured three teams of Hanna-Barbera characters (including Mumbly's villainous "Really Rottens" team, Yogi Bear's "Yogi Yahooeys" team that consisted of many of his friends from Yogi's Gang, and Scooby Doo's "Scooby Doobies" team that included many of the crime-solving characters from that era, including Captain Caveman) competing in races and competitions around the world. However, in the Latin American version of Laff-A-Lympics, Mumbly was credited as Muttley.
  • The 1978 series Yogi's Space Race featured Hanna-Barbera stalwarts such as Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and others racing against each other throughout outer space while fending off a tall, thin villain (Phantom Phink) and his snickering dog (Sinister Sludge).
  • Dick Dastardly and Muttley returned in the 1985 series Yogi's Treasure Hunt as they competed in a treasure hunt against Yogi Bear and many of his prior "Yogi Yahooeys" teammates. Instead of driving the Mean Machine, Dastardly piloted a submarine called The SS Dirty Tricks and a World War I biplane in this series.
  • Dread Baron and Mumbly (once again replacing Dick Dastardly and Muttley) return to antagonize Yogi and many of his "Yogi Yahooeys" teammates in the 1987 film Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose.
  • Blubber Bear appeared in The New Yogi Bear Show in 1988.
  • The 1990 syndicated series Wake, Rattle and Roll featured a segment called Fender Bender 500 starring Dick Dastardly and Muttley driving a revamped "Mean Machine" that is renamed the "Dirty Truckster". They raced against Yogi Bear, Winsome Witch, Quick Draw McGraw, and other Hanna-Barbera stars. Although Dastardly continued to rely heavily on traps and schemes, he and Muttley did manage to win one of these races.
  • In 1991, teenage versions of Dick Dastardly and Muttley appeared on the Yo Yogi! series with Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo Bear, Cindy Bear, Snagglepuss, and Huckleberry Hound.
  • In 2006, the pilot for a spin-off series titled Wacky Races Forever was produced for Cartoon Network.[5] The series depicted a roster of both new and returning racers competing against each other. Penelope Pitstop and Peter Perfect had married and created Perfect Industries, the corporate sponsor of the new Wacky Races, whereas their children Parker and Piper competed in the race. Other characters included the Slag Brothers, Professor Pat Pending, a teenage version of the Gruesome Twosome, and Dick Dastardly and Muttley (working for a new villain named Mr. Viceroy, who sought to steal Perfect Industries). This series was not picked up by Cartoon Network.
  • In 2015, a Cartoon Network promo for 2016 revealed a logo for a new Wacky Races series.[6]

Video games

A Wacky Races video game was produced in 1991 for the NES, in which the player took the role of Muttley, sent on missions from Dick Dastardly to defeat the other racers. Another game based on the series was also released for the IBM PC, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 in 1991. A Mega Drive/Sega Genesis game was also developed, but cancelled before release.

A Wacky Races game was released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. This game featured all the characters from the series playable with their vehicles. This game had a variety of modes such as Arcade Mode, Adventure mode, and Battle Arena. This game allowed multi-player for up to four people. Voices for the video games' renditions of the characters included Jim Cummings as Dick Dastardly, Clyde, Private Meekly, Big Gruesome, Rock Slag, and Gravel Slag; Billy West as Muttley and Little Gruesome, Janet Waldo reprising her TV role as Penelope Pitstop, John Stephenson reprising his TV role as Luke, Scott Innes as Professor Pat Pending, Gregg Berger as the narrator, and the late Greg Burson as the Red Max, Sergeant Blast, Peter Perfect and Rufus Ruffcut. An expanded version of the game entitled Wacky Races Starring Dastardly and Muttley was later released on the PlayStation 2.

Later in 2007, another game called Wacky Races: Mad Motors for the PlayStation 2 was released by Blast on June 12. A new video game for the Wii and Nintendo DS consoles titled Wacky Races: Crash and Dash was released on June 27, 2008. This game was developed by Eidos.[7]

Home media releases

A three-disc DVD release of the complete series was made available in Japan on August 10, 2001, and had both English and Japanese audio. In Britain Warner released a three-disc set with no extra features, which was only available in Virgin Megastores. The complete box set of Wacky Races was released on July 31, 2006 as an HMV exclusive but is essentially the standard Volumes 1–3 with no extras. The Australian release of Volume 1 and 2 was made available in 2005 and Volume 3 released in 2007.

Warner Home Video released the entire series, with commentaries and other extras, in a DVD box set on October 26, 2004. A two and a half-hour VHS video was made available in the 1996. All 34 episodes can be purchased on the iTunes Store.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Wacky Races – The Complete Series 34 October 19, 2004
  • Commentary on various episodes
  • Rearview Mirror: A Look Back at Wacky Races (retrospective documentary)
  • Spin-Out Spin-Offs (featurette on the spin-off shows Dastardly and Muttley and Their Flying Machines and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop)
  • Wacky Facts Trivia Track (pop-up trivia over episodes "See-Saw to Arkansas" and "Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist")

Race results

The show gave the results of each race at the end of each episode, (the first, second, and third placings are given by the narrator, and we sometimes saw some or all of the other cars cross the finish line). The show never indicated a particular scoring system or way to determine who won the Wacky Races as a whole. However, based on FIA's 1962–1990 Formula One points-scoring system in use when the show first aired (9 points for 1st place, 6 for 2nd and 4 for 3rd), the Slag Brothers would finish with 87 points, followed by Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth with 79, and then The Ant Hill Mob with 74. Based on this, the cumulative totals for first, second, and third-place finishes for each contestant are presented below:[8] (Points for 4th, 5th and 6th places have not been calculated).

Contestants Car Name Car # 1st 2nd 3rd Top 3 Points
The Slag Brothers The Boulder Mobile 1 3 8 3 14 87
Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth The Buzzwagon 10 3 6 4 13 79
The Ant Hill Mob The Bulletproof Bomb 7 4 5 2 11 74
The Gruesome Twosome The Creepy Coupe 2 3 3 6 12 69
Penelope Pitstop The Compact Pussycat 5 4 2 5 11 68
The Red Max The Crimson Haybaler 4 3 4 3 10 63
Professor Pat Pending The Convert-A-Car 3 3 2 5 10 59
Luke and Blubber Bear The Arkansas Chuggabug 8 4 1 4 9 58
Peter Perfect The Turbo Terrific 9 4 2 2 8 56
Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly The Army Surplus Special 6 3 1 0 4 33
Dick Dastardly and Muttley The Mean Machine 00 0 0 0 0 0
Grand Totals 34 34 34 102 646

To win, one did not actually need to be in one's assigned vehicle; apparently all that was necessary was for the driver to cross the finish line in a conveyance of some sort (a flying carpet or a giant ice cube would do), although racers were apparently prohibited from simply walking across. Oddly, however, disqualification would result if a driver crossed the finish line "in the wrong vehicle" of another registered racer.

The Ant Hill Mob in The Bulletproof Bomb, Luke and Blubber Bear in The Arkansas Chuggabug, Peter Perfect in The Turbo Terrific, and Penelope Pitstop in The Compact Pussycat, hold a joint record for the most wins, each finishing first four times, although one of Pitstop's wins was a result of Dastardly being disqualified for cheating. All the remaining competitors won three races each, except for Dastardly and Muttley in the Mean Machine, which failed to win at all.

The records for the most second place and Top 3 finishes are both held by The Slag Brothers in The Boulder Mobile, with 8 and 14 respectively, while Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzzwagon have done so 6 and 13 times. The Gruesome Twosome in The Creepy Coupe hold the record for the most third-place finishes, with 6.

In most episodes, Dick Dastardly would finish last. However, his highest finish occurred in "See-Saw To Arkansas", where he finished fourth.[9]

Cultural references

  • Life-size working replicas of the vehicles have been built in the UK and appear annually at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, with new additions each year. 2008 saw the last of the cars (the Ant Hill Mob in the Bulletproof Bomb 07) added to the collection, making a complete set.[10]

Not pictured: Bulletproof Bomb #7, Arkansas Chuggabug #8, Buzzwagon #10

  • In 1992 the Japanese studio Artmic released an OVA with the title Tsuppashire! Genom Trophy Rally (internationally: Scramble Wars) as a comedic take on Wacky Races, featuring characters from the anime series Gall Force, Bubblegum Crisis, Genesis Survivor Gaiarth and other characters from miscellaneous Artmic productions.
  • In 2003 Dexter's Laboratory parodied Wacky Races in an episode where several characters of the show participate in a cross country race.
  • In 2006 car manufacturer Vauxhall launched a TV commercial for the British market, parodying Wacky Races with a similar setup featuring Corsa cars. The commercial made several references to the cartoon as well as utilizing the show's theme music and Muttley's iconic laugh.[11]
  • The English adult comic Viz had a one-off parody strip called "Wacky Racists" with David Irving as Dick Dastardly, Unity Mitford as Penelope Pitstop and comedian Bernard Manning as Muttley.[12]
  • A story arc in the online game City of Heroes has villains named after Wacky Races characters (Rufus of Perez, Slag of Skywyay, etc.).
  • In 2013, car manufacturer Peugeot launched a TV commercial for the Brazilian market, featuring the cartoon characters in a real-life universe.[13][14] The video became an instant hit in YouTube, with more than 2 million views.
  • In 2014 South Park referenced Wacky Races as something that had to be banned by international convention in the episode Handicar and in which a Wacky Race was broadcast live on CNN.
  • The couch gag to "The Simpsons" episode "Gone Abie Gone" is an obvious parody of the series.

Non-English language titles

  • Argentina: Los Autos Locos (The Crazy Cars)
  • Brazil: Corrida Maluca (Crazy Race)
  • Croatia: Uvrnute trke (Whirlpool races)
  • France: les Fous du volant (Madmen at the wheel)
  • Germany: Autorennen Total (Total car race)
  • Hungary: Flúgos futam (Wacky race)
  • Italy: Wacky Races/Le Corse Pazze (The Crazy Races)
  • Japan: チキチキマシン猛レース – Chikichikimashin mō rēsu (Chitty Chitty Machine Fierce Race)
  • Poland: Odlotowe wyścigi (Wacky Races)
  • Portugal: A Corrida Mais Louca do Mundo (The World's Craziest Race)
  • Romania: Curse Trăsnite (Crazy racing)
  • Serbia: Уврнуте трке (Whirlpool races)
  • Spain: Los autos locos (The mad cars)
    • Galician: Os autos tolos (The crazy cars)
    • Catalan: Els cotxes esbojarrats (The crazed cars)
  • Sweden: Fartdårarna (Speed freaks)
  • Turkey: Çılgın Yarışlar (Crazy races)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Only three of the 34 rallies took place outside the Contiguous United States: one entirely within Baja California; one across a substantial portion of Canada evidently along or near the Trans-Canada Highway; and one across the Canada-US border from Saskatchewan to Oregon.
  4. ^ Dick Dastardly Was Robbed, YouTube
  5. ^ Wacky Races Forever – Unaired Pilot
  6. ^ Cartoon Network
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^

External links

  • It's the Wacky Races!
  • Wacky Races at the Internet Movie Database
  • Wacky Races at
  • Cartoon Network: DOC – Wacky Races – cached copy from Internet Archives
  • The Cartoon Scrapbook – Profile on Wacky Races
  • Wacky Races on Flickr
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