Speeding its way onto screens in the late 1960s, Wacky Races is a fan-favourite television show, about a group of misfit racing car drivers and their eccentric automobiles. In the show, the drivers compete in a series of races, making their way across different States of America, to be the first to cross the finish line.

But what do you know about Wacky Races?

Well, it doesn’t matter if you know a little or a lot about the show, because if you want to learn more you have come to the right place. This post contains over 20 frequently asked questions about the series.

So, start your engines and get ready – a whole heap of Q&As are coming your way!

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Frequently asked questions about Wacky Races

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.

When did Wacky Races first appear on television?

Wacky Races made its television debut on September 14th, 1968. The series initially aired in the US on CBS.

How many seasons of Wacky Races were produced?

Wacky Races ran for one season. The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions – the same company behind popular animated shows including Top Cat, Yogi Bear, and Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, amongst others.

How many episodes of Wacky Races were produced?

Surprisingly, only seventeen episodes of Wacky Races were produced. However, each twenty-minute episode contained two ten-minute stories (story a and story b) which equated to thirty-four races.

What is Wacky Races based on/inspired by?

Wacky Races is loosely inspired by the 1965 Blake Edwards-directed comedy, The Great Race. The movie – which starred Jack Lemon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, and Peter Falk – featured a collection of comical characters, taking part in a multi-car race from New York to Paris.

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.
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How many cars featured in Wacky Races?

In Wacky Races, eleven cars regularly took place in each race. Many of these cars included multiple drivers/passengers.

Who were the racers in Wacky Races?

The racers were as follows:

  • Car 00: The Mean Machine – Dick Dastardly and Muttley
  • Car 01: The Boulder Mobile – Rock and Gravel aka The Slag Brothers
  • Car 02: The Creepy Coupe – Tiny ‘Big’ and Bella ‘Little’ aka The Gruesome Twosome
  • Car 03: The Convert-a-Car – Professor Pat Pending
  • Car 04: The Crimson Haybailer – The Red Max
  • Car 05: The Compact Pussycat – Penelope Pitstop
  • Car 06: The Army Surplus Special – Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly
  • Car 07: The Bulletproof Bomb – Clyde, Ring-a-Ding, Rug Bug Benny, Mac, Danny, Kirby, and Willy aka The Ant Hill Mob
  • Car 08: The Arkansas Chuggabug – Lazy Luke and Blubber Bear
  • Car 09: The Turbo Terrific – Peter Perfect
  • Car 10: The Buzz Wagon – Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth

What were the racers competing for?

The racers in Wacky Races were all competing for the title of the World’s Wackiest Racer.

Where did the races take place?

Despite the racers competing for the title of ‘World’s Wackiest Racer’, all of the races took place across different US States.

Where did the first race take place?

The first race – as seen in the episode, See-Saw to Arkansas – took place in Arkansas. The final race –featured in the episode, The Carlsbad or Bust Bash – was held in New Mexico.

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.
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Which car/racer won the first race?

The first race was won by The Crimson Haybaler.

Which car won the most races?

The Bulletproof Bomb, The Compact Pussycat, The Arkansas Chuggabug and The Turbo Terrific won the most races, with each car crossing the finish line four times during the course of the series.

Did The Mean Machine ever win a race?

The Mean Machine – as driven by Dick Dastardly and Muttley – did not win a single race. In fact, The Mean Machine was the only car not to come first, second or even third in any of the thirty-four races.

Were any of the racers ever disqualified?

In the story, Trip to Lemon Twist, The Mean Machine was disqualified from the race in Nevada. This was the only car to be disqualified out of all thirty-four races.

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What is the Scooby-Doo connection to Wacky Races?

As well as both shows being produced by Hanna-Barbera, Wacky Races and Scooby-Doo shared a connection through voice actor, Don Messick. Messick voiced Scooby-Doo in Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, and voiced various characters in Wacky Races, including Muttley.

Who provided the voice of Dick Dastardly?

Dick Dastardly was voiced by Paul Winchell. The former ventriloquist turned actor/voice actor also voiced Gargamel in the 1981 Smurfs cartoon.

How successful was Wacky Races?

Wacky Races was very successful back in ’68 and remains popular to this day. Since its initial broadcast in the US, the show has aired around the world in multiple languages, and has developed legions of fans.

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.
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Does Wacky Races retain its name internationally?

When the show airs in non-English speaking countries, Wacky Races goes by a different title. In France the show is known as Les Fous du Volant (The Fools of the Wheel), while in Portugal it is known as A Mais Louca Corrida do Mundo (The Craziest Race of the World).

Was Wacky Races followed up with a sequel?

Due to the popularity of Wacky Races, the show led to four cartoon spin-offs/follow-ups, which included:

  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (1969)
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (1969)
  • Fender Bender 500 (1990)
  • Wacky Races (2017)

The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines took popular characters from Wacky Races and placed them in new situations and settings, while Fender Bender 500 was a spiritual follow-up. Wacky Races 2017 was a reboot of the original show.

In addition to the cartoons, the show also inspired computer games and a comic called Wacky Raceland.

Image: ©DC Comics
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What is Wacky Raceland?

Published in 2016 by DC Comics, Wacky Raceland is a comic book reworking of the Wacky Races mythology. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story reimagines the characters as dark figures, not too dissimilar to characters from the Mad Max movies.

Are there any Wacky Races movies?

To date, Wacky Races has not been adapted for film, however, both Dick Dastardly and Muttley did appear as lead characters in the animated movie, Scoob! (2020).

And finally, is Wacky Races available on home video?

All seventeen episodes/thirty-four stories are available on DVD and digital.

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If you are a fan of Wacky Races (and who isn’t?) the entire DVD collection is currently available to buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The three-disc set offers 408 minutes of cartoon capers and includes all 34 races.

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Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about Wacky Races – I hope it answered all of your questions. For more cartoon content, be sure to take a look at the recommended reads below.

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