Toon Adjacent: Wacky Races Get Real!
Hey! Let’s talk about Hanna Barbera/Heater-Quigley’s animated series Wacky Races.
You know it, you love it (assuming that you grew up in the era when the show was airing on TV). But did you know that some people made real life the Wacky Races customized cars?
Yes, you heard right. Some people made actual replicas of the various cars in the Wacky Races. So without further ado…
First, here’s the Turbo Terrific, driven by Peter Perfect. It’s amazing how Peter’s car still manages to look stylish despite it’s phallic appearance.
Next up, the Bullet Proof Bomb (driven by The Anthill Mob). What material is this car made up of?
Next, here’s the Convert-A-Car (driven by Professor Pat Pending). Not only is this car a hybrid, it’s a transformer!
Next, it’s the Compact Pussycat, driven by Penelope Pitstop (NASCAR’s first token chick). Sure, give the only female racer the girliest car. Hey, it was a different time.
Here we have the Creepy Coupe, driven by the Gruesome Twosome. This comes complete with a plastic replica of Big Gruesome in the passenger seat!
Here we have the Army Surplus Special, driven by Sargent Blast and Private Meekly. This was always one of my favorite WR cars, despite the fact that I wouldn’t last a nanosecond in the army.
Next up is the Boulder Mobile, driven by the Slag Brothers, Rock and Gravel. Primitive, but effective.
Here’s the Crimson Haybailer, driven by the Red Max. Can’t decide between a car and a plane? Split the difference!
Over here is the Buzz Wagon, driven by Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth (his pet beaver). Note the wheels here are fakes placed in front of the tires. The buzz saw wheels work well in cartoon form, but in real life they wouldn’t be able to support the weight of a car, not even one made out of wood.
“Huh-huh-huh! He sad ‘wood’! Huh-huh-huh-huh!”
“Yeah! ‘Wood!’ Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh!”
Moving on, here’s the Arkansas Chug-A-Bug, driven by Lazy Luke and Blubber Bear. It’s got a stovepipe for the exhaust. Now that’s rural!
And of course, we can’t forget the Mean Machine, driven by Dick Dastardly and Muttley. I’ve always dug this car’s design, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s also purple, my favorite color. Plus, it’s got a freakin’ rocket for the exhaust!
On a related note, I have to give an honorable mention to this Dick Dastardly toy car made by Corgi, which I saved up my allowance money for weeks to buy as a kid. I bought it from K&K Toys (just to give you an idea how long ago this was!). No, it’s not the Mean Machine (which kid me would have punched someone in front of their granny in order to get), but it’s still pretty cool.
A couple of minor nitpicks, though. First, why were Dick and Muttley wearing their pilot outfits from Dastardly and Muttley and Their Flying Machines here when they’re driving a race car? Second, in what alternate reality has Dick Dastardly ever worn a pink jacket?
I’m going to wrap this up by showcasing another attempt to render the Wacky Racers in live action, with this hilarious Peugot car commercial, which never aired in the U.S. Yeah, I know that we’ve already shown this ad here earlier on 2 Funny, but we like it, and it’s relevant to the subject at hand, so we’re going to show it again! Enjoy.
Now that’s keeping it real! Real wacky, that is!