1 9 6 7 – 1 9 6 8
52 x 20 minute episodes
“Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer, He’s a demon on wheels”
Young Speed Racer (known as ‘Go Mifune’ in Japan) drives a special sports car, the Mach 5, in races around the world.
The Mach 5, designed by his father, a retired racer, has features that allow Speed to drive over any terrain and through any obstacles.
Speed Racer originally started out in Japan in 1965 as a comic strip by Tatsuo Yoshida and the original Japanese series was entitled Mach-Go-Go.
Speed is often accompanied in his exploits by his girlfriend Trixie, his kid brother Spridle, and Spridle’s pet chimp Chim-chim.
Spridle and Chim Chim are an inseparable team and provide the comic relief in Speed Racer. They have a habit of popping up at just the right time to pull Speed out of a jam so that he can go on to save the day. They often sneak on board the Mach 5 . (So much for the effectiveness of the race scrutineers!).
Hot-headed but lovable race car designer Pops Racer and gangly, awkward, but equally lovable mechanic Sparky were the two men who kept things going behind the scenes.
The Mach 5 was equipped with a variety of special features, which could all be activated via the buttons on the steering wheel. The “A” button set off the automatic jacks to give the Mach 5 jumping power, while button “B” controlled the extra-grip tyres.
When button “C” was pushed, buzzsaws would appear that could cut through any trees that happened to block the vehicle’s path. “E” cranked the headlights up a notch for extra illumination, while buttons “D” and “F” were for use underwater (the former sealed off the cockpit to keep water out – along with bullets and deadly gasses – while the latter supplied 30 minutes’ worth of oxygen and a handy periscope).
Right in the middle of the wheel sat button “G,” which was used to activate a remote-controlled bird that flew out of the front of the car, carrying messages or other info to whomever Speed chose.
The robot’s flight was controlled by a small joystick, and if all else failed, the accompanying “H” button sent the bird straight to the Racer home.
In the world of Formula 1 racing, the least understood driver of them all is the mysterious masked Racer X.
When the once unbeatable Racer X competes, everyone knows there will be trouble. Rumours abound about a “jinx” which follows Racer X to every competition. Whenever he’s in a race, there is a terrible crash.
A rivalry, based on mutual admiration, exists between Speed Racer and the secretive Racer X.
Ironically, Racer X is not only Speed’s greatest competitor, he is also his secret protector. In reality, Racer X is actually Rex Racer, Speed’s older brother who left the family and now works undercover as a top-secret Interpol agent and races his car, The Shooting Star.