Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show
The best driver at Metro City High, Jack "Rabbit" Wheeler was the son of former racing champ Mike Wheeler. Mike, who had retired after an auto accident, was worried about his son’s enthusiasm for the hobby. But Jack was unstoppable, a hot wheelin’ hot dog whose love of cars was matched only by his love for his girlfriend, Janet Martin.
Joining Jack and Janet in the "Hot Wheels" club were apprentice mechanic Mickey Barnes, Mickey's tomboy love interest Ardeth, Mike Wheeler's Motors mechanic Tank Mallory, and Kip, the son of an African ambassador. The older Doc Warren was an honorary member, a veteran mechanic who acted as mentor and made sure the kids were always conscientious drivers. When not racing, the kids hung out at Mother’s soda shop, owned by Mother O’Hara.
The Hot Wheels club was defined by their concern for safety in their driving, which is why the renegade Dexter Carter had been kicked out of the club for recklessness. Together with the equally careless Stuff Haley, Dexter formed a rival club, Dexter’s Devils, which served as a contrast for the good Hot Wheels kids.
But the real story of the show took place behind the scenes. The FCC came down hard on the toy-inspired series, demanding that the 57-second opening and other references to the car line be counted as commercial time. Such a condemnation of a cartoon as a thirty-minute commercial foreshadowed the wave of cartoon-commercial tie-ins that would dominate the 1980's, when FCC regulations became a bit more lenient.
Release History9/6/69 - 9/4/71 ABC
TV Sub Categoriesanimated
TV StudioPantomime Productions
Television CastJack Wheeler Bob Arbogast
Doc Warren Bob Arbogast
Janet Martin Melinda Casey
Mickey Barnes Albert Brooks
Kip Chogi Albert Brooks
Tank Mallory Casey Kasem
Dexter Carter Casey Kasem
Ardeth Pratt Susan Davis
Mother O'Hare Nora Marlowe
Mike Wheeler Michael Rye