Wheeljack is the name of several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes, usually as a resourceful inventor, even if his devices can be unreliable.
Transformers: Generation 1
Wheeljack is the mechanical engineer and scientist of the Autobots in the Transformers television and comic series based on the popular toy line produced by Takara and Hasbro. His vehicle mode is a Lancia Stratos Turbo 5 race car sporting Alitalia livery. Note that car #539 is the only surviving Lancia Stratos Turbo, only two were ever built by Lancia (compared to the rest which feature a different bodyshell).
Wheeljack is described as the mad scientist of the Autobot forces as he is always inventing new weapons and gadgets. These weapons and gadgets, while derived from the desire to benefit the Autobot cause, often bring great danger and introduce unpredictable elements into critical situations. He is the most accomplished driver (while in car mode) among the Autobots and enjoys displaying his skill level through various road stunts. Wheeljack possesses the ability to fly for relatively short distances (800 miles) using solid-fuel rockets in his arms. From his shoulder mounted cannons, Wheeljack can shoot magnetic inducer, shrapnel-needle, and gyro-inhibitor shells which can disrupt a target's sense of balance. He is often his own worst enemy due to the explosive and potentially damaging nature of his experiments.
Wheeljack, who was voiced by Chris Latta, was the first Transformer ever shown in the Generation 1 cartoon series. Also, his is one of the few Cybertronian vehicle forms shown - in his case, a boxy van-like vehicle. His robot form is distinguished by large bulbs on either side of his head that light up when he speaks. In most episodes, he was seldom seen at the front lines in battle - but he was often fundamental to the plot. He, and the Autobot medic Ratchet (occasionally in cooperation with the human Sparkplug Witwicky), were often shown working together creating various devices, weaponry, and even additional Autobots. Often, these devices were sought and sometimes obtained by the Decepticons and used against the Autobots. In the episode "The Immobilizer", he created a device capable of "immobilizing" anything and Decepticon forces were able to capture and use the device against the Autobots.
Wheeljack was the primary architect of the Dinobots, although they rarely seemed to have any particular affinity for him. Along with Ratchet and others he also helped to create the Aerialbots out of old Cybertronian shuttles. As the series progressed, Wheeljack's responsibilities were increasingly taken on by the Autobot scientist Perceptor.
In The Transformers: The Movie, set in the year 2005, Wheeljack was assigned to Autobot City on Earth. Wheeljack was presumed killed in the invasion of Autobot City by Megatron’s forces, and his injured or possibly deceased body is dragged to cover by Arcee. According to storyboards of un-made scenes he tried to help Mirage but was blasted several times by Thundercracker and Megatron along with Windcharger. In the same storyboards, it is Smokescreen, not Wheeljack, who lies dead, and Wheeljack himself can be seen alive during Devastator's attack. It is also worth noting that Wheeljack (and Windcharger's) bodies do not change colour to the grey black colour associated with Transformers when they die. Wheeljack also has an anomalous appearance in Transformers: Victory, a mistake made by several post-movie, Japanese-exclusive series because the movie did not reach Japan until 1989 (Prowl and Ironhide were also shown alive in a Japanese-exclusive series, though a later Japanese-exclusive story explained Prowl's presence).
Marvel's the Transformers
Early battles of Earth
Rebellion against Grimlock
See main article: Wheeljack (IDW Comics)
G1 Wheeljack made a cameo in the pilot of the Transformers: Animated series on a historical video being viewed by Optimus Prime. This historical video was stock footage from the original animated series. A new version was seen working with the Animated version of Perceptor on Omega Supreme in season 3.
Transformers Cinematic Universe
Main article:Wheeljack (Transformers Cinematic Universe)
Main article: Wheeljack (Transformers Prime)
Main article: Wheeljack (Cyberverse)