In the early 70's there was a big colonial revival in anticipation of the bicentennial and the "Funky Phantom" fed right into this. Following the surprising success of "Scooby Doo" where `meddling kids' and their strange side kick solve crimes Hannah-Barbera created several more Saturday morning cartoon series over the years with a similar theme. One of the more memorable was "The Funky Phantom" where 3 teens and their dog encounter a ghost from the days of the American Revolution and proceed to drive around the countryside solving mysteries that usually revolve around a monster or ghost later revealed to be someone in a mask usually undone when coming up against a real ghost.
Part of the problem with FP is that while on Scooby Doo all of the characters contribute to the `entertainment on Funky Phantom most of the humor comes from the ghost, either his antics or malapropisms "Heavens to Betsey Ross!" or mangled history "This is like when I crossed the Potomac with Washington"
"He crossed the Delaware"
"Were you there? `Cause I sure was!"
The mysteries are no where near as well written as in Scooby Doo (why anyone would be afraid of the `chicken man' is beyond me) and there is an odd tension between the 3 kids of PF as the two guys, voiced well by Mickey Dolenz both try to win the girl's affections and this patter tends to throw off the team feeling compared to SD where the 4 kids just seem friends. Lastly the level of animation is noticeably less than that of Scooby Doo as the HB workshops moved up to producing many more mystery shows for the Saturday morning grind.
Overall Funky Phantom is a wonderful reminder of a much simpler time, 1971, when children's cartoons were not just shilling for toy sales. For writing and quality it is not as good as Scooby Doo but it is in the same vein and if you enjoy the original Scooby Doo, then you'll probably like Funky Phantom for the exact same reasons.
Oh and the cowardly ghost concept? When compared to later HB fare like "Speedbuggy" "Fang Face" and "Jabberjaw" it's freaking Shakespearian.