Louise (Fay Spain), Fred (John Ashley) and Jim (Steve Terrel) meet at a set of lights and instantly have a drag race – a policeman follows them to Mama’s Cafe Grill, which is the local hangout for kids. Typical of these J.D. movies, the local police pop up every 20 minutes with lectures about “wild and crazy kids”.
Louise is a “hot rod” freak, new in town from Salt Lake City. Her parents are “cool” – her dad bought Louise her hot rod – although he is now regretting it. There has been rivalry between rich kid Fred and Jim ever since they were kids in school. Jim is hoping to win the USA Regional Sweepstakes Race and get a scholarship to college but Fred is determined to win even if he has to cheat to do it. He buys a car from his friend Rick (Tommy Ivo) and modifies it so it will leave the rest behind.
While racing in a grudge match Fred’s partner Rick falls out of the car and breaks his leg. Fred’s lack of concern shows up his callous nature. Fred secretly takes Jim’s car out for a spin and kills a pedestrian. Of course when the police investigate they think Jim is the driver. He is then disqualified from the race – but Louise, who finds a piece of Rick’s plaster in Jim’s car and realises the truth, takes Jim’s place in the big race. It is wild and exciting stuff as Fred tries to run and Jim tackles him to the ground.
This film was one of many made for the drive-in circuit. John Ashley,
who also sang in these films, made many of these J.D. movies. There doesn’t seem to be much information on Steve Terrel, although he featured in many of these “hot rod” films. He also starred in that campy classic “Invasion of the Saucer Men”. Frank Gorshin was at the start of his long career – he plays the zany Tommy Burns.
Fay Spain was the drive-in movie bad girl – she also got her big break in this film, playing a blonde siren that has the boys falling at her feet. I will always remember her in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode entitled “The Last Dark Step”.