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Saturday Movie Day: The Straight Axle Willys And Stealing A Hemi In The Film Hot Rod (1979)

Saturday Movie Day: The Straight Axle Willys And Stealing A Hemi In The Film Hot Rod (1979)

Here’s another campy memory for you guys and girls out there. This is a 10-minute section of the television movie Hot Rod or Rebel of the Road depending on which title you want to use. Made in 1979 on a budget of about four dollars, the movie is the classic story of a bucks down hot rodder taking on the rich kid’s son at a big drag race. The bad thing is that the rich guy controls the whole town and makes the hot rodder’s life a living hell, but our man strikes back!

My favorite part of this movie are the first couple of scenes in the clip below. Basically, the cops and the rich guy’s kid need to stop the hot rodder with the blown, hemi powered Willys from racing at “The Nationals” because the Willys is faster than the kid’s Olds 442. They steal the Willys, rev it to the moon and throw the rods out of the block. It all seems to be over for our hero…but it ain’t! He and his band of pals know that the town’s cop cars are conveniently powered by Chrysler Hemi engines and they steal one from a police car while the coppers are having a burger and a root beer a local restaurant. They also rig up a device to cause massive harm to the other cruiser (that still has an engine). Craftily, they punch new numbers into the block and get the car running again.

Hey, when else in movie history do you get to see a Hemi being yanked from a car it was never in by an old wrecker and then lowered into a Willys? Never? Yeah that sounds about right. Like the last clip from Cobra the camp level is high, but the car stuff is cool!


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10 thoughts on “Saturday Movie Day: The Straight Axle Willys And Stealing A Hemi In The Film Hot Rod (1979)

  1. jbsjunk

    Heh, I used to have this movie. A lot of fakery but it still was nice. I wish I could find the complete flick, all I could find were bits.

  2. Davey

    What an ambush !!!

    Iove these campy car movies that have 20 seconds of commentary during a 10 second run. Or better yet, running neck n neck for the whole race only to have a movie shot where the gas pedal is mashed to the floor or they find another gear to pull ahead and win…

    I’d still watch this movie a dozen more times if only just for the cars in the background

  3. Al Armstrong

    I got my copy from Silverage Movies for $12.99 + shipping.. It’s ok quality for an old film… Well worth it for your hotrod library.

  4. Frank

    If you notice, the engine came out of one of those rare Rambler Hemi cars, very rare and worth a fortune if you can find one. Also that was the fastest I’ve ever seen an engine removed from any full fendered car. I have that movie myself and allways got a kick out of it.

  5. Kens440

    I barely remember this movie from when I was a kid.Always wanted to see it again and in the mid 90′s I found it while I was at the Mopar show in Carlisle Pa.Still have a VHS player so I can watch it every once in awhile..


    Speaking of movies with wrong engines in cars, I’m not a Fan of the Fast and Furious movies but the Skyline engine swapped into the Mustang reminds me of how strange Movies can get?

  7. Hizoot

    You’re right, a Mustang with a Nissan mill, pure sacrilege but a Hemi in a pre war Willys rides up like a cutter through ice..!

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