Speed to Spare
Cast & Crew
After his promoter cheats him of his fee, stunt racecar driver Cliff Jordan takes a job as a truck driver at his friend Jerry's National Express trucking company. Jerry's wife Mary is doubtful that Cliff, a ne'er-do-well who once jilted her, is capable of holding a steady job, but Jerry hopes Cliff will redeem himself. Cliff completes his training, but manager Al Simmons cautions him against his tendency toward reckless driving. When Cliff is nearly run down by Pusher, another driver who is hung over, Pusher is demoted to mechanic and Cliff gets his rig. Cliff is sent out on a "student" trip with Kangaroo, a trucker who has not driven alone since a bad accident, and Cliff learns that each truck is fitted with a tachiograph, a device that records the driver's speed, route and stops. Cliff soon breaks company rules by picking up a passenger and then speeding to get her to a doctor. Jerry refrains from reporting Cliff, but will not let him ride alone. Cliff becomes an expert driver, and in between trips, he flirts with Jane Chandler, a dispatcher who is in love with Pete. One day, Pusher lets the air out of a tire on Cliff's truck, and Cliff, who is running late because he has been flirting with a waitress in a coffee shop, fails to check his tires. When the tire starts to smoke, Cliff pulls over and throws the bad tire off the side of the road, later claiming that it was stolen. Although Mary urges Cliff to stay away from Jane, he takes her out while Pete is on a trip. When Pete returns, Pusher tells him about Cliff and Jane's date, and Pete and Jane fight. One night, Pusher sabotages Cliff's truck by loosening the hitch between the cab and the trailer. When Cliff loses the trailer on a hill, he makes sure that the runaway trailer goes over a precipice without hitting another car. During an investigation of the accident, Cliff admits that he previously lied about losing a tire, and Jerry puts Cliff on probation. When a trucker with a chemical line dies after his truck explodes, the owner of the line asks Jerry to carry a load of acid for him, but Jerry refuses because of the danger. Cliff secretly agrees to carry the acid in his refrigerated truck, unaware that he is being watched by Pusher. After checking the thermostat on the refrigerated trailer, Cliff bids Jane farewell and forces a kiss on her. Pete angrily knocks Cliff out, and Kangaroo takes Cliff's truck out alone. Cliff rushes after Kangaroo when he awakens, but it is too late. Kangaroo is killed by an explosion caused by Pusher's tampering with the thermostat. Cliff thrashes Pusher, then locks him in a trailer and drives recklessly so that Pusher is thrown about inside. Cliff finally returns and admits to having accepted the delivery to earn extra money, then forces Pusher to confess. As he is being arrested, Cliff urges Pete and Jane to reunite.
Ellis W. Carter
Lewis H. Creber
William H. Pine
William C. Thomas
The "National Express" office building was located at East 7th and Anderson Streets in Los Angeles.
The working title of this film was High Speed.