Garage mechanic and racing enthusiast Nick Freeman (David Essex) inherits his dead brother’s revolutionary new prototype bike – the actual bike in the film was designed by Barry Hart of Welsh engineering company Barton Motors – and sets out to prove it can be a race winner in this motorcycling drama.
Consumed by a desire for glory on the racetrack he manages to get financial backing and enters the challenge for the world championship at Silverstone, accompanied by his mechanic and only friend, Cider (Clarke Peters).
Nick’s main competition is wily American Bruce McBride (Beau Bridges) who will stop at nothing to win both the title and Julie Price (Cristina Raines), the beautiful lady that both bikers fall for.
A vanity project from beginning to end, it tries hard to be a British Wild Angels (1966), Easy Rider (1969) or Electra Glide in Blue (1973), but Essex here is near the end of his heyday, dressing in leather, trying to be James Dean and keeping Brylcreem in business. He wrote the music, too.
Three top-secret racing bikes were made available for the film by Heron Suzuki. They also provided key technicians, equipment and mechanical expertise, as well as the services of their Texaco Heron Team Suzuki which had won the World’s Manufacturer’s Championship for the last three years.
Ex-champion racer Roger Marshall stood in for David Essex in the actual race scenes – many of which were shot during the actual 500cc World Championship at Silverstone in front of a quarter of a million people, using 16 Panavision cameras.
Harry H Corbett
T P McKenna