It's Cool and Crazy, Man!

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U.S. film. The story of Shirley Muldowney, a.k.a. "Cha Cha" Muldowney and the "First Lady of Drag Racing." She was the first woman to receive a license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to drive a top fuel dragster.

The film opens in 1956 Schenectady, NY where young Shirley Roque marries auto mechanic Jack Muldowney. Jack illegally races his sports car late at night — when he lets Shirley drive once — she wins…and keeps on wining! By luck Shirley meets pro driver "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and she gets the idea to look for sponsorship from a major car manufacturer. But it's the 1950s and a housewife is not taken seriously in the macho world of drag racing.

By 1966, she is ready. In her first attempt to qualify for a race, she sets a track record. Shirley becomes successful, racing on weekends, but wants to compete year round. Her husband Jack wants his wife back, but it's too late and they separate. Eventually, Shirley wins her first NHRA national event in 1976, then the World Championship in 1977. In 1982 Shirley won an unprecedented third Top Fuel World Championship.

Lots of great-looking top fuel dragsters and racing action. Gorgeous rails. A very cool scene in the 1950s shows a juke joint with Hoyt Axton (his mom wrote, "Heartbreak Hotel") and his hillbilly band featuring James Burton (guitar player for Ricky Nelson and Elvis) on guitar. Hoyt and band play the hillbilly bopper, "Built for Comfort" and "You Taught Me How to Cry." Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Bruce Barlow, Hoyt Axton, Dick Miller, Anthony Edwards, Leo Rossi, Jesse Aragon, James Burton, Dennis Fetchet. Heart Like a Wheel!

HEART LIKE A WHEEL 1983 movie on DVD!

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