‘Fireball 500’ Takes ‘Beach Party’ to the Speedway
Fireball 500 is part of the greater Beach Party series of movies, and brings with it the usual cast.
Richard Petty’s 1965 Plymouth fills the role of the protagonist’s late-model stock car, and sees track time at the end of the 1966 movie.
Some of the racing footage was shared with The Love Bug.
The 1960s saw a huge shift in NASCAR. The once illegal game of logistics has become more than just a thriving motorsport, but a cultural touchstone. Like we saw with Thunder in Carolina and Bikini Beach, it only makes sense to take this growing sport and throw it into the Beach Party Extended Universe. While this isn’t officially a Beach Party movie, it has most of the usual cast and all of the general quirks. That means it stars Frankie Avalon as the hotshot racer Dave Owens and Anette Funicello as Jane Harris. Fabian stars opposite Avalon as Sonny Leander.
While the main draw of this 1966 film is its racing, it picks up where Thunder in Carolina kind of left off. While Fireball 500’s plot is more streamlined and focused on a moonshine sting, it does have some of the same love-story subplots as Thunder. As with any dramatized racing movie, you can expect horrific carnage that drives the plot. You can also see Richard Petty’s 1965 Plymouth hitting the oval in anger and tugging happily behind the Barris-built Barracuda show car a handful of times throughout the movie.
If you want to dive into the Beach Party stock car classic you can watch it on ScreenPix.
Do have a favorite motorsport movie? Tell us about it below.