Starring James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson as unnamed drag racers who traverse the American Southwest in a 1955 Chevrolet, this cult favorite of 1970s car cinema features Oates in the role of a highway loner—nicknamed for the Pontiac GTO he drives—who challenges the pair to a long-distance race from New Mexico to Washington, D.C. In the process, the three men compete for the attentions of a female hitchhiker (Laurie Bird) and make their way across six states, stopping at racetracks, diners, and highway pit stops on their eastward route. Monte Hellman’s low-budget classic epitomizes a cultural moment in which, as Vincent Canby wrote at the time of the film’s release, “faith in God is a lot less important, less immediate and even less mystical than faith in the internal combustion engine.”