you think they named it "Bikini Beach"?
The film uses
some "stock" footage from the 1964 Winternationals.
Here is Kenny Safford in the Safford-Gaide-Ratican "Sour
Tommy" Ivo pushes back after a pass.
car in its yellow trip sans nose with Keith Black's Ranchero
footage" includes a lot of shots that give a great overview
of Pomona in 1964. Back then it was actually part of the Pomona
Fairgrounds and everything but the timing tower were temporary
(including the stands) and removed after an event.
Auto Sales "Smog Rat" fueler.
as Big Drag
picks up Frankie's new car from Big Drag.
& Hampshire (Red Stamp car) and Greer-Black-Prudhomme in
Big Drag's garage.
Bug (Jeep Hampshire) does a push start for his "record run".
Potato Bug pulls
into Bikini Beach Drag Strip with his "Brittanica"
(Stellings & Hampshire) fueler.
and Potato Bug after his big run.
If you know what
you're looking at - this is NOT Frankie Avalon but Jeep Hampshire,
the real driver of the S&H car.
in "Hollywood" - a flag start AND a Christmas tree.
feet out and all four hides are lit.
In one sequence
of the film Tommy Ivo's famed "Showboat" is featured
when Harvey Huntington Honeywagon III (Keenan Wynn) proves his
point that "even a monkey can drive a dragster." Of
course we all know that's not true - actually Ivo was in the
firesuit. On second thought.....
After the "record
run" the ape climbs out to pose for photos and get his trophy.
These shots of
the GBP and S&H cars were used in the Theatrical Trailer
but never made the actual film.
Eric Von Zipper
(Harvey Lembeck ) and some of his Ratz set out to sabotage Potato
Bug's digger prior to his big race with Frankie.
"Barnstormer" and the GBP car square off.
I did mention
this was called Bikini Beach, didn't I? The green dragster is
Pete Millars Intruder and the yellow car is
Airline Auto Sales.
as Potato Bug
out the background - can you say, no stands? No nobody.
The big "drama"
in the film occurs when Potato Bug and Frankie square off for
bragging rights as Bikini Beach Drag Strip champ and Dee Dee
(Annette). The "race" starts out with Frankie in "Fridea"
(Greer-Black-Prudhomme) and Potato Bug in "Brittanica"
(Stellings & Hampshire).
The Vipe, throttle
closed, does some driving (for the onboard and remote cameras)
on the top end.
Bug (Jeep) sees Frankie is in trouble.
exits car - cut to Avalon saving Avalon...
have the third car in the crash sequence.
Last shot of
the GBP car - we now go to this Potvin car for the start of the
crash sequence (below).
Note: This car
is the Dave Bergman & Jack Germann SBC Chevy fueler that
Willie Germann (Jack's brother) crashed at San Fernando, a short
time before the movie was filmed (photo below). As you can see,
they didn't have to do much to make it film ready ,,, just haul
the remains to Pomona, cover it with gas, install the stunt man
and light the match.
Note quick change
rearend. If I didn't know better I'd guess this is the Shubert
& Herbert car.
After he's busted
for rigging Frankie's digger, von Zipper jumps in a go-cart and
the chase is on.
Frantic 4 fueler provides an obstacle for the chase.
Big Drag gets
in on the act and as you can guess, the chase ends at the Big
Drag Bar with great rock n roll from Stevie Wonder.
This is probably
the best of the "Beach Party" films. The series pretty
much hit its peak here and after this it was all downhill. Annette
Funicello is her level headed best and Frankie Avalon is still
her lunkheaded boyfriend who only can think about surfing. The
thing I think is a little ironic about this film is the fact
that Avalon in his portrayal of Potato Bug takes a swipe at The
Beatles. Many forget that Avalon was one of the hottest singers
in America until the "Fab Four" arrived the same year
this film was released. After that it was downhill from there.
The other shining moment in this film has to belong to Harvey
Lembeck as the perpetually dimwitted leader Eric Von Zipper.
This was his defining role and this film was his funniest yet.