GenreAction, Drama ScreenplayAlexander Richards WriterAlexander Richards LanguageEnglish
Release date1960 CastRory Calhoun (Mitch Cooper), Alan Hale Jr. (Buddy Schaeffer), Connie Hines (Rene York), Race Gentry (Les York (as John Gentry)), Ed McGrath (Reichert) Similar moviesThe Speed Lovers, Greased Lightning, The Mad Canadian, Thunder Alley
TaglineTHE WORLD SERIES OF STOCK CAR RACING!
Thunder in Carolina is a 1960 stock car racing movie starring Rory Calhoun, Alan Hale, Jr., and Connie Hines. The picture was written by Alexander Richards, directed by Paul Helmick, and contains remarkable 1959-vintage stock car race footage.
Filmed at a number of small dirt ovals in the South, the film is set in the 1959 edition of NASCAR's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. All filming was done during that year with much of the footage taken during the actual event. A film car was entered to capture on-track sequences and Rory Calhoun actually ran some laps during the race. Calhoun drives a two-tone 1957 Chevrolet, with a blue body and white top, while his friend-turned-competitor "Les York" is in a 1959 Oldsmobile.
The movie is clearly a "B" grade production in terms of budget but Thunder In Carolina managed to capture much of the sound and fury of the era. The film was later marketed on home video as "Hard Drivin'" with a freeze-frame title spliced into the opening.