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Driving west across Colorado, Kowalski is pursued by two motorcycle police officers who try to stop him for speeding.Recalling his days as a motorcycle racer, he forces one officer off the road and eludes the other officer by jumping across a dry creek bed.
Kowalski is a Medal of Honor Vietnam War veteran and former race car driver and motorcycle racer.Later, the driver of a Jaguar E-Type roadster pulls up alongside Kowalski and challenges him to a race.After the Jaguar driver nearly runs him off the road, Kowalski overtakes him and beats the Jaguar to a one-lane bridge, causing the Jaguar to crash into the river.During the police chase across Nevada, Kowalski finds himself surrounded and heads into the desert.After he blows a left front tire and becomes lost, Kowalski is helped by an old prospector (Dean Jagger) who catches snakes in the desert for a Pentecostal Christian commune.Super Soul seems to understand Kowalski and seems to see and hear Kowalski's reactions.
With the help of Super Soul, who calls Kowalski "the last American hero", Kowalski gains the interest of the news media, and people begin to gather at the KOW radio station to offer their support.
When they attempt to hold him up at gunpoint, Kowalski throws them out of the car and continues on his journey.
Saturday afternoon, a vengeful off-duty highway patrolman and some local racist thugs break into the KOW studio and assault Super Soul and his engineer.
Stunt Coordinator Carey Loftin said he requested the Dodge Challenger because of the "quality of the torsion bar suspension and for its horsepower" and felt that it was "a real sturdy, good running car." Five Alpine White Dodge Challenger R/Ts were lent to the production by Chrysler for promotional consideration and were returned upon completion of filming.
Four cars had 440 engines equipped with four-speeds; the fifth car was a 383 with automatic.
During the pursuit, Kowalski listens to radio station KOW, which is broadcasting from Goldfield, Nevada.