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Straightaway is a 26-week half-hour adventure/drama television series which aired on ABC during the 1961–1962 season – the story of two young men who operate a garage and engage in auto racing.[1][2]

John Ashley Straightaway 1962.JPG
John Ashley as Clipper Hamilton in "A Moment in the Sun" episode of Straightaway (1962)
StarringJohn Ashley
Brian Kelly
Theme music composerMaynard Ferguson
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Running time30 minutes
Original networkABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Original releaseOctober 6, 1961 –

April 4, 1962



John Ashley and Brian Kelly played race car designers Clipper Hamilton and Scott Ross, respectively. Scott designs the vehicles, and Clipper is the mechanic. Asa Maynor was cast in four episodes as Dixie. Most episodes center on the clients who bring a race car to the Straightaway Garage.[3]


The series was originally planned to be named "The Racers", but the title had to be altered because of sponsor problems. In October 1960 ABC Films announced they would make a 26 episode TV series at Republic Studio, The Racer with Brian Kelly and John Ashley, produced by Albert J Cohen.[4]

At one stage David Janssen was to star but he ended up being replaced by Brian Kelly and John Ashley.[5]

Ashley said "the series is mostly about auto racing but I'll be doing a lot of singing- which is great for me. Out of the first eleven shows I sing in eight. I started as a rock n roll singer for Dot Records but now I'm going into rhythm and blues."[6]

The pilot was entitled "The Racer and the Lady".[7]

Straightaway ran at 7:30 Eastern on Fridays opposite CBS’s Rawhide with Clint Eastwood and Eric Fleming.[8] Straightaway was moved to Wednesdays effective January 10, 1962, for the remainder of its brief run.[9]


No. Title Initial airing Director Writer(s) Synopsis
1 "The Leather Dollar" October 6, 1961 William D. Faralla Tony Barrett Scott and Clipper agree to sponsor a young boxer (Robert Blake), but the manager (Luther Adler) is betting against his client.
2 “The Tin Caesar” October 13, 1961 Byron Paul Elliot West
Kenneth Gamet
Clipper picks ups a hitchhiker and drops him off at a gasoline station. The next day the sheriff (Neville Brand) arrests Clipper for the murder of the station owner who described Clipper’s car with his dying words. With Whit Bissell and Bill Bixby.
3 "The Nobles Oblige" October 20, 1961 Scott and Clipper get involved in a feud between two gangs. With Pat DeSimone
4 "Heat Wave" October 27, 1961 Scott and Clipper pick up a hitchhiker called Harry Block (James Westerfield in Carson, Nevada.
5 “Die Laughing” November 3, 1961 Night-club comedian Buddy Conway (Jack Klugman) is accused by son Les (Scott Marlowe) of being responsible for the death of Les’ mother.
6 "The Heist November 10, 1961 Some thieves use the Straightaway Garage as a hideout. With Peter Whitney, Rita Duncan, Gavin MacLeod and Richard Bakalyan
7 “The Stranger” November 17, 1961 Scott’s friend Jeanne (Bethel Leslie) receives threatening telephone calls. With John Davis Chandler.
8 "The Racer and the Lady" November 24, 1961 Scott and Clipper decide to enter their racer in the Grand Prix. With Joan Tabor.
9 "Pledge a Nightmare" December 1, 1961 One night Scott and Clipper leave the garage open so that Don Stafford (Michael Parks), a student at a nearby college, can pick up his car. The next morning the car's still there - and there's a dead body on the floor.
10 "The Sportscar Breed" December 8, 1961 A sexy photographer (Diana Dors) sets her sights on Scott.
11 "A Toast to Yesterday" December 15, 1961 Aging Movie Star Lorraine Carrington (Gloria Swanson) has a couple of drinks in a quiet night club, and then drives home. The next morning there is evidence that her car was involved in a fatal hit and run accident.
12 "Troubleshooter December 22, 1961 Scott and an attractive test driver (Myrna Fahey) vie for an important contract.
13 "The Bribe" December 29, 1961 Crooks kidnap a basketball star's wife to force him to throw a game. With John Considine.
14 "The Last Chance" January 10, 1962 (show moved from Fridays to Wednesdays) Scott and Clipper befriend a once great racing driver (Robert Strauss) whose drinking ended his career.
15 “A Moment in the Sun” January 17, 1962 Scott and Clipper introduce a girl named Jennifer (Adrienne Ellis) to a wealthy and charming young man, Paul (Robert Blake), who claims to be of an aristocratic background.
16 “The Drag Strip” January 24, 1962 Scott and Clipper are caught in the middle of a feud when they help a rich young man build a racing car.
17 “Crossroad” January 31, 1962 Scott and Clipper hire a young man with a criminal record and are unaware that his friend is planning a bank robbery.
18 "Sounds of Fury" February 7, 1962 A girl (Mary Tyler Moore) is abducted in front of Scott and Clipper's garage.
19 "Escape to Darkness" February 14, 1962 A girl who escaped from a mental home asks for help: someone is trying to kill her.
20 "Tiger By the Tail" February 21, 1962 Scott and Clipper reluctantly hire an arrogant young know-it-all (Eddie Foy III), who immediately takes over. With Merry Anders.
21 "The Ledge" February 28, 1962 An old army buddy (Leo Penn) who hasn't fully recovered from combat wounds yet asks Scott to teach him to drive again.
22 “The Longest Night” March 7 The garage harbors an escaped killer played by Paul Richards
23 "Full Circle" March 14, 1962 Muley Burke (Stuart Erwin), who has just been released from a sanitarium, shows up at the garage and asks the boys for a job.
24 “The Craziest Race in Town” March 21, 1962 Scott and Clipper build a special engine for an important race, but their competition thinks it quaint and humorous. With Stanley Clements and Barbara Bain.
25 "To Climb Steep Hills" March 28, 1962 A headstrong actor insists on racing cars, to the consternation of his wife and studio.
26 "The Hoax" April 4, 1962 Scott tries to free a young heiress (Myrna Hansen) who has fallen under the influence of a charlatan (Tod Andrews).

Other guest starsEdit


  1. ^ Wisehart, Bob. (December 31, 1993) The Sacramento BeeBeware: "Viper' is a lemon futuristic supercar isn't enough to carry new series. Section: Scene. Page 1.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Broadcasting Television. October 1960 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ TV mailbag. (1960, Nov 19). Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) Retrieved from
  6. ^ "What's new on the East Coast". TV Radio Mirror. November 1961. p. 80.
  7. ^ Broadcasting 1960 "In production 0 ABC Films, N.Y.. reports production started March 9 at Paramount's Hollywood studios on the new Albert J. Cohen production of The Racer, starring Brian Kelly and John Ashley. The pilot film is entitled “The Racer and the Lady."
  8. ^ 1961-62_American_network_television_schedule
  9. ^

External linksEdit