Pit Stop (1969), aka The Winner, is one of my all time favourite car racing movies, and probably one of my favourite movies period. Strangely, it was written and directed by someone who was never a fan of the sport, Jack Hill. But after seeing a figure 8 race, a brutally aggressive form of grass roots stock car racing, Hill was intrigued to learn more about the people who participated in the sport. He set out to make a movie with an almost documentary like feel. He brilliantly portrayed the driver's sort of crazed aggression in these forms of car racing, and contrasted it at times with the artful beauty of 1960's Southern Californian “Kustom Kulture”, using cars built by Barris Kustom Industries, and a cool soundtrack by The Daily Flash. As is said by the people who restored the movie, “it's an art film about car racing”.
Not only are many of the cars in the movie created by Barris Kustom Industries, but the auto shop that the character Grant Willard owns in the movie is actually their shop in real life. And founder George Barris has a bit part where he speaks with Willard while in the shop.
George Barris is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Kustom Kulture movement, many of his creations became extremely famous. He designed and built the Munster Koach for the 1960's TV show The Munsters. Barris' shop also designed and built the original Batmobile, and a hot rod version of the Beverly Hillbillies 1921 Oldsmobile for Jethro.
The Racing was filmed at the legendary Ascot Park Speedway, which opened in 1957 as Los Angeles Speedway. It was located in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles (though the mailing address was in Gardena, California). The track was closed in 1990. What you see in the movie is real racing footage, that was filmed just for the movie at actual racing speed.