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Heart Like a Wheel (1983) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Shirley Muldowney is determined to be a top-fuel drag racer, although no woman has ever raced them before. Despite the high risks of this kind of racing and the burden it places on her family life, she perseveres in her dream.

    - Written by Reid Gagle
  • Shirley Muldowney née Roque came by her love of driving fast cars naturally, after her father placed her behind the steering wheel as he was driving when she was a child, and as she and her then boyfriend Jack Muldowney (who would become her husband) participated in local street races when she was a teenager. As her mechanic and initial race car builder, Jack somewhat supported his wife's quest to drive in National Hot Rod races, although he saw her drag racing more as a hobby (her full time job being as wife and mother) while she saw it as her potential career. In the mid 1960's, Shirley, the type of woman who would not take no for an answer, fought through the stereotype that anyone involved in any type of motor sport had to be man, to get licensed in the National Hot Rod Association, with the help of fellow driver Connie Kalitta, who had more than a professional interest in her. Because of her female chutzpah, Connie gave her the moniker "Cha-Cha" (which she disliked), which would be widely used by the public and the media. As Shirley progressed in the sport, her relationships with both Jack and Connie would be tested, both personally and professionally.

    - Written by Huggo

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