Ponch and Jon take to their bikes to bust an auto theft ring that employs a clever means of smuggling hot sports cars past the Highway Patrol. Ponch's probation is almost over when he runs into a sticky situation.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Brodie Greer ...
Lew Saunders ...
Tommy J. Huff ...
Mike (as Thomas Huff)
Eric Server ...
Phillip Simms ...
Van Driver
Darlene Duralia ...
Van Helper (as Richard Cangey)
Charles Huskey ...
Chuck, CHP Mechanic


Ponch and Jon take to their bikes to bust an auto theft ring that employs a clever means of smuggling hot sports cars past the Highway Patrol. Ponch's probation is almost over when he runs into a sticky situation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

15 September 1977 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The FCC station ID for the LA CHP office is stated as KRB 412 when the APB for the Bushkin truck is aired. This is an actual and valid through the year 2025 station ID, listed as assigned to the CHP at 777 W. Washington Bv. in Los Angeles as "Black 2 - Central Los Angeles (15)". This address was the location for the "Central" station used in the show. KRB 412 is a "low band" frequency no longer in use, but one that would have been in use in 1977. The use of "15" in radio transmissions by the show's officers (such as LA 15, 7 Mary 3) indicates they are on this frequency. See more »


When talking to the girl in the VW, Ponch tells her he has been on the CHP for two years. In subsequent dialog, he tells her it has taken him three years to build a reputation as a killer. See more »


Officer Jon Baker: [after Ponch storms out after being reprimanded] Listen, Sarge, I don't want this to sound like a p.r. job, but I mean if you took a closer look at his jacket, maybe... maybe you'd find some citations and recommendations. I mean, the guy's put some righteous criminals behind bars.
Sgt. Joseph Getraer: Look, you've had to babysit him for six months now. What is it? His temper? No presence of mind? What?
Officer Jon Baker: I dunno. Sometimes the guy overdoes a role. Sometimes he doesn't know when to back off. Weird things happen to him....
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the closing credits roll, we hear a humorous voice-over dialogue between Ponch and Getraer as the situation they're discussing plays out on-screen in flashback. See more »

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User Reviews

4 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The pilot of CHiPs concerns a series of heist operations where a trio successfully pose in various disguised roles (such as valets) and steal six cars each time they score, storing the vehicles in a Bushnick delivery van. California Highway Patrol Motorcycle Police Officers, Frank "Ponch" Poncherello(Erik Estrada) and Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) could be just the ones to bring these criminals to justice. Estrada, working those pearly whites, absolute confidence, and total belief in his abilities as an officer, would become a star, his Ponch under probation for having a large "jacket" in his boss' filing cabinet. Robert Pine would be the third memorable character on the show, as Sgt. Joseph Getraer, constantly at odds with Ponch who is a showboat and blowhard, but tolerates his behavior because he is a damn fine patrolman. Baker gets a kick out of Ponch and seems to really love his job as a motorcycle cop, at one point "pulling over" a kid so that he could tell the boy to ride his bike safely down the hill. We see in the pilot that Ponch and Getraer are at odds because of the number of citations that have accrued for the young patrolman over a two year tenure motorcycle patrolling the streets and highways of San Francisco. We see a nice scene for Ponch when he calms a worried accident victim (Brooke Bundy, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET III & IV) whose VW bug was ran off the highway by a jerk on a motorcycle. There's also a humorous scene featuring Hoke Howell as a truck driver named Tex whose vehicle turned over in a wreck spilling glue all over the highway, causing a traffic jam, with Ponch having an icky mishap with his Patrol bike when it gets stuck! The storyline with the heists seems secondary to everything else going on in the episode (the activities of Ponch and Baker, on and off the street). The pilot opened with a nice, spirited pursuit as one of the thieves the police are looking for had stolen a convertible and was trying to evade Ponch and Baker, able to escape their clutches. Some mighty fine camera-work really gets in close and personal with the characters and on the roads where Ponch and Baker drive, looking to keep the highways and streets safe. This first episode really sets up Ponch as the comic foil and Baker the straight man, along with Pine as the frustrated superior who just wants his officers to keep out of trouble. Hilarious climax has Ponch really snookering the thieves by driving them literally to jail. Ponch spends most of the pilot counting down the days until his probation will be lifted as his boss reminds him to not screw up.

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