Highway Patrol: Season 1, Episode 12

Phony Insurance (19 Dec. 1955)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
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A "transportation maintenance service" provided to trucking companies by an apparently legitimate businessman proves to be little more than a protection racket.



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Title: Phony Insurance (19 Dec 1955)

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Episode credited cast:
Roy Engel ...
Robert Nash ...
Jim Hawley
James Anderson ...
Gus Montana
Rodney Bell ...
George Morton
Dean Cromer ...
Officer Henderson
William Haade ...
Truck Driver
Glen Kilburn ...
Mike (as Glen A. Kilburn)
Ralph Manza ...
Jenkins (as Ralph B. Manza)
Artie (as William Erwin)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Art Gilmore ...
Narrator (voice)


An apparently legitimate businessman named Masterson provides a "transportation maintenance service" to trucking companies. Jim Hawley's trucking company refuses to sign and experiences numerous costly breakdowns despite careful work by his mechanics. Dan Mathews finds that many of the breakdowns occur after the drivers have visited the Walnut Cafe and that two café employees (Artie and Jenkins) have ties to Masterson. Dan convinces Hawley to subscribe to Masterson's service while making certain that costly breakdowns continue. Masterson pays the claims as agreed but eventually suspects that he is being double-crossed and he confronts Artie and Jenkins at the café. The confrontation has an ironic result. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

19 December 1955 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sleeper cabs in large trucks were rare in 1955 and this episode provides a look at how some of that era's roadside diners and truck stops attracted the lucrative business of truck drivers. The "Walnut Cafe" had a small detached bunkhouse where shorter-run drivers could sleep for a few minutes or hours and long-haul drivers would occasionally sleep overnight. In a conversation with Dan Mathews, the café owner describes the bunkhouse as "real good for business". See more »


Chief Dan Mathews: A leaky gas tank can set a highway on fire. A blowout can send a truck out of control and kill a lot of people. The clutch slips today, the brakes don't hold tomorrow, then we have a mass funeral for the victims. Now, if there's no evidence that these breakdowns are premeditated, let's find out fast!
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User Reviews

There are no new crimes
3 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Narrator Art Gilmore tells the audience at the beginning of the episode that "There are no new crimes, just variations on old ones." The crime highlighted in this show is a variation of the old protection racket. In this case, trucking companies that are experiencing an awful lot of expensive "accidents" are expected to buy insurance. In this way the insurance company will be responsible for paying off any losses incurred due to accidents. But voilà - once the company buys the insurance, the accidents stop! Fed up, one of the trucking company owners calls in the Highway Patrol and Chief Mathews is soon on the job. By this time, the crime of murder has been added to the scenario. The scheme Mathews comes up with to get proof on the culprit is really quite clever. A solid entry, if not spectacular.

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