Diamonds on Wheels

Released theatrically in 1973 outside of the USA.
In the USA, televised on the Wonderful World Disney
in 3 parts during March 1974.

Directed by: Jerome Courtland
Written by: William Robert Yates
Filmed on location and at Pinewood Studios
Patrick Allen as Inspector Cook
George Sewell as Henry Stewart
Peter Firth as Robert Stewart
Spencer Banks as Charlie Todd
Cynthia Lund as Susan Stewart
Derek Newark as Mercer

Plot Summary

A million dollar diamond robbery takes an unexpected twist when Billy, part of the gang, decides to double-cross his partners and take the gems for himself. He hides the diamonds in the seat of his MG sports car and tries to escape the other crooks but he crashes and is injured. The car is taken to a junkyard, where Robert Stewart, a local teenager, buys the seat to use in a race car he is building.

The other thieves trace Billy's car and realize that Robert has the seat in his garage, so they break in to steal it. Their vicious leader, Mercer, beats Robert's father senseless during their search. The seat isn't there, however, because the boy had taken it home to use as an extra chair around the house. They leave, but plan to keep an eye on Robert to learn where he's taken the diamonds.

Robert enters his car in the Hampshire Rally, a 24-hour endurance test, and the thieves follow him there. Unknown to all is the fact that the police are, in turn, following them. The police are led by Inspector Cook, who has suspected Mercer of the robbery from the start.

The outlaws stage a phony detour on the race course and almost capture the race car, but Inspector Cook also follows the false signs and scares them off. Another attempt succeeds when the thieves pose as race officials and grab the diamonds at a checkpoint. They also kidnap Robert's friend, Charlie, and head for a meeting with the criminal mastermind who planned the initial robbery.

Robert and his girlfriend follow Mercer into London, where the diamonds are given to Ashley, the ringleader. The two youths alert the police and free Charlie but are almost caught when they try to escape Ashley's men. Luckily, the police arrive in time, and Robert learns he and his friends are due to receive a large reward for the gems' return. First, however, they return to the race where they finish third, vowing to do even better next year.


Although George Sewell has second billing, his role is relatively minor, seen at the beginning and end of the film but absent for the majority of it.



Henry Stewart and son in garage

Henry cleaning up

Henry shares a laugh with his son

Henry recovers after being attacked by the gang

Henry giving his son driving instructions

Susan and Henry Stewart watch the driving test

Susan and Henry Stewart at the beginning of the race


Words & Images by Bill Cotter.