In a future United States, the only transport available to an individual is public transportation. Predicated on an assertion that "the oil has run out", an increasingly totalitarian central government has ordered all personal vehicles be impounded by law. One man, a former race car driver, yearns again for his ability to choose his own roads and destiny. He reassembles his race car hidden from confiscation, and sets out for "Free California" which has broken away from the new regime, aided by a young technically savvy teen who feels alienated from this "social" society. Agents of the new government must stop this man at any cost to destroy the symbology he represents, and the instability that such a desire for personal autonomy could mean to the society. An old Korean War veteran and his F-86 Sabre jet are called into service to chase down this dangerous man, and end his flouting of the will of the state. In the words of one of the government agents, "People going where they want to, where they want to. This could set us back to the 1980s."
It is the future. Evil fascists have forced everyone to recycle and drive electric cars, and have oppressed all those poor people who want to drive Ferraris and smoke cigarettes. Hero Franklyn Hart (Lee Majors), an ex-racing car driver, decides to make a statement by pulling out his old race car and driving cross-country at one hundred fifty miles (two hundred forty-one kilometers) per hour (he siphons gas from old gas station pumps). Taking along a young computer hacker, he drives for the Holy Land, the Free State of California. Of course, the powers that be try to eliminate him by hiring Captain J.G. Williams (Burgess Meredith) to shoot him down with a fighter jet, which, too, are virtually extinct.