I read a short story at least 20 years ago, in which a man gets news that his son was killed on the highway while driving a starter car and responds by getting into his own tricked out car to duel the guy who killed the son. Dad was some kind of ace, IIRC. I thought it was by Norman Spinrad, but I've been looking for it and can't seem to find it.

  • From that summary, it certainly sounds like Spinrad.
    – Buzz
    Nov 4, 2016 at 22:39
  • What is a starter car?
    – user14111
    Nov 4, 2016 at 22:42
  • 1
    Well, in today's world, a starter car would be an older car that won't be expensive to fix or replace if the teen wrecks. In this story, it's the same, but also lightly armed.
    – Haniy
    Nov 4, 2016 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


"Why Johnny Can't Speed" by Alan Dean Foster. It's in a collection named "With Friends Like These" (1984).

Weaponized cars fighting on the freeways of SoCal in a dystopian future.
Kill flags stamped on the side of the car a la WW2 fighter planes. Offensive driving is the best defensive driving.

Now I want to reread it.


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