Rudy Russo is a young and cunning car salesman in Phoenix with aspirations of running for the state Senate. He works at the struggling New Deal used car lot owned by the elderly Luke Fuchs, who agrees to help invest $10,000 in Rudy's campaign if he promises to keep the business alive. Meanwhile, across the street, Luke's brother and arch-competitor Roy L. Fuchs (also played by Warden) is desperate to keep his used car lot from being demolished and replaced by a proposed freeway exit. Wanting to collect life insurance money and New Deal from Luke, Roy hires his mechanic, demolition derby driver Mickey, to recklessly drive Luke's 1957 Chevrolet Two-Ten coupe around the block with Luke in the passenger's seat. After the Chevy crashes back into the lot, Luke dies of a heart attack, but leaves Rudy with evidence that Roy staged the "accident". In an attempt to prevent Roy from gaining any inheritance, Rudy has his superstitious co-worker Jeff and mechanic Jim help him bury Luke in the lot's backyard in an Edsel that was once New Deal's sign ornament. When Roy comes looking for Luke the next day, they explain that Luke took the Edsel on a vacation to Miami.