Virgil Guppy is having a bad day. He puts everything he has into buying a flashy second hand car, only to find that his owtward gloss hides a severly defective engine. Returning to the car lot from which he bought it, he is given the shaft by the owner. Virgil takes him to court, and wins, but still finds himself out of pocket when the car lot is packed up overnight. Problems pile up for Virgil as a murdered prostitute is found in the boot of his immobile vehicle, and he is accused of murder. While on therun, he is knocked down by a car driven by a car thief. Deciding he has nothing to lose, he decides to turn to a life of crime.