ID a short sci-fi story

I don’t know what joged this memory loose, but I recently got to thinking on a short story I read, in the early 80’s (I think?).

I’m fairly certain it was a short story contained within a collection of them, rather than a stand alone story.

Anyway, it involved America’s highways having turned into free-fire zones. The plot starts with a couple being advised their son has been killed on a roadtrip, and the father lamenting his son was stupid to have tried the trip in a VW(?) I think.

They find out he was killed by a notorious bad guy who cruises that section of freeway. So the father takes his car out to fight the evil guy. The father of course wins after a battle. During the fight, I think the fathers car had a remote turret pop out of the roff with 2 machineguns. The father eventually wins by getting his car in front of the evil guy and dropping his tail lights, which are actually mines onto the road.

Sounds like forgettable Car Wars sci-fi stuff, but for some reason every now and again the story pops into my head, and I think I must try and look that up, but I have never had any luck.

Any ideas from anyone?

Heinlein Why Johnny Cant Drive ?

Actually, no - it’s Alan Dean Foster’s “Why Johnny Can’t Speed,” collected in his anthology With Friends Like These…

Sounds like Why Johnny Can’t Speed by Alan Dean Foster; available in With Friends Like These.

On Preview : Beaten by OtakuLoki !

(twirls moustache and laughs evilly) Muah-hahahaha!

I was thinking it was “Along the Scenic Route” by Harlan Ellison, but I think that has a different setup. I guess the basic premise has been used by a number of writers.

I remember that story! From time to time I’ve wondered what the title is. Isn’t the Dope a remarkable place?

Thanks for the responses, it’s amazing how much knowledge is floating around this place.

Oooh! Oooh! Can I play?

Two alien races, both needing urgent help (I think for some planetary problem). One representative of each race comes to the humans to ask for it. One of them is very respectful and gets Earth’s aid, and the other is…well, not, and doesn’t. Spoiler:turns out that the aid Earth gave the first guy turned that civilization into a tourist trap, pathetic scraps of their former selves, and the other guys managed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Any ideas?