Produced by the Perfect Circle Corporation as a publicity project in 1954, THE HOTTEST 500 shows the 1953 Indy 500 won by Bill Vukovich in 120-plus degree heat. The 1953 race was infamous as one of the most memorable on record, with more relief drivers used than in any other year. Tragically, driver Carl Scarborough actually died of heat prostration. Bill Vukovich, who led in 1952 but ended up losing due to a mechanical failure with his car, led almost the entire race and ended up taking the checkered flag.
The highlights shown in the film include time trials with Vukovich qualifying. The film also shows pit row and various work on the cars, and footage of various drivers including Tony Bettenhausen, Freddie Agabashian, Jack McGrath, Paul Russo, Duane Carter, Duke Nalon and Marshall Teague, The race ends nearly after nearly four hours with Vukovich in the victory circle.