1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers California 500 Race Set – part 3

As a kid, I remember combining my 1971 California 500 Layout set with my friends’ extra Fat Track straightaway pieces to build a track very similar to this:

Track2

And we had epic races.  At least, that’s the way I remember them.  More than once I would be leading the 100 lap race only to run out of power on lap 96 or so.  Invariably, I would be forced into a short pit stop and only get 2 or 3 more laps out of my car before running out of juice again. It was hard to beat my friends.

For today’s 100 lap running of the California 500 Race Set, I will be using 3 cars.

l to r: purple 1970 Ford Mark IV, yellow 1970 Angeleno M70 and a light blue 1971 Spoil Sport.

l to r: purple 1970 Ford Mark IV, yellow 1970 Angeleno M70 and a light blue 1971 Spoil Sport.

Here’s a lap around the oval.

On the "Scramble Start" starting grid.

On the “Scramble Start” starting grid.

Pushing the red button turns on all 3 cars at the same time...and "They're Off".

Pushing the red button turns on all 3 cars at the same time…and “They’re Off”.

Speeding up heading down the front straightaway.

Speeding up heading down the front straightaway.

Up and into the first curve.

Up and into the first curve.

5

Squeezing into the lap computer.

Squeezing into the lap computer.

7

You can see the black triggers for registering laps hanging down from the ceiling of the lap computer. The antenna on each car is in a different position to hit just one of those lap counter triggers on each lap.

Clicking off the first lap.

Clicking off the first lap.

Heading out of the lap computer.

Heading out of the lap computer.

Moving fast into the second curve.

Moving fast into the second curve.

Three abreast.

Three abreast.

Sailing past the Scramble Start.

Sailing past the Scramble Start.

Anything can happen over the next 99 laps.

Anything can happen over the next 99 laps.

Here’s my YouTube video of the California 500 Race Set in action.

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers California 500 Race Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers California 500 Race Set – instructions (part 2)

Poster for the real California 500 race. Courtesy eBay.

Poster for the real California 500 race. Courtesy eBay.

Here are the instructions for the California 500 Race Set.

Inst1

Courtesy eBay.

Courtesy eBay.

Steps 1 -6. Courtesy eBay.

Steps 7-13. Courtesy eBay.

Steps 7-13. Courtesy eBay.

To give you more detail, here are some additional instructions of the track components.

1. The Scramble Start

1

2

3

4

5

2. The Strip Pak

6

7

8

9

10

3. The Lap Computer

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Supplemental sheet for the Lap Computer.

So there you have it.  Instructions for the Hot Wheels Sizzlers California 500 Race Set and it’s components.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

And to round things out, here are the program covers from the first 4 California 500 races held at Ontario Motor Speedway.

1970 California 500.

1970 California 500. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/onatrio.html

1971 California 500, It's a bit of irony that Al Unser graced the cover of the program in his Johnny Lightning Special while Hot Wheels was selling the 1971 California 500 Race Set.

1971 California 500, It’s a bit of irony that Al Unser graced the cover of the 1971 program in his Johnny Lightning Special while Hot Wheels was selling the 1971 California 500 Race Set. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/onatrio.html

1972 California 500. Courtesy www.progcovers.com/motor/onatrio.html

1972 California 500. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/onatrio.html

1973 California 500.

1973 California 500. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/onatrio.html

 

 

1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers California 500 Race Set – introduction (part 1)

The California 500 (named after the open wheel USAC race at Ontario Motor Speedway) is an oval Fat Track layout for Mattel’s Hot Wheels Sizzlers.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

This poster promoted the connection between the California 500 and Hot Wheels.

California 500 poster from Mattel. Courtesy eBay.

California 500 poster from Mattel. Courtesy eBay.

500-8

This 1971 set has two nice features to make racing easier; the Scramble Start and the Lap Computer.

Box art - front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Setting 2, 3 or 4 cars off at the same time is a bit of a circus so Mattel came up with the Scramble Start. It employs the principle used by Europe’s Formula 1 series where cars begin each race from a standing start. Just push the red button and all 4 cars are turned on. Release the button and away the cars go!

Box art- front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art- front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Action is so intense on Fat Track and the speed so high that it is hard to keep track of what is going on in a race.  To put a bit of order into the situation Mattel developed the Lap Computer which can count 100 laps for 4 separate cars. Each car receives an antenna on its back bumper that triggers a specific lap counter for that antenna position.

This Sizzlers set includes: 10 feet of black Fat Track, 2 – 180 degree Fat Track curves, 1 Scramble Start, 1 Lap Computer, 3 joiners, 2 V-clips and 1 Juice Machine.

Track1

To add a little extra passing action, I am adding a Fat Track Strip Pak to the layout.  This puts 8 more feet of black Fat Track into the oval.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

The result is this track.

Track2

So there you have it. An introduction to the 1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers California 500 Race Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

The California 500 Race Set. 1971 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The California 500 Race Set. 1971 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - front. Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - end. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – end. Courtesy eBay.

And here are some pictures of the California 500 Layout set (Cars & Juice Machine not included).

The California 500 Layout. 1971 Collectors' Catalogue.  Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The California 500 Layout. 1971 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - end. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – end. Courtesy eBay.

Fat Track accessories. 1971 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Fat Track accessories. 1971 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Big “O” Race Set – part 2

It’s track time for the Big “O” Race Set.

Thundering down the front straight; a green 1970 Hot Head and a white 1971Anteater.

BO1

Into the first curve.

BO2

Way up in the first curve.

BO3

Racing past the Juice Machine on the back stretch.

BO4

Here comes the second curve.

BO5

Out of the curve and back on the straightaway.

BO6

Here’s my YouTube video of these 2 cars in a 100 lap race on the basic Fat Track set for 1971.

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Big “O” Race Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Big “O” Race Set – part 1

Introduction

The basic 1971 Sizzlers Fat Track is the Big “O” Race Set.  This oval layout takes it’s moniker from Ontario Motor Speedway’s nickname…the Big “O”.  Ontario Motor Speedway was the major race track in Southern California during the 1970s.

An information page from an OMS race day brochure.

An information page from an OMS race day brochure.

Big name drivers at that time included:

An ad for the Big "O".

An ad for the Big “O”.

This is the Big “O” Race Set.

1

Box art – front and side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

This set includes: 12 feet of Fat Track, 5 joiners, 2 V-clips, two 180 degree Fat Track curves and 1 Juice Machine.

BOtrack

This is the instruction sheet cover for the Big “O” Race Set.

Courtesy eBay.

Courtesy eBay.

And here are the instructions from the Big “O” Layout.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Step 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Step 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Steps 2 & 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Steps 2 & 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Step 4. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Step 4. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Step 5, charging and track tips. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Step 5, charging and track tips. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Alternate layouts with more track. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Alternate layouts with more track. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Accessories and contents. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Accessories and contents. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Here’s some more box art.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Close up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Close up. Courtesy eBay.

box art - end. Courtesy eBay.

box art – end. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Close up of the cars. Courtesy eBay.

Close up of the cars. Courtesy eBay.

A European example of the Big "O" Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

An Italian example of the Big “O” Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

European box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Italian box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

The U.K. version. Courtesy eBay.

The U.K. version. Courtesy eBay.

Contents. Courtesy eBay.

U.K. Contents. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese version. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese version. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back & side of Japanese set. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back & side of Japanese set. Courtesy eBay.

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Big “O” Race Set: an introduction with instructions.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1971 Collectors' Catalogue image. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The Big O Race Set. 1971 Collectors’ Catalogue image. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The Big O Layout. 1971 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The Big O Layout. 1971 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Here’s some pics of the Big “O” Layout box.

Box art - front.

Box art – front.

Box art - front. Close up.

Box art – front. Close up.

Box art - side. A blue Live Wire, green Backfire and pink Straight Scoop on the track.

Box art – side. A blue Live Wire, green Backfire and pink Straight Scoop on the track.

Box art - side. Close up.

Box art – side. Close up.

Also, this is the 1971 Juice Machine that came with the set.

Courtesy eBay.

Courtesy eBay.

Close up of box front. Courtesy eBay.

Close up of box front. Courtesy eBay.

1971 instructions - cover. Courtesy eBay.

1971 instructions – cover. Courtesy eBay.

JM3

1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Pursuit Set

A second orange track layout was available for Sizzlers in 1971. It comes from the U.K. It’s the Pursuit Set.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

This set comes with 14 feet of orange track, 4 joiners, 2 single-lane trestles, one 200 degree dual-lane curve, two 180 degree single-lane turns and 1 Juice Machine.

Track contents. Courtesy eBay.

Track contents. Courtesy eBay.

Two cars that come with the set. Courtesy eBay.

Two cars that come with the set. Courtesy eBay.

Paper contents. Courtesy eBay.

Paper contents. Courtesy eBay.

I think this is a 1971 set. In the above picture you can see the Collector’s Catalogue is 1970 and the Pursuit Set instructions have a 1969 date in the bottom left corner (this means the instructions were copyrighted in 1969 and ready for publication in 1970).  But, as you can see in the following box pictures, the lower left copyright date is 1970 (indicating production would happen in 1971) and the side of the box shows not only the 6 cars from 1970 but 6 more from the 1971 year (Spoil Sport, Camaro Trans-Am, Anteater, ‘Cuda Trans-Am, Side Burn, and Backfire).

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. The artist has drawn in a 1971 Side Burn chasing a 1971 Anteater. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. In color. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

The idea of this set is to start 2 cars off in the dual-lane section of the track. One car will quickly come back on the short section and the other will head out on the long section. At some point, as the laps mount, the faster car will gain on the other car.  When the faster car bumps into the slower one, the pursuit is complete.

The assembled layout.

The assembled layout.

Here’s how it works with a 1970 Mustang Boss 302 and a 2006 reissue of the Live Wire.

1970 yellow Boss 302 Mustang on the left and 2006 reassure of a red Live Wire.

1970 yellow Boss 302 Mustang on the left and 2006 reassure of a red Live Wire on the right.

Charging the cars.

Charging the cars.

Setting the Mustang off on the inside lane.

Setting the Mustang off on the inside lane.

Adding the Live Wire to the outside lane.

Adding the Live Wire to the outside lane. The pursuit begins.

Live Wire on the short circuit with the Mustang coming back in.

Live Wire on the short circuit with the Mustang coming back in.

Into the dual-lane section.

Into the dual-lane section.

Past the Juice Machine.

Past the Juice Machine.

Deep tilt into the dual-lane curve.

Deep tilt into the dual-lane curve.

Side by side.

Side by side.

Mustang heading up and over.

Mustang heading up and over.

Live Wire racing through the long section.

Live Wire racing through the long section.

Live Wire coming off the long section. Mustang heading out on it.

Live Wire coming off the long section. Mustang heading out into it.

Live Wire back into the dual-lane curve. The Mustang is way out of sight on the far 180 degree curve.

Live Wire back into the dual-lane curve. The Mustang is way out of sight on the far 180 degree curve.

Lap after lap, the chase continues.

Lap after lap, the chase continues.

See how the chase plays out on my YouTube video.

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers Pursuit Set from the United Kingdom.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers High-Winder Set

For 1971, Sizzlers had one orange track layout for sale in North America. It’s the High-Winder Set.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

This set includes 9 feet of orange track, 6 joiners, 4 High-Winder sections, 1 deflector sign, 4 columns, 2 single-lane trestles, 2 U-Turn sections and 1 Juice Machine.

Several layouts are possible as shown on the back of the box. Tracks with U-Turns go back and forth while non U-Turn set-ups run lap after lap.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

The High-WInder section was also sold separately.

High-Winder Pak. Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

High-Winder Pak. Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

High-Winder Pak. Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

High-Winder Pak. Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Here’s a picture of the assembled triple-decker twister.

Courtesy eBay.

Courtesy eBay.

Courtesy eBay.

Courtesy eBay.

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers High-Winder Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

The High-WInder Set from the 1971 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The High-WInder Set from the 1971 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Accessories for the 1971 Sizzlers single-lane tracks from the 1971 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Accessories for the 1971 Sizzlers single-lane tracks from the 1971 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The U-Turns also came as a separate Pak.

U-Turn Pak. Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

U-Turn Pak. Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

U-Turn Pak. Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

U-Turn Pak. Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.