1970 Hot Wheels Drag ‘Chute Stunt Set

The introduction of Hot Wheels was a revolution in diecast toy cars.  Any track that had a start and a finish to it, inevitably saw the Hot Wheels cars fly through the end and onto the floor.  By 1970 the time had come to try slowing these cars down.  Real world funny cars and dragsters use parachutes.  Why not Hot Wheels?

In keeping with NHRA-style competition, all of the 1970 sets that come with ‘chutes are for racing…except one.  That one is for showcasing Hot Wheels bravado…the Drag ‘Chute Stunt Set.  It’s basically the 1968 Stunt Action Set with a parachute apparatus.

Track components include 16 feet of orange track, 4 joiners, 1 dare-devil loop base, 2 jump ramps, 1 universal clamp, 1 ‘chute trap, and 2 drag ‘chutes.

Here are the instructions.

Instructions – front page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – back page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

As you can see by the instructions, the parachute hides in a parachute trap.  The parachute is attached to a small metal harness that sits on top of the trap.  When a Hot Wheels car goes over the trap, it’s front bumper contacts the metal harness and drags the harness along with it.  The parachute then pops out of the trap and slows the Hot Wheels car by catching air and then dragging along the track.

The layout.

Today’s stunt cars.

L to R: 1967 Camaro, 1968 COPO Camaro, 1968 Mercury Cougar.

Here’s the start.

Heading for the dare-devil loop.

Round the dare-devil loop.

Jumping through air.

Hitting the trap and popping the ‘chute.

Rolling to a stop.

Here’s my YouTube channel video of the Drag ‘Chute Stunt Set in action.

So there you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Drag ‘Chute Stunt Set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

1970 Toy Fair Catalogue. Courtesy http://www.toycarcollector.com.

Box art work – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Set components on display. Courtesy eBay.

1970 Hot Wheels Super Speed Action Set

The third speed set for 1970 came in a red, white and black package.  The Super Speed Action Set.

Super Speed Action Set. Courtesy eBay.

It contained the following boxed track items:  A single lane Rod Runner, a single lane Speedometer, and a Hot Strip Track Super Pak (that’s 20 feet of orange track and 10 joiners).

Super Speed Action Set contents. Courtesy eBay.

This set was distributed exclusively by Allied Stores.  Allied was a department store chain that operated from 1935 to 1988.  It merged with Federated Department Stores in 1988 and is now part of Macy’s, Inc.

Credit goes to someone at Allied Stores who had the insight to spot a niche opportunity.  The popular Hot Wheels brand was offering a couple of ways to measure toy car speed in 1970.  The gravity powered Speed Test Set was limited by the gradual onset of acceleration.  The Super-Charger powered Speed Test Set was limited by car stability issues against the spinning Super-Charger wheels and the track curves.  But if you took 20 feet of straightaway and meshed it with the sudden power burst of the new Rod Runner, then you had all the ingredients for clocking the fastest speeds yet.

Super Speed Action Set track components.

Since it was never reissued or reengineered, the Rod Runner stands out as one of the most unique devices Mattel ever came up with to power Hot Wheels cars.  When today’s kids get their hands on it, they are so impressed that they will spend hours with it, launching car after car.

The Rod Runner is simply powered by a rubber band.  Tension on the rubber band can be adjusted by a control knob at the front.  Push down the shift stick handle until it locks into position.  The rubber band is stretched taught.  Run a car into the back end of the Rod Runner.  The car lifts up the internal push mechanism.  This unlocks the apparatus, the rubber band snaps the push mechanism forward, the shift stick comes up, and the car flies out of the Rod Runner.

Instructions for single lane Rod Runner. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Like a run at Bonneville Salt Flats, this is a straight forward layout.

Quickest way to make this set fly?  Use 2 rubber bands in the Rod Runner instead of the usual single rubber band.

Here are my 5 test cars that will try to bend the Speedometer needle on the Super Speed Action Set.

L to R: 1971 Mustang Boss 351, 1971 Maverick Grabber, 1971 Plymouth Road Runner, 1969 Pontiac GTO and 1970 Monte Carlo.

The Rod Runner is cocked.  The car is ready to go.

Into the machine and the car bursts out.

Hard right tilt into the Speedometer.

Winding the needle around the dial.

Twenty feet later, the cars are still travelling at high speed but are running out of track.  The solution?  An air bag in pillow form is the ticket.

Here’s my YouTube channel video of the speeds these cars achieved.

So there you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Super Speed Set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

The single lane Rod Runner:

From 1970 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front.

Box art – side.

Box art – end. This Rod Runner is made in Canada. French wording.

Made in Japan Rod Runner. Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Made in Japan Rod Runner. Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Any risk of a power shortage?  Nah.  Rubber bands by the quarter pound.

1970 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Speed Test Set

Mattel’s second speed set for 1970 put a Super-Charger behind the thrust to get Hot Wheels cars blazing.  Unlike the other two speed sets, this one let you run a car on an oval and keep upping the power to achieve faster and faster clockings.  Eventually you would record the fastest possible speed for a given car before it reached the limits of it’s stability and crashed.

The 1970 Super-Charger Speed Test Set includes 16 feet of orange track, 8 joiners, 1 Super-Charger, 1 single lane Speedometer, 2 trestles and one bridge.

Here’s the track layout.

And here are my 4 test cars.

L to R: 1968 COPO Camaro, 1986 Monte Carlo SS, Custom V-8 Vega, and 2007 Ford Shelby GT-500.

A lap around the track starts at the Super-Charger.

With no waste of time or speed, the cars blast straight into the Speedometer.

Nearly 120 MPH / 200 KPH and looking for more the next time through.

Up and around the elevated first full curve.

Over the bridge.

Around the second full turn and back into the Super-Charger for another speed shot.

Here’s a link to my YouTube channel showing the speeds these cars recorded as the Super-Charger spun faster and faster.  

There you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Speed Test Set.  “The fastest metal cars in the world” is what it’s all about.

And it’s still fast.  Still fun.

1970 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - other side in red, black and white. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – other side in red, black and white. Courtesy eBay.

A nice example of complete contents. Courtesy eBay.

Speed Test Set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.

The set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.

The set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.

The set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.