1970 Hot Wheels Rod Runner Speedway Set

Throughout 1969, Super-Chargers provided “lap after lap” action.  For 1970, Rod Runners were added to the circuit scene.  The basic track consisted of a single lane Rod Runner powering an oval layout.

The 1970 Hot Wheels Rod Runner Speedway Set includes 16 feet of orange track, 8 joiners, 2 full curves, 1 single lane Rod Runner and 3 white trestles.

The main difference between Super-Charger and Rod Runner ovals is car action.  Super-Charger circuits automatically space the cars out evenly.  That’s the nature of a battery powered system.  When 2 cars start getting close to each other, the second car receives less power because of lag time in the spinning Super-Charger wheels, so the second car falls back.  It’s quite unlikely that a Hot Wheels car will catch up to the car in front of it.  But a Rod Runner is elastic band powered and shoots cars out with equal force no matter how close they get to each other.  So it is very likely that the faster car on the track will catch up to and rub bumpers with the car in front of it.

Here’s the track layout on paper and on the floor.

Mattel’s suggested test track. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The full track. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The assembled layout.

Ready for a lap.

Into the Rod Runner and blasting out.

Up and into the elevated first curve.

Out of the curve and heading for the hill.

Up and over the back straightaway trestle.

Into the second curve.

And back to the Rod Runner.

Here’s my video of 2 Hot Wheels cars running the single lane Rod Runner oval.

So there you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Rod Runner Speedway Set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1970 Canadian Collectors’ Catalogue in French & English. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

This is an example of an unopened Speedway Set. Courtesy eBay.

This is an example of an unopened Speedway Set. Courtesy eBay.

Front and side view. Courtesy eBay.

Front and side view. Courtesy eBay.

A white Ford J-Car vacuum sealed into place. Courtesy eBay.

A white Ford J-Car vacuum sealed into place. Courtesy eBay.

Back of the unopened Speedway Set in English and French (Canadian). Courtesy eBay.

Back of the unopened Speedway Set in English and French (Canadian). Courtesy eBay.

Box art showing the Rod Runner Speedway Set layout in color.

View of insert and box contents. Courtesy eBay.

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2 thoughts on “1970 Hot Wheels Rod Runner Speedway Set

  1. Love watching your videos! I just picked up one of these sets and am having trouble keeping the cars from flying off the track. If I set the speed control down, they don’t make it all the way around, if I set it high they fly right off turn one. Is there a special elastic band for the set or a preferable way to set it up?

    Thanks
    -Rob

    • Hi Rob,
      I use #32 rubber bands which you can buy in bulk (1/4 pound worth) at your local office supply store. As for getting the cars to lap on the Rod Runner Speedway Set…try using a smaller track first. Then use the best rolling cars that you have. I find that Faster Than Ever cars work really well. In general, if I take 10 cars for testing on this track, 2 will run lap after lap, 3 will need a little more rubber band tensioning on the Rod Runner to make it around and 5 won’t work at all (either from wipeouts or poor rolling). I have noticed that cars with large back wings don’t work in Rod Runners (they just wipeout).

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