The free-wheelin’ Sizzlers introduced in 1970 came with 7 sets that let you run the cars hard on orange track. But as good as it was, you always felt like you were trying to hold the cars back, especially with the Speed Brake, and keep them on the track.
For 1971, Mattel made sets for Sizzlers to wind up and go flat out. This was accomplished with Fat Track.
This black plastic track lets cars run 3 abreast down the straightaway and jostle for position all the way along the course. You never quite know what is going to happen. So you have to be vigilant for spins outs and cars getting turned around and going the wrong way.
A typical Fat Track race is 100 laps long. At this distance, invariably, pit stops become a factor in the race. Cars have to make 1 or 2 stops to charge up. (As you may recall, the 1970 tracks use a dual-lane 20 lap counter so pits stops never come up.) The length of the final pit stop plays a significant roll in who wins a race. You need just enough power to finish the race. If there is only 10 laps left, you have to guess how long a charge is needed to run that far. Of course your competition, who is still out on the track, may be gaining fast and can push you to shorten your charge time so that you get back out quickly to stay ahead. Then again, you may let him go by to make sure you have enough power to finish and hope the other guy runs out of juice before the 100th lap.
There are 2 orange track sets for 1971 as well. One from North America and one from the U.K. We’ll look at these first in the next 2 blogs.
So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels Sizzlers.
It’s still fast. Still fun.