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.