Hot Wheels Day – Summer 2015

Every summer we invite a group of youngsters over to run their cars on vintage 1968 to 1971 Hot Wheels tracks. For the summer of 2015 we had 6 enthusiasts (all boys) and 1 novice (a girl) come to our home.

Annie had never played with Hot Wheels but had heard from her older brother that Hot Wheels Day was incredible fun. Indeed, the boys brought about 150 cars with them. Since Annie had no cars of her own, we supplied these 3 vehicles for her.

l to r: Annie's 3 new cars. The Rrroadster, Clear Speeder and Nerve Hammer.

l to r: Annie’s 3 new cars. The Rrroadster, Clear Speeder and Nerve Hammer.

We ran 3 events for the afternoon and Annie, basically, mopped the floor with the boys.

The first event involved two 1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Race Sets with 20 lap dual-lane lap counters instead of the original 100 lap automatic lap counters. Everyone tested their cars for half an hour to find their one best car for this track.

IMG_1887

Then we got together and ran 8 cars (I put in one vehicle) in pairs. By the 7th race we were down to 2 cars; my green 24 Ours against Annie’s teal/orange Clear Speeder. I had been running strong on the previous races but a couple of crashes put me 5 laps down when all was said and done. Annie was delighted with her victory.

IMG_1891

IMG_1991

The second event involved disassembly of the Super-Charger Race Sets and construction of a long distance track using all 4 Super-Chargers. Hunter took the initiative to build the track while the rest of the gang were more than eager to test the new track.

IMG_2029

IMG_1898

IMG_1902

IMG_1906

We ran all 150ish cars. Annie’s Clear Speeder held the top spot right up to the end but was bumped into second place when Ethan’s Triumph Faster Than Ever car took first place.

After snack we set up a 1971 Matchmaker/Big Belter Drag Set.

IMG_2100

IMG_2061

IMG_1919

This event took a lot of concentration at the starting line.

Jimmie and Alfred ready to go.

Jimmie and Alfred ready to go.

Go!

Green lights!

IMG_2037

And the winner is…….

It took a lot of races to get down to the finals.

Jimmie gathering up the returning cars into the winner's pile for the next set of races.

Jimmie gathering up the returning cars into the winner’s pile for the next set of races.

Bud and Annie building the loosing car pile on the other side of the drag strip.

Bud and Annie building the loosing car pile on the other side of the drag strip.

It all came down to Annie’s Clear Speeder against Ethan’s Mazda Furai Faster Than Ever car. It was close but the Furai won.

When all the racing, laughing and fun was done these were the final results:

Super-Charger Race Set: 1st – Clear Speeder (Annie)  2nd – 24 Ours (John)  3rd – Sling Shot (Alfred)

Long Distance Set: 1st – Triumph FTE (Ethan),  2nd – Clear Speeder (Annie), 3rd – Maverick Grabber (Jimmie).

Matchmaker/Big Belter Drag Race: 1st – Mazda Furai FTE (Ethan), 2nd – Clear Speeder (Annie), 3rd – Technitium (Alfred)

Here’s a video of the prior year’s Hot Wheels Day – Summer 2014.

Hot Wheels Day. It’s still fast. Still fun.

Advertisements

1969 Hot Wheels Talking Service Center

A filling station is a facility which sells fuel and lubricants for motor vehicles.

TSC18

The most common fuels sold today are gasoline (“gasoline” or “gas” in the U.S. and Canada, generally “petrol” elsewhere), diesel fuel, and electric energy. A filling station that sells only electric energy is also known as a charging station.

TSC21

A Tesla charging station.

Originally, filling stations were of the full-service variety. A service attendant would meet you at the pumps and take care of your automotive needs. He would fill your tank, check the oil, measure air pressure in your tires, clean the windshield, etc.

Chevron postcard from the 1950s. Courtesy eBay.

Chevron postcard from the 1950s. Courtesy eBay.

In the 1970s, two periods of gasoline shortages (1973 and 1979) caused higher fuel prices which in turn resulted in permanent closure of many full-service gas stations as consumers looked for price relief that came in the form of self-serve operations.

TSC19

A pair of Mopar’s getting self serve.

In the U.S., a filling station that also offers services such as oil changes and mechanical repairs to automobiles is called a service station.

A classic service station on historic Route 66.

A classic service station on historic Route 66.

Until the 1970s the vast majority of gas stations were service stations.  Today, service centers are tied more to car dealerships than to gas pumps.

TSC22

Entrance to a modern Service Center.

Work bays inside a service center.

Work bays inside a modern service center.

The Talking Service Center is a Hot Wheels play set that goes back to 1969.  With this set kids are encouraged to “Drive ’em, Service ’em and Park ’em”.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – top. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – bottom. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

The sides…

Front - courtesy eBay.

Front – courtesy eBay.

Close-up front. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up front. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up back. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up back. Courtesy eBay.

…unfold to reveal a drive through gas pump area on one side and drive-up ramps for the 3 levels on the other side.

Gas pumps on the back side. Courtesy eBay.

The gas pumps side. Courtesy eBay.

The front side folded up. Courtesy eBay.

Step 1: The track side folded up. Courtesy eBay.

The front side unfolding. Courtesy eBay.

Step 2: The track side unfolding. Courtesy eBay.

Step 3: The front side unfolded. Courtesy eBay.

Step 3: The track side unfolded. Courtesy eBay.

The second level has 3 moulded lube racks for oil changes and servicing.  There is roof top parking on the third level.  And orange Hot Strip track can be attached to the third level.  That means cars can be launched from the roof and head out for the open road.

1969 Collectors' Catalogue image. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Collectors’ Catalogue image. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The unique feature of this play set is the talking function. Pulling the string cord on the side produces 10 different sound tracks.

1.  Now there’s a hot set of wheels.
2.  Wow! Your car’s a beauty.
3.  Out of gas?
4.  Check under the hood, sir?
5.  Lube and tune-ups on the second level, sir.
6.  Regular or super, sir?
7.  Fill ‘er up, sir?
8.  Sir, park on the third level, please.
9.  So, how fast does she go? vroom. vroom.
10. Vroom. vroom. She’s ready to race now.

Here’s a video showing the 1969 Hot Wheels Talking Service Center TV commercial. Courtesy Mark Roach.

So there you have it. The 1969 Hot Wheels Talking Service Center.  Where Hot Wheels stop, service and go.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Alternate 1969 Collectors' Catalogue image. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Alternate 1969 Collectors’ Catalogue page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Side view. Courtesy eBay.

Side view. Courtesy eBay.

Side view close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Side view close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of the other side. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of the other side. Courtesy eBay.

Front cover of "The Fast Cars Book" published by Golden Shape in 1969 showing the Talking Service Center in action. Courtesy www.onlineredlineguide.com.

Front cover of “The Fast Cars Book” published by Golden Shape in 1969 showing the Talking Service Center in action. Courtesy http://www.onlineredlineguide.com.