1970 Hot Wheels Road Trials Set: Introduction

The 1970 Hot Wheels Road Trials Set appealed to the mechanic inside of every kid. Here was an opportunity to evaluate your car on a rolling treadmill. Use a custom tool to make wheel adjustments at the axle. And get your Hot Wheels vehicle running “faster than ever”.

Box art - front.

Box art – front.

The box art for this set is simply spectacular.

Box art - side.

Box art – side.

Five pictures tell you what this set can do.

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There are 9 different cars on the front and side of the box. Interestingly, one of these cars was not even available in 1970. For an entire year, kids would have no way of running every car they saw on the box.

Let’s take a look at the 9 cars.

Continental Mark III. Released in 1970.

Continental Mark III. Released in 1970.

Mercedes-Benz 280SL. Released 1970.

Mercedes-Benz 280SL. Released in 1970.

Shelby Turbine. Released in 1969.

Shelby Turbine. Released in 1969.

Custom AMX. Released in 1970.

Custom AMX. Released in 1970.

Custom Charger. Released in 1970.

Custom Charger. Released in 1970.

yellow Custom AMX parked by a red Classic Nomad.

yellow Custom AMX parked by a red Classic Nomad. Both released in 1970.

Lotus Turbine. Released in 1969.

Lotus Turbine. Released in 1969.

The Demon. Released in 1970.

The Demon. Released in 1970.

And then the mystery car. Do you recognize it?

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There’s no rear spoiler on it, but this is…

Olds 442

The Olds 442

It was released for only one year…1971.

from the 1981 Hot Wheels Collectors' Book. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

from the 1981 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Book. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The catch is…if you look at the details for the Olds 442 you will see that this car was copyrighted in 1969.

1969 copyright on collectors' button.

1969 copyright on collectors’ button.

1969 copyright on Olds 442 base.

1969 copyright on Olds 442 base.

Typically, Mattel copyrights a car one year before it goes into production. That means the Olds 442 should have been sold during the 1970 model year. Certainly, the artist behind the box art for the 1970 Road Trials Set thought it would be there.

I’ve never heard an explanation for the 1 year delay in it’s store shelf appearance. That delay would be critical for the car. Because The Olds 442 was limited to one year of production, 1971, it ranks among the most desirable of Hot Wheels cars to collect.

Olds 442 racing by the Tune-Up Tower.

Olds 442 racing by the Tune-Up Tower.

You can check out my YouTube video that introduces this set here.

So there you have it. An introduction to the 1970 Hot Wheels Road Trials Set.

Making Hot Wheels still fast. Still fun.

Box art - side.

Box art – side.

Box art - back.

Box art – back.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

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