1969 Hot Wheels “The Fast Cars Book”

For 1969, Mattel commissioned a photo book of Hot Wheels in action for kids.

Front Cover of The Fast Cars Book.

The book only cost 29 cents. That was significantly cheaper than the price of a single Hot Wheels car.

The book was published by Golden Press of New York. Jo Anne Wood did the writing and aimed it at young kids. But it’s the photography by Gerry Swart that stands out.

Although there was no 6 lane raceway in 1969…

2017 edition of the 6 Lane Raceway.

…the book starts with that layout.

l to r: Ford J car, Custom Firebird, Splittin’ Image, Deora, red Hot Heap and aqua Hot Heap.

Next, the book takes us into some curves.

Ford J car in the curves.

Twinmill running hot!

Splittin’ Image blasting through a full turn.

Then we see some stunting.

A Custom Camaro and Silhouette in the loop.

Taking the jump.

Here comes the 2 lane Drag Race Action Set from 1968.

The Silhouette beats the Custom Camaro to the flag.

The 1969 Action City play set is the backdrop for the next page.

Action City’s full layout.

A red Hot Heap on an Action City road.

For the Service Station picture, this 1968 Pop Up play set gets used.

Pop Up Service Station – front.

Pop Up Service Station – back.

A Custom Camaro getting full service treatment.

Back to Action City.

Next up, the 1969 Talking Service Center.

For some reason, the blue Splittin’ Image is travelling backwards down the top floor ramp of the Talking Service Center.

Finishing up in Action City.

Last page.

Back cover.

Here’s my YouTube video of this book.

So there you have it. 1969s Hot Wheels “The Fast Cars Book”

Showing Hot Wheels are still fast. Still fun.

1969 Collectors’ Catalog picture of the Action City play set. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Grand Prix Race Set (part 2)

This is Hot Wheels’s biggest track set for 1969, the Super-Charger Grand Prix Race Set.

Box art - front with included cars visible. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front with included cars visible. Courtesy eBay.

There are a lot of track pieces.

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The layout is huge.

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Here’s the fully assembled race track.

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Time for some perspective. It’s 1969 and we are about to embark on “lap after lap” action. Just the year before, we experienced ground breaking gravity tracks from Hot Wheels first year of production. And, remember, the year before that we were pushing our Matchbox/Dinky/Corgi diecast cars around the floor by hand because there were no Hot Wheels.

Now, in 1969, a massive one hundred lap race is at hand. The orange track is 44 feet long. There are 12 half curves measuring just over 1 foot each. That’s more than 56 total feet (17 meters) of track. One hundred laps means the cars will cover more than a mile (1.6 kilometres) together. From hand pushing diecast cars to mile running in just 2 years. Simply amazing!

On this track today, I am putting a gold 2010 Ford Mustang GT with Faster Than Ever wheels up against a blue 1971 redline Six Shooter.  New school vs old school. 

For more information on this track, check out my earlier review of the Super-Charger Grand Prix Race Set (part 1).

https://hotwheelsracetracks.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/1969-hot-wheels-super-charger-grand-prix-race-set/

super-charger-grand-prix-set-6 (1)

Hot Wheels Store Displays

From 1968 to 1970 Mattel produced elaborate displays that were intended to showcase the Hot Wheels line-up for store customers.

This late 1968 display looks like something right out of a big car show in Los Angeles or Detroit.

Each of the “Sweet 16” cars is represented. Five of the cars have custom paint jobs just for this display. This includes a Watermelon Custom Mustang, Chocolate Brown Custom Camaro, Honey Gold Custom T-Bird, Light Blue Custom Cougar and the Ruby Red Custom Barracuda.

For 1969 three displays are offered. The first diorama shows Hot Wheels cars on a hilly coastal roadway crossing above cars that are travelling through a tunnel.

1969 Coastal hill and tunnel display. Courtesy

1969 Coastal hill and tunnel display. Courtesy http://www.hwredlines.com/menu-grp-cars/Displays/display-US-69.shtml

The second display is located in Europe, possibly Monaco, where Grand Prix race cars are being paced at the race’s start by a Maserati Mistrel. Spectators have parked their European cars nearby. A ship at water’s edge is a nice touch.

1969 European Gran Prix display. Courtesy

1969 European Gran Prix display. Courtesy http://www.redlinegrandprix.com/Redline_GP_OddsEnds.html

The third display puts us at the Daytona Motor Speedway where race cars are on the high banks of the track. In this case, spectators from a vintage car club have shown up presumably to cheer on the Classic ’57-Bird.

Close-up. Courtesy Instagram by Bruce Pascal. http://www.online-instagram.com/media/894901587630698938_1622287635

Close-up. Courtesy Instagram by Bruce Pascal. http://www.online-instagram.com/media/894901587630698938_1622287635

The 1970 Display is a ‘Multi-Mural’ diorama with a white curved sloping track.

1970 display. Courtesy

1970 display. Courtesy eBay.

The first three murals, from left to right, show a Spoiler style car, a heavyweight vehicle and a race car.

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Close-up left side.

The last mural on the right reveals the open road for Hot Wheels to travel on.

1970 display 3

Close-up right side.

1970 display 2

Top view – left.

1970 display 5

Top view – right.

Also, for 1970, Hot Wheels was going ‘head-to-head’ with Matchbox so in England a special store display was used.

1970 U.K. display. Courtesy

1970 U.K. display. Courtesy pinterest.com.

The English store display is an open six-tiered white grandstand made of wood.  The entire display holds 50 cars (6 rows of 8 or 9 cars each) and has a colorful backboard illustrating a Porsche 917 with the caption, “ Here’s why more Boys prefer: Hot Wheels”.  Obviously a direct challenge to Matchbox whose display looked like this…

U.K. Matchbox display. Courtesy

U.K. Matchbox display. Courtesy pinterest.com

So there you have it. A look at some of the early Hot Wheels diorama displays used in stores.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

For more information you can check out http://redlinewheels.com and look under “articles”.

1969 Hot Wheels Quad Jump Drag Set

As a kid, the very first Hot Wheels accessory that I received was the Jump Ramp Pak.

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Box art – front. Copyright Mattel Inc.

And I loved it! To see Hot Wheels catch big air, make a perfect landing and power down the rest of the track was too cool.

Today I am making a custom track by putting 4 jump ramps together in one drag strip.

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Of the current crop of cars, I find that ’67 Camaros work very well on jumps. They roll quickly and their metal bodies on metal bases provide enough weight for the cars to sit down and stay on the track after taking a jump.

Here are the 4 ’67 Camaros that I will be racing.

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from l to r: orange ’67 Camaro, green ’67 Camaro from the Mod Bod series, black ’67 Camaro and a yellow ’67 Camaro.

And here’s the video of what happened on the track.

So there you have it. A custom track; The 1969 Hot Wheels Quad Jump Drag Strip.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

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Close up of box art – front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

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Box art – back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

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Box art – side: Copyright Mattel, Inc.

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Box art – end. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

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Box art – other end. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Jump Ramp 4

Contents. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

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Italian version – front. Courtesy eBay.

Jump Ramp 2.2

Italian version – back. Courtesy eBay.

1969 Hot Wheels Double-Double Drag Set

Today I am taking the 1969 Hot Wheels Double-Dare Race Action Set…

1969 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

and I am adding another pair of loops to produce the Double-Double Drag Set.

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Here are the 4 cars that will take on this track.

from l to r: a green '70 Ford Mustang Mach 1, a yellow '67 Pontiac Firebird 400, a blue '71 Dodge Demon and an orange Mercury Cougar.

from l to r: a green ’70 Ford Mustang Mach 1, a yellow ’67 Pontiac Firebird 400, a blue ’71 Dodge Demon and an orange Mercury Cougar.

Here’s a run down the track.

Ready at the start.

Ready at the start.

And they're OFF!

And they’re OFF!

Way up into the first pair of loops.

Way up into the first pair of loops.

Hustling between the loops.

Hustling between the loops.

Powering through the second set of loops.

Powering through the second set of loops.

Here comes the straightaway.

Here comes the straightaway.

Flat out!

Flat out!

Almost there...

Almost there…

This race is done!

This race is done!

See how the cars faired on my YouTube video:

So there you have it. A custom track. The 1969 Hot Wheels Double-Double Drag Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

 

1969 Hot Wheels 2-Way Super-Charger

The 1969 Hot Wheels 2-Way Super-Charger.

Box art - front.

Box art – front.

Box art - side.

Box art – side.

Here are the instructions.

Instructions. Page 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions. Page 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions. Page 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions. Page 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions. Page 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions. Page 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions. Page 4. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions. Page 4. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The 2-Way Super-Charger was only sold by itself and in 2 other sets:

The 1969 Grand Prix Race Set

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

And the 1970 Hi-Performance Set

Box art - front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The standard Super-Charger typically goes with oval tracks.  It’s pretty easy for a Hot Wheels car to run on a track with just 2 full curves.

1969 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The 2-Way Super-Charger powers figure-8 layouts.  Figure-8 tracks are a lot harder for Hot Wheels cars to deal with because they have to negotiate 6 half curves on every lap.  Appropriately, Mattel calls this figure-8 layout “The Tricky 8”.

Box art - back.

Box art – back.

Today I am putting 6 Hot Wheels cars through their paces on “The Tricky 8” track.

l to r: Aston Martin Vantage GT3, '07 Shelby GT500, '68 Mercury Cougar, Custom '15 Ford Mustang, Corvette Grand Sport and Olds 442.

l to r: Aston Martin Vantage GT3, ’07 Shelby GT500, ’68 Mercury Cougar, Custom ’15 Ford Mustang, Corvette Grand Sport and Olds 442.

Each car will attempt to run 10 laps non-stop. Here’s what happened:

So there you have it. The 1969 Hot Wheels 2-Way Super-Charger driving the figure-8 layout.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

1969 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Competition Pak

Back in 1969, if you had a bunch of orange track and you wanted to go drag racing, the easiest way to do it was to get the Competition Pak.

Box art - front.

Box art – front.

Box art - back.

Box art – back.

The Competition Pak comes with universal clamp, start gate, finish gate and elimination merger.

CP5

With this drag set up I’m running 4 world cars.

l to r: orange '73 Ford Falcon XB, silver 1963 Aston Martin DB5, yellow '74 Brazilian Dodge Charger and black Toyota 2000 GT.

l to r: orange ’73 Ford Falcon XB, silver 1963 Aston Martin DB5, yellow ’74 Brazilian Dodge Charger and black Toyota 2000 GT.

These 4 cars are from South America, Australia, Europe and Asia.

The 1974 Brazilian Dodge Charger was actually a Dodge Dart with a modified Charger front clip and swept back roof pillars. But it came with a 318 cubic inch V8 and was considered “the fastest car in Brazil”.

The Ford Falcon XB, built from 1973 to 1976, was a performance car made by Ford Australia. Under the hood was a 351 cubic inch V8.  A modified version of the 1973 car was driven by Mel Gibson in the 1976 movie “Mad Max”.

The Aston Martin DB5 was released in England during 1963. It came with a magnesium alloy body and an all aluminium engine. This car is famously featured in the 1964 James Bond movie “Goldfinger”.

351 Toyota 2000GT’s were built between 1967 and 1970.  It was Japan’s first supercar and a convertible version was used in the 1967 James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice”.

Enough about the cars…time to go racing.

So there you have it. The Hot Wheels 1969 Competition Pak.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - side.

Box art – side.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors' Catalogue. Close-up of Competition Pak. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Catalogue. Close-up of Competition Pak. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

1969 Hot Wheels Talking Service Center

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

1969 Hot Wheels Trestle Drag Set

The hills of San Francisco…

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…have been the back drop for one of the most famous car chases in movie history. Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen, featured a 1968 Ford Mustang GT in pursuit of a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T.

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The film editing of this muscle car chase played a major role with Bullitt winning the Academy Award for Editing in April 1969.

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Minimal Movie Poster #214. Courtesy of Chungkong Art.

Today, I’m creating my own chase track using the 1969 Hot Wheels Trestle Pak.

Box art - front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

By adding 36 feet of orange track, 16 joiners, 6 trestles, 1 universal clamp, a start gate and a finish gate…

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…I can make this drag set layout.

The start.

The start.

The first 2 sets of trestles.

The first 2 sets of trestles.

The 3rd set of trestles followed by the finish gate.

The 3rd set of trestles followed by the finish gate.

Sticking with Mustangs and Chargers, here is my 4 car set for racing.

l to r: red 1971 Dodge Charger, gold 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1, blue 1969 Dodge Charger and green 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Coupe.

l to r: red 1971 Dodge Charger, gold 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1, blue 1969 Dodge Charger and green 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Coupe.

This is my YouTube video of Mustangs going up against Chargers.

So there you have it. A custom track. The 1969 Hot Wheels Trestle Drag Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - back. Close-up.

Box art – back. Close-up.

Box art - back. Close-up.

Box art – back. Close-up.

Box art - back. Close-up.

Box art – back. Close-up.

Box art - back. Close-up.

Box art – back. Close-up.

Box art - front. Close-up of stylized Corvette.

Box art – front. Close-up of stylized Corvette.

Box art - front. Close-up of Silhouette.

Box art – front. Close-up of Silhouette.

Box art - end. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – end. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - top. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – top. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Catalogue. Close-up of Trestle Pak. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Trestle Pak from the U.K. Courtesy eBay.

Trestle Pak from the U.K. Courtesy eBay.