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.

IMG_2853

The layout is huge.

IMG_2765

Here’s the fully assembled race track.

IMG_2460

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)

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.

1970 Hot Wheels Hi-Performance Set

The second Tune-Up Tower set for 1970 comes with a two-way Super-Charger.  It is the Hi-Performance Set.

Box art - front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

This set includes 15 1/2 feet of orange track, 3 joiners, 8 half curves, 2 arch bridges, 3 white trestles 2 red trestles, 1 lane merger, 1 Tune-Up Tower with 1 wheel wrench and 1 two-way Super-Charger.

Set contents. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Close up of contents list. Courtesy eBay.

Close up of contents list. Courtesy eBay.

Mattel envisioned the Hi-Performance Set layout as a freeway system.  And in keeping with all this track, the set comes with 4 new cars too.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Full page of Tune-Up Tower Sets. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

So there you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Hi-Performance Set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

As a kid, I always worked my Hot Wheels cars pretty hard.  They ran fast, they ran often and they got lots of wear.

Two of my childhood cars: a red Torero and a blue Twin Mill. They’ve seen lots of track time.

A Tune-Up Tower sure would have come in handy to help my cars maintain the pace I was setting for them. Here’s some pictures of the Tune-Up Tower box by itself.

Box art for Tune-Up Tower – front and side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art for Tune-Up Tower - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Tune-Up Tower contents stacked in box. Courtesy eBay.

Front page of Tune-Up Tower instructions. Courtesy eBay.

Front page of Tune-Up Tower instructions. Courtesy eBay.

An inside page of the instruction book. Courtesy eBay.

An inside page of the instruction book. Courtesy eBay.

This is a comic book ad for the Tune-Up Tower.

Tune-Up Tower ad. Courtesy eBay.

Tune-Up Tower page in 1970 Hot Wheels Racing World Magazine. Courtesy http://www.toycarcollector.com.

1970 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Speed Test Set

Mattel’s second speed set for 1970 put a Super-Charger behind the thrust to get Hot Wheels cars blazing.  Unlike the other two speed sets, this one let you run a car on an oval and keep upping the power to achieve faster and faster clockings.  Eventually you would record the fastest possible speed for a given car before it reached the limits of it’s stability and crashed.

The 1970 Super-Charger Speed Test Set includes 16 feet of orange track, 8 joiners, 1 Super-Charger, 1 single lane Speedometer, 2 trestles and one bridge.

Here’s the track layout.

And here are my 4 test cars.

L to R: 1968 COPO Camaro, 1986 Monte Carlo SS, Custom V-8 Vega, and 2007 Ford Shelby GT-500.

A lap around the track starts at the Super-Charger.

With no waste of time or speed, the cars blast straight into the Speedometer.

Nearly 120 MPH / 200 KPH and looking for more the next time through.

Up and around the elevated first full curve.

Over the bridge.

Around the second full turn and back into the Super-Charger for another speed shot.

Here’s a link to my YouTube channel showing the speeds these cars recorded as the Super-Charger spun faster and faster.  

There you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Speed Test Set.  “The fastest metal cars in the world” is what it’s all about.

And it’s still fast.  Still fun.

1970 Hot Wheels Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - other side in red, black and white. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – other side in red, black and white. Courtesy eBay.

A nice example of complete contents. Courtesy eBay.

Speed Test Set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.

The set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.

The set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.

The set with instructions. Courtesy eBay.

1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger. Inner workings.

A few weeks ago, I went looking for a Hot Wheels Super-Charger.  Easiest place to find one?  It’s gotta be eBay.  Getting a good one?  How hard can it be?

A promising looking machine was listed for the reasonable price of $18 plus shipping. Seemed nice.  Hopefully it had been well looked after.  And the icing on the cake…the ad stated, “It works!”  Sweet.

When the Super-Charger arrived it looked like a good buy.  The stickers were in good condition, the housing was intact, and the battery area had it’s little door.  How good is that!

It looks good!

I put batteries in and fired it up.  Yup.  It worked as advertised.  But…the howling squeal from the electric drive motor was akin to finger nails on a chalk board.  Turn it off!  Turn it off!

Whew!  Peace and quiet.  That’s better.  I suspect there is no useful lubrication getting to the internal workings of the drive motor any more.

So…what do you do?  Send it back?  Shipping costs make that unreasonable.  A lot of times returns are not accepted.  Keep using it?  Maybe you get use to the racket after a while.  But how would you hear yourself think?  What about opening it up?  There is a video on YouTube of a Super-Charger that was opened, had a transformer installed, and now runs on plug-in electricity. It must be possible to look inside.

Turns out it is possible…but not advisable.  Mattel never meant for these things to be serviced.  Super-Chargers are sealed with glue around all the edges where the roof meets the walls.  A knowledgable person might know how to get inside without causing a lot of damage, but I don’t.  Working with a used dental pick and some thin wedges, I was able to, eventually, get the roof off.  But it wasn’t a clean job and the roof took a beating.

Still…the inside of a Super-Charger is now ready for inspection.  With the roof off, here’s what’s inside:

Let’s start with a closer look at the throttle and rheostat. The rheostat is a metal coil (looks like a fine thread screw).  When the throttle is moved, the metal slider attached to it also moves up and down the rheostat.  This changes electrical resistance and alters the amount of current reaching the electric motor.  As the throttle is moved to the “faster” mark, the metal slider moves closer to the electric motor, electricity has less distance to cover so resistance goes down, more current flows to the motor and the motor spins faster.

Throttle with attached metal arm to slide along the rheostat.

Rheostat attached to electric drive motor and it’s little drive wheel.

The little drive wheel in the foreground is running the two big wheels.

The big wheels with their foam covers propel the Hot Wheels car onto the track.

One big wheel out for a side view.

Both big wheels out.

Now everything is out. Only the battery housing in the foreground is left.

This little electric motor is running this big, old Super-Charger.

Out of the house and lined up.

Oiling the electric motor shaft helped, but it was still abnormal.

What was my final solution?

Admit defeat, write a blog, make a video and buy another one naturally.

Here’s a link to my YouTube channel showing the inside of a running Super-Charger.

So…my next purchase came from North Tonawanda, New York.  Here it is:

And this time…success.  Great condition, starts right up, runs smooth, and no tired squealing components.  Booyah!

So there you have it.  The 1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger.

It’s still fast!  Still fun!

From 1969 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front.

Box art – back. The electric motor is “Made in Japan”. Everything else is “Made in the USA”.

Box art – side.

Box art – flap.

German Super-Charger: box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

German Super-Charger: box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

German Super-Charger: box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

German Super-Charger: box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

German Super-Charger: Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

German Super-Charger: Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Grand Prix Race Set (part 1)

Mattel’s big set for 1969 is the Super-Charger Grand Prix Race Set.  It gives you 100 lap events on a grand scale.

Track contents include:  44 feet of orange track, 16 joiners, 12 half curves, 2 Two-Way Super-Chargers, 2 automatic lap counters and 8 white trestles.

My strongest childhood memory of Hot Wheels ads is this one:

A classic comic book ad for the Grand Prix Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

This is the boxed set.

Super Charger Grand Prix Set 1

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Super Charger Grand Prix Set 2

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

Super Charger Grand Prix Set 5

Box art – top. Courtesy eBay.

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

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Super Charger Grand Prix Set 10

Grand Prix Race Set cars in this case (L to R): Splittin’ Image, Ford J-Car, Twin Mill and Turbofire. Courtesy eBay.

Super Charger Grand Prix Set 12

Close up of Splittin’ Image and Ford J-Car. Courtesy eBay.

Super Charger Grand Prix Set 13

Close up of Twin Mill and Lola GT70. Courtesy eBay.

A nice video of the Grand Prix Race Set comes from this original 1969 Mattel TV commercial for Super-Chargers.  This footage is courtesy of Mark Roach.

Here are two 1969 Collectors’ Catalogue images (copyright Mattel, Inc.):

Some great Grand Prix Race Sets have been offered on eBay including this Japanese one:

Japanese Grand Prix Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese Grand Prix Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese Grand Prix Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese Grand Prix Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese Grand Prix Race Set box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Japanese Grand Prix Race Set box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Here are some miscellaneous goodies that go with the set.

Paper contents. Courtesy eBay.

Instruction sheets. Courtesy eBay.

Art work from redlineprotos.com (2)

Box art – side. Courtesy redlineprotos.com.

Instructions – page 1. Courtesy eBay.

Instructions – pages 1, 2 & 3. Courtesy eBay.

Instructions – pages 5 & 6. Courtesy eBay.

So there you have it, the 1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Grand Prix Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Rally ‘N Freeway Set

The all purpose Super-Charger set for 1969 is the Rally & Freeway Set.  It’s like the Double Action Set but also includes a 12 car Rally Case that acts like a parking structure for the track to go under.

You get 24 feet of orange track (some of it in 12 inch, 6 inch and 3 inch pieces), 12 joiners, 2 half curves, 4 full curves, 2 automatic lap counters, 4 white trestles, 1 twelve car rally case, 2 rally case supports, and 2 Super-Chargers. The instructions come with 5 track layouts: 4 freeways and 1 race way.

Instructions – Page 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Page 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Page 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Page 4. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Page 5. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Page 6. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Page 7. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Page 8. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

I am going to build the Tricky Triple-Twist Layout on page 8 for this post and video.  And since I don’t have the original white rally case supports I will substitute two of my own.  I am going to skip the lap counter as well because I will be running up to 4 cars at one time.

Here’s the Tricky Triple-Twist Freeway ready to go.   And here are the 4 cars I am going to use on this set.

L to R: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, Corvette Grand Sport, 2010 Ford Mustang GT, 1969 COPO Corvette

Here’s a tour through the course.  Out of the lower Super-Charger and heading for the 12 car Rally Case parking garage. Through the parking garage underpass. Heading back to the upper Super-Charger. Out to the second full curve loop. Sweeping past the Super-Chargers. Round the half curve. Through the third full curve loop. And back to the lower Super-Charger. There you have it.  The 1969 Hot Wheels Super-Charger Rally & Freeway Set.

It’s still fast!  Still fun!

Here’s a link to my YouTube Channel: 

1969 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1969 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - front. Close up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Close up. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - front. Close up of  12 car Rally Case. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Close up of 12 car Rally Case. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - front. Close up of  dual oval race set configuration. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Close up of dual oval race set configuration. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

A nice example of original contents. Courtesy eBay.