1968 Hot Wheels Half Curve Drag Set.

The half curve pak was first sold in 1968.  Each pak included 2 banked 90 degree curves.

Half Curve 10

Box art – front.

1968 Box art - back.

1968 Box art – back.

1969 Box art - back. Canadian version.

1969 Box art – back. Canadian version.

This time I am going to use 2 sets of Half Curve Paks and make a custom drag strip.

Gravity start.

Gravity start.

Two half curve sets. The first set adheres to some particle board to reduce track movement.

Two half curve sets. The first set adheres to some particle board to reduce track movement.

And a finish gate at the end.

And a finish gate at the end.

Here’s a run down the Half Curve drag strip.

A green 1968 COPO Camaro and a purple 1971 Dodge Demon at the start.

A green 1968 COPO Camaro and a purple 1971 Dodge Demon at the start.

They're off!

They’re off!

Hard into the first set of curves.

Hard into the first set of curves.

Racing 'round the second set of curves.

Racing ’round the second set of curves.

Charging down the final straightaway.

Charging down the final straightaway.

And the winner is.......

And the winner is…….

Check out the Half Curve Drag Set action on my YouTube site:

So there you have it. A custom track; the 1968 Hot Wheels Half Curve Drag Set. It’s still fast. Still fun.

Close-up of 1969 box art - back.

Close-up of 1969 box art – back.

Close-up of track instructions.

Close-up of track instructions.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

1968 Hot Wheels Full Curve Drag Set

The 180 degree full curve was sold as an accessory beginning in 1968.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

1968 box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

1968 box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

1969 box art- back. Courtesy eBay.

1969 box art- back. Courtesy eBay.

Today I am building a custom track using 4 full curves.

Here’s the start:

Full Curve 15

The middle section of the track:

Full Curve 16

And the finish:

Full Curve 17

Now for a run through the track.

Rivited and Maximum Leeway at the start.

Rivited and Maximum Leeway at the start.

They're OFF!

They’re OFF!

Racing across the upper deck of the double decker track.

Racing across the upper deck of the double decker track.

Into the first set of full curves.

Into the first set of full curves.

Charging down the elevated track.

Charging down the elevated track.

Rounding the second set of full curves.

Rounding the second set of full curves.

On the lower deck.

On the lower deck.

Heading for the flag!

Heading for the flag!

Across the finish. A close race!

Across the finish. A close race!

Using these 4 cars…

l to r: blue Maximum Leeway, red Impavido 1, chrome Rivited and plum Teegray.

l to r: blue Maximum Leeway, red Impavido 1, chrome Rivited and plum Teegray.

…here’s my video of this track in action.

So there you have it.  A custom track. The 1968 Hot Wheels Full Curve Drag Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Original European full curve with Dutch language on one side. Courtesy eBay.

Original European full curve with Dutch language on one side. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of Dutch language. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of Dutch language. Courtesy eBay.

Original European full curve with Danish language on the other side. Courtesy eBay.

Original European full curve in Danish language. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of Danish language side. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of Danish language side. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of European full curve artwork. Courtesy eBay.

Close-up of European full curve artwork. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Hot Wheels RRRumblers Daring Duo Set

Double-loop drag race sets are a staple of the early Hot Wheels years. In 1969 we have the Double-Dare Race Action Set.  For 1970 there is the Mongoose & Snake Drag Set plus the Twin ‘Chute Action Set (UK).  And 1971 brings us the RRRumblers Daring Duo Set (UK) and the RRRumblers Rip Roarin’ Set (Australia).

The Daring Duo Set. From www.GranToros.com.

The Daring Duo Set. From http://www.GranToros.com.

The Rip Roarin' Set. Courtesy eBay.

The Rip Roarin’ Set. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin' Set box art - side and back. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin’ Set box art – side and back. Courtesy eBay.

The difference between the Daring Duo and Rip Roarin’ Sets is the finish gate. The Daring Duo Set uses the automatic finish gate…

Autofinish

and the Rip Roarin’ Set uses a standard finish gate with the contact arms cut off to allow the taller RRRumblers motorcycles to pass through.

Modified finish gate of the Rip Roarin' Set. Courtesy eBay.

Modified finish gate of the Rip Roarin’ Set. Courtesy eBay.

The Daring Duo Set includes 28 feet of orange track, 10 joiners, 1 universal clamp, 1 start gate, 1 automatic finish gate and 2 daredevil loops.

Here’s a run down the Daring Duo track.

At the start: green Straight Away in lane 2 and yellow Choppin' Chariot in lane 1.

At the start: green Straight Away in lane 2 and yellow Choppin’ Chariot in lane 1.

And...they're off!

And…they’re off!

Climbing the loop.

Climbing the loops.

Round and down the loops.

Round and down the loops.

Out of the loops and onto the straightaway.

Out of the loops and onto the straightaway.

Flat out!

Flat out!

Just about there....

Just about there….

Great finish!

Great finish!

Drag racing...RRRumblers' style.

Drag racing…RRRumblers’ style.

Here’s a video of the Daring Duo Set in action.

So there you have it. The 1971 RRRumblers Daring Duo Set from the U.K.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Daring Duo Set on the bottom. Courtesy www.GranToros.com.

Daring Duo Set on the bottom (German version). Courtesy http://www.GranToros.com.

Rip Roarin' Set made in Australia. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin’ Set made in Australia. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin' Set box art - end. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin’ Set box art – end. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin'Set contents. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin’Set contents. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin' Set contents: close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin’ Set contents: close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin' Set contents: Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

Rip Roarin’ Set contents: Close-up. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Hot Wheels Big Belter and Matchmaker Victory Pak Drag Set

By mixing the Big Belter & Matchmaker

The Big Belter & Matchmaker.

The Big Belter & Matchmaker box art – side.

with the Victory Pak

Victory Pak.

Victory Pak box art – front.

you can make one of the coolest drag sets for 1971.  It’s basically the Wild Wheelie Set for your regular cars and Rrrumblers.

track

This set includes 32 feet of orange track, 12 joiners, 1 Big Belter, 1 Matchmaker, 1 automatic-reset finish gate, 2 ‘chute traps and 4 drag ‘chutes.

Components

Here’s a run down the drag strip.

Ready...Set...

Ready…Set…

GOOOooooo!

GOOOooooo!

Charging down the track.

Charging down the track.

Tucked in tight.

Tucked in tight.

Furai leading.

Furai leading.

Through the automatic-reset finish gate. The Furai wins!

Through the automatic-reset finish gate. The Furai wins!

Poppin' the 'chutes and coming to a stop.

Poppin’ the ‘chutes and coming to a stop.

See how two cars do against two 1971 Rrrumblers motorcycles in my YouTube video.

So there you have it. The 1971 Big Belter & Matchmaker Victory Pak Drag Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Instructions for this layout in the Big Belter & Matchmaker sheet. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions for this layout in the Big Belter & Matchmaker sheet. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Close-up of Big Belter & Matchmaker box art - side.

Close-up of Big Belter & Matchmaker box art – side.

Close-up of Big Belter & Matchmaker box art - back.

Close-up of Big Belter & Matchmaker box art – back.

Victory Pak box art - back.

Victory Pak box art – back.

Victory Pak box art - side.

Victory Pak box art – side.

Victory Pak instructions - page 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions – page 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions - page 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions – page 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions - page 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions – page 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions - Step 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions – Step 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions - Step 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions – Step 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions - Step 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Victory Pak instructions – Step 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1971 accessories including the Big Belter and Victory Pak from the 1971 Collector's Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1971 accessories including the Big Belter and Victory Pak from the 1971 Collector’s Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1971 Hot Wheels Mongoose and Snake Wild Wheelie Set

Hot Wheels fans were introduced to Don Prudhomme, the Snake, and Tom McEwen, the Mongoose, through funny cars.  But these two also drove dragsters.

The Snake rail dragster.

The Snake rail dragster.

The Mongoose rail dragster.

The Mongoose rail dragster.

For 1971 Mattel put their rail dragsters on the Mongoose & Snake Wild Wheelie Set.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

The novelty feature of this set is the cars ability to wheelie out of the start gate and down the track.  The cars have a metal weight in the back that can be locked to the cockpit causing the dragster to wheelie.

WW15

Metal in the back. Plastic in the front. Courtesy eBay.

Metal in the back. Light weight in the front. Courtesy eBay.

Dragster Pak instructions - back of card. Courtesy eBay.

Dragster Pak instructions – back of card. Courtesy eBay.

A pair of trailing wheels on the back give the dragsters stability as they maintain the wheelie down the track at high speed.

wheelie_bar

To tip the front ends back down before crossing the finish line, the cars cross a balancer track piece.

WW22

This unlocks the weights and drops the cars out of wheelie position.

The finish gate is automated.

WW20

The winning car pushes a checkered flag up into the air.  The flag then resets to the resting position a few seconds later.

Lane 1 swing arm extended with resulting flag deployment.

Lane 1 swing arm extended with resulting flag deployment.

Finally, the cars cross the ‘chute traps and deploy two drag ‘chutes bringing the race to an end.

It’s a lot of action in one race.

Here are the instructions:

Front page.

Front page.

Front page close-up.

Front page close-up.

Safe drive rules.

Safe drive rules.

Track components laid out.

Track components laid out.

 

Contents close-up.

Contents close-up.

Steps 1, 2 & 3.

Steps 1, 2 & 3.

Steps 4, 5 & 6.

Steps 4, 5 & 6.

Steps 7 & 8.

Steps 7 & 8.

Step 7 close-up (top).

Step 7 close-up (top).

Step 7 close-up (middle).

Step 7 close-up (middle).

Step 7 close-up (bottom).

Step 7 close-up (bottom).

Last page.

Last page.

Last page close-up.

Last page close-up (cars).

Last page close-up (RRRumblers).

Last page close-up (RRRumblers).

Last page close-up (display).

Last page close-up (display).

So there you have it.  The 1971 Hot Wheels Mongoose & Snake Wild Wheelie Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1971 Collector's catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1971 Collector’s catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1972 Collector's catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1972 Collector’s catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - side. Color. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Color. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Black, red and white. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Black, red and white. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - end. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – end. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Caption. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Caption. Courtesy eBay.

Wild Wheelie Drag Set contents. Courtesy eBay.

Wild Wheelie Drag Set contents. Courtesy eBay.

You can also buy the Mongoose & Snake rail dragsters in a blister pak.

Dragster Pak - front. Courtesy eBay.

Dragster Pak – front. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Collector's catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1971 Collector’s catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Close-up of Mongoose & Snake dragsters and funny cars in the 1971 Collector's catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Close-up of Mongoose & Snake dragsters and funny cars in the 1971 Collector’s catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Mongoose & Snake dragsters poster. 40th anniversary. Courtesy eBay.

Mongoose & Snake dragsters poster – 40th anniversary. Courtesy eBay.

Tom McEwen dragster poster. Courtesy eBay.

Tom McEwen dragster poster. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Hot Wheels Mongoose and Snake Drag Set (U.K.)

The 1970 Hot Wheels Mongoose & Snake Drag Race Set with gravity powered start gate, double loops, finish gate and drag ‘chutes was a huge success in North America.  For 1971 this funny car set was updated in the U.K.  And this time it looked like an authentic drag strip.

UK box and contents. Courtesy eBay.

UK box art – front. Plus contents. Courtesy eBay.

UK box art - sides and back. Courtesy eBay.

UK box art – sides and back. Courtesy eBay.

Track components include 1 Big Belter, 1 Matchmaker, 32 feet of orange track, 12 joiners, 1 finish gate, 2 ‘chute traps and 2 drag ‘chutes.

MS12

I’ll be racing four 1994 reissues of the Mongoose and Snake funny cars.

l to r: green Snake Barracuda, yellow Snake Barracuda, red Mongoose Duster and blue Mongoose Duster.

l to r: green Snake Barracuda, yellow Snake Barracuda, red Mongoose Duster and blue Mongoose Duster.

Close-up of the Mongoose cars.

Close-up of the Mongoose cars.

Close-up of the Snake cars.

Close-up of the Snake cars.

Here’s a race down the track.

Ready on the launch pad.

Ready on the launch pad.

GOOOooooooo!

GOOOooooooo!

Blasting down the track!

Blasting down the track!

Snake leading...barely.

Snake leading…barely.

Stretching to the finish.

Stretching to the finish.

Snake wins! Into the 'chute traps.

Snake wins! Into the ‘chute traps.

Popin' the 'chutes. Cutting the engines.

Popin’ the ‘chutes. Cutting the engines.

Coming to a stop.

Coming to a stop.

Here’s how the 4 cars made out on this 1971 track.

So there you have it.  The 1971 Hot Wheels Mongoose & Snake Drag Set from the U.K.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

1971 U.K. Dealer's catalogue.  From GranToros.com website.

1971 U.K. Dealer’s catalogue. From GranToros.com website.

The men themselves. Don Prudhomme (left) and Tom McEwan (right).

The men themselves. Don Prudhomme (left) and Tom McEwan (right).

40th anniversary poster.

40th anniversary poster.

Peterson Automotive Museum poster.

Peterson Automotive Museum poster.

Yet another reissue of the famous Mongoose & Snake Drag Race Set.

Yet another reissue of the famous Mongoose & Snake Drag Race Set.

'Chute Pak from the UK. Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

‘Chute Pak from the UK. Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

'Chute Pak from UK. Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

‘Chute Pak from UK. Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

'Chute Pak from the UK. Courtesy eBay.

UK ‘Chute Pak contents. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Hot Wheels Big Belter/Matchmaker Drag Set

In each of the first 4 years of Hot Wheels production there was a new way of launching vehicles.  For 1968 we had the start gate, 1969 was the Super-Charger, 1970 had the Rod Runner and for 1971 the new kid on the block was the Big Belter.

BBM1

The Big Belter is a rubber band powered, sling shot style starter.  It is designed for Hot Wheels cars and Rrrumbler motorcycles but does not work with those Heavyweights that have a cab and articulating trailer.

The Match Maker replicates the function of real “Christmas Trees” used at drag strips to stage the launch of race cars.

A real drag strip Christmas Tree.

The “Christmas Tree” at Irwindale Race Track.

tree2

Staging is controlled by two infrared lights that are 2 inches above the track surface.  The Pre-Stage light goes on when the front tire breaks the first infrared light beam.  Next, the Stage light goes on when the car moves 7 inches forward and crosses the second sensor. Then 3 amber lights march down in preparation for the green light that means “GO!”.  If you get on the gas and leave too early; the red light flashes and you are disqualified.

With Mattel’s Matchmaker you lift up the center piece which allows the internal workings to reset and cascade down marking out 3 amber lights followed by a green light.  If you jump the gun, a red light shows up in place of the green light signifying a false start and you are eliminated.  Amazingly, this is an all mechanical device that uses no electricity or batteries.

Here are the instructions.  Click on any pic to see a larger image.

Instructions - Front page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Front page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions - Safe Driving Rules. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Safe Driving Rules. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions - step 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Step 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions - Steps 2 & 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Steps 2 & 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions - Steps 4 & 5. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instructions – Steps 4 & 5. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Today I am running a drag set that starts with the Big Belter & Matchmaker.  It has 32 feet of orange track, 14 joiners and 1 finish gate.

track

Here is today’s 4 car set for racing.  These are original redlines.

l to r: 1971 Six Shooter, 1970 Swingin' Wing, 1970 Mighty Maverick and 1969 Twinmill.

l to r: 1971 Six Shooter, 1970 Swingin’ Wing, 1970 Mighty Maverick and 1969 Twinmill.

Here’s a blast down the track.

Swingin' Wing in Lane 1 and Six Shooter in Lane 2.

Swingin’ Wing in Lane 1 and Six Shooter in Lane 2.

Waiting for the green light.

Waiting for the green light.

GOOOooo!  Screaming down the track.

GOOOooo! Screaming down the track.

ZOOOooommm!

ZOOOooommm!

Stretching to the finish.

Stretching to the finish.

Across the line.

Across the line.

How did the cars do on the drag strip?  Check out my YouTube video.

So there you have it.  The 1971 Hot Wheels Big Belter and Matchmaker drag set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

Close up box art - front.

Close up box art – front.