1970 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Drag Set

In a prior post, about the 1970 Super Speed Action Set, we saw that the single-lane rod runner clocked the highest car speeds of the three single-lane speed sets produced that year.  Now we are going to look at a set that, basically, puts 2 Super Speed Action Sets together and creates a drag set.  But this time, not only are the cars launched at high speed, they are also brought back down to a stop with drag ‘chutes.  It’s like those real world auto tests that show how quickly high performance cars can race from 0 to 100 mph and then brake hard all the way back down to 0 again.

This set is the 1970 Dual-Lane Rod Runner Drag Set.

Dual-Lane Rod Runner box art – front.

It comes with 28 feet of orange track, 10 joiners, 1 dual-lane rod runner with 1 “fair start” T-bar, 1 dual-lane speedometer, 1 finish gate, 2 ‘chute traps, and 4 drag ‘chutes.

Here’s the instructions:

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Track layout. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Track layout. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Set contents close-up. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Set contents close-up. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

This may well be the busiest track set that Mattel ever made for Hot Wheels.  Just to get ready for a race you have to load the drag ‘chutes, set the finish gate flag, adjust the speedometer, cock the rod runner handles down to start position, and place 2 cars on the track in the cradle of the “fair start” push bar.

The race, itself, is totally high speed.  Getting a smooth, even start with the push bar takes a bit of concentration.  In the moment it takes to satisfy yourself with the start, the cars have already gone through the speedometer.  Before you can even look at the dials, the cars have flashed through the finish gate.  And before you realize who won, the ‘chutes have popped and the cars are slowing down.  You almost need a mental “instant replay” to appreciate the recorded speeds and who won the race.

Set up time, the actual race and post race evaluation takes a couple of minutes for just one person to do.  And then you have to do it all over again for the next race.

If you look at Mattel’s original 1970 TV ad for this set you will notice that there are 3 kids playing at the same time.  I have come to realize that there is a lot of merit to having a bunch of people help you run this drag set.

Also, close-up shots of the cars in the TV ad are presented only in slow motion (which still looks fast).  Even then, the speedometer section requires 3 repeating views from different angles for the action to be grasped.  This set is what fast is all about.

Here’s Mattel’s original 1970 video courtesy of Mark Roach:

And here’s the 4 cars I’m racing on this drag set today.

L to R: ’67 Pontiac Firebird 400, ’70 Pontiac GTO, ’71 Dodge Charger and ’70 Camaro.

At the starting line.  Waiting for the Rod Runner handles to be shifted down and a push from the T-bar.

Flying out of the Rod Runner and heading for the speedometer.

Hard tilt into the dual-lane speedometer.

Clocking the speeds.

Flat out to the finish.

Winner about to take the flag.

Hitting the ‘chute traps.

Poppin’ the ‘chutes.

Here’s my YouTube video of this set in action.

So there you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Drag Set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. The “short track” version! Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art -front: 1st close up.

Box art – front: 2nd close up.

Box art – front: 3rd close up.

Box art – front: 4th close up.

Box art – back.

Box art – side: full color.

Box art – side: red, black and white.

Box art – end.

A complete Dual-Lane Rod Runner Drag Set with box insert. Courtesy eBay.

The above Drag Set unpackaged. Courtesy eBay.

Sunday Newspaper Comics Section.  Mattel's Hot Wheels Ad for drag racing with the Dual-Lane Rod Runner.  August 30, 1970. Courtesy eBay.

Sunday Newspaper Comics Section. Mattel’s Hot Wheels Ad for drag racing with the Dual-Lane Rod Runner. August 30, 1970. Courtesy eBay.

Advertisements

1970 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set: Oval Layout

NASCAR defines the race tracks they use as: road courses (a circuit with left and right hand turns), short tracks ( less than 1 mile, all left hand turns), intermediate tracks (between 1 and 2 miles, all left hand turns) and superspeedways (2 miles or longer, all left hand turns).

There are 6 superspeedways: Daytona Beach, Fontana, Indianapolis, Michigan, Pocono and Talladega.

The 1970 Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set can be set up as an oval.  Originally the set supplies 32 feet of orange track.  But, I am going to add 16 more feet (for a total of 48 feet) to produce my own version of a superspeedway.  I’ll also use 20 joiners, 2 – 180 degree dual-lane curves, 2 white trestles 1 dual-lane rod runner and 1 “fair start” T-bar.

Oval layout instructions look like this:

How to assemble 180 degree dual-lane curves. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

The Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set’s basic oval layout. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Here’s the oval layout extended to superspeedway size.

In keeping with the NASCAR theme, I am going to race two 2010 Chevrolet Impala stock cars with Faster Than Ever wheels.

Time for a superspeedway lap.
Ready at the start.

“Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!  Let’s go racing boys!”1

Flying down the front straightaway.

Hitting the high banking of the first 180 degree dual-lane curve.

Thundering down the back stretch.

Into the second curve.

And back to the Rod Runner.

Here’s my YouTube video of a 60 lap superspeedway oval race – NASCAR style.

So there you have it.  The 1970 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set: Oval Layout.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

A nice example of a complete Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set. Courtesy eBay.

A Custom Eldorado and a Custom Corvette included. Courtesy eBay.

Dual-Lane Rod Runner box art- front.

Dual-Lane Rod Runner box art – back.

Dual-Lane Rod Runner box art – end.

Dual-Lane Curve Pak. Courtesy eBay.

Dual-Lane Curve Pak box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Footnote 1. Opening salvo by TV commentator Darrell Waltrip at the thrilling start of all Nascar races.  Apparently the catchphrase arose when Waltrip, as a race car driver, grew tired of hearing “Green, Green, Green” from his spotter or crew chief at the beginning of each race and wanted to hear something different.

1970 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set: Figure 8 Layout

Side by side circuit racing became possible for Hot Wheels in 1970 with the advent of the dual-lane rod runner and dual-lane curves.  The genius in the curves is a little 20 degree centre piece.  When inserted into the curve structure you get 200 total degrees for figure-8 course designs and when left out you get 180 degrees for oval configurations.

The Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set comes with 32 feet of orange track, 14 joiners, 2 white dual-lane trestles, 2 dual-lane curves,1 dual-lane rod runner and 1 “fair start” T-bar.

This is the instruction sheet.

Instruction sheet: page 1. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instruction sheet: page 2. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Instruction sheet: page 3. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Here’s the figure-8 layout.

To make this track work properly I had to flare 2 pairs of orange track ends with steam from a boiling kettle.  I find the wider flare is needed for the track to accommodate the “widish” exit lanes of the dual lane curves.

Wide flares on the orange track as it is being slid onto the dual-lane curves.

And here’s a lap around the track.

Ready to go with the “fair start” T-bar.

Blasting out of the rod runner.

Under the over-pass.

Into the first 200 degree curve.

Up and over the dual-lane trestle.

Round the second 200 degree curve.

And back to the rod runner.

Here’s my YouTube video of a 60 lap race between a Camaro Convertible Concept  and an Infinity G37.

So there you have it.  The 1970 Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set. Figure-8 Layout.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front.

Box art – back.

Box art – side.

Box art – side

An example of an unopened Rod Runner Race Set box. Includes a red Ford Mark IV and an aqua Torero. Courtesy eBay.

An example of an unopened Rod Runner Race Set box. Includes a red Ford Mark IV and an aqua Torero. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – end.

Comic book ad for the Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set. Courtesy eBay.