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.

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1971 Hot Wheels RRRumblers Mean Mountain – Part 3

Part 3 of the 1971 Hot Wheels RRRumblers Mean Mountain.  Time to go racing!

MM3

This set comes with 24 feet of orange track, 10 joiners, 1 Big Belter, 1 Matchmaker and 1 Mean Mountain.

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Here’s a run through the mountain course.

On the Big Belter start.

On the Big Belter start.

Charging out of the Big Belter and down the track.

Charging out of the Big Belter and down the track.

Starting the mountain climb.

Starting the mountain climb.

Looking over the top.

Looking over the top.

Here's the merger squeeze!

Here’s the merger squeeze!

Rubbin' tires.

Rubbin’ tires.

Round the corner. The yellow 1972 Roamin' Candle has this race!

Round the corner. The yellow 1972 Roamin’ Candle has this race!

Heading out of the Mean Mountain.

Heading out of the Mean Mountain.

Full power descent!

Full power descent!

Cruisin' back.

Cruisin’ back.

End of the line. Back to the starting area.

End of the line. Back to the starting area.

Take a look at the video of a 4 bike set racing the Mean Mountain.

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels RRRumblers Mean Mountain.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

1971 Hot Wheels RRRumblers Mean Mountain – Part 1

The big RRRumblers set for 1971 is the Mean Mountain.  The picture on the box is a classic image of motorcycle hill climbing in Southern California during the early ’70s.

US set with box window revealing the 2 contained motorcycles. Courtesy eBay.

US set with box window revealing the 2 contained motorcycles. Courtesy eBay.

Canadian set has no vehicle window.

Canadian set has no vehicle window.

This set includes 24 feet of orange track, 10 joiners, 1 Big Belter & Matchmaker, and 1 Mean Mountain.  The box art on the back shows that you can make the hill climb as high as you want depending on the table you are using.

Box art - back. US version.

Box art – back. US version. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Canadian version.

Box art – back. Canadian version.

Contents list on back of box.

Contents list on back of box.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

Box art - other end. Canadian version in French.

Box art – side. Canadian version in French.

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Box art – side in color.

Box art - side. Close-up.

Box art – side. Close-up.

Box art - side. Close-up.

Box art – side. Close-up.

Box art - side. Close-up.

Box art – side. Close-up.

Box art - side. Close-up.

Box art – side. Close-up.

Box art - side. Close-up.

Box art – side. Close-up.

Box art - side. Motorcycle list.

Box art – side. Motorcycle list.

Box art - side. Motorcycle list.

Box art – side. Motorcycle list.

Out of the box, this is the Mean Mountain.

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View from the top.

View from the top.

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And here’s an introduction video about the Mean Mountain.

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels RRRumblers Mean Mountain. Part 1 – an introduction.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Mean Mountain box from Japan - front. Courtesy eBay.

Mean Mountain box from Japan – front. Courtesy eBay.

Mean Mountain box from Japan - back. Courtesy eBay.

Mean Mountain box from Japan – back. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Japanese Collectors' Catalogue. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Japanese Collectors’ Catalogue. 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.

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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.

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

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

The finish gate is automated.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.