1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio – Figure 8

Ontario Motor Speedway was a multipurpose track that featured a 2.5 mile oval, a 1/4 mile drag strip and a road course.  The road course had four configurations that would allow for distances of 2.7, 2.94, 2.98  and 3.2 miles.

OMSmap

The road course was used by:

the Sports Car Club of America.

the Sports Car Club of America.

the Questor Grand Prix

the Questor Grand Prix

and motorcycle racing

and the Champion Spark Plugs motorcycle races.

The Ontario Trio Set has a road course layout that contains 32 feet of orange track, 8 joiners, two 200 degree dual-lane curves, 2 dual-lane crossovers, and 1 dual-lane Rod Runner with fair start T-bar.

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This is the assembled figure 8 layout.

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Here’s a lap around the course with a yellow Corvette Grand Sport and a blue 2007 Shelby GT 500, both with Faster Than Ever type 1 wheels.

Launching out of the Rod Runner.

Launching out of the Rod Runner.

Rushing into the underpass of the dual-lane Crossover.

Rushing into the underpass of the dual-lane Crossover.

Charging out of the dual-lane Crossover.

Charging out of the dual-lane Crossover.

Hard bank into the first dual-lane curve.

Hard bank into the first dual-lane curve.

Up and over the dual-lane Crossover.

Up and over the dual-lane Crossover.

Crossing past the finish line.

Crossing past the finish line.

Running hard into the second dual-lane curve.

Running hard into the second dual-lane curve.

Coming back to the Rod Runner for another lap.

Coming back to the Rod Runner for another lap.

To see how the Corvette Grand Sport faired against the 2007 Shelby GT 500 in a 30 lap road course race, check out my YouTube video.

 

So there you have it.

The 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio Set in Figure 8 configuration.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - side. The figure 8.

Box art – side. The figure 8.

Box art - back. Figure 8 layout.

Box art – back. Figure 8 layout.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio – Drag Set

Image

Drag racing in southern California reached a new pinnacle on November 21-22, 1970 at Ontario Motor Speedway with the first Supernationals.  The lead sponsor for this event was Mattel’s Hot Wheels.

Official sheet for the first Supernationals.

Official magazine for the first Supernationals.

The event was chock full of great cars and dedicated racers.  Here’s a few pictures at the Starting Tower area of funny cars and pro stockers in action.

OMSdrag1

Courtesy Mopar Muscle Magazine.

OMSdrag2

Courtesy Quarter Milestones Photography.

OMSdrag5

Courtesy Quarter Milestones Photography.

OMSdrag4

Courtesy Mopar Muscle Magazine.

The 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio set has a drag strip setup.  This is the longest drag race track that Mattel every made for the Hot Wheels line up.  Both lanes measure 20 feet long (including the 2 foot long crossover pieces).

Track components include: 32 feet of orange track, 10 joiners, 1 dual-lane Rod Runner with fair start T-bar, 2 crossovers and 1 finish gate.

This is my 4 car race set:

l to r: 1970 AAR 'Cuda, 1970 Buick GSX, 1971 Olds 442 and 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport.

l to r: 1970 AAR ‘Cuda, 1970 Buick GSX, 1971 Olds 442 and 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport.

Here’s a race down the strip.

Gran Torino and 'Cuda at the start.

Gran Torino and ‘Cuda at the start.

Wheelies out of the Rod Runner.

Wheelies out of the Rod Runner.

Blasting down the straightaway.

Blasting down the straightaway.

Into the first crossover.

Into the first crossover.

Shooting out of the first crossover.

Shooting out of the first crossover.

Hitting the second crossover.

Hitting the second crossover.

Stretching to the finish.

Stretching to the finish.

Almooost thereee!

Almooost thereee!

Here’s my video of a day at the Ontario Trio drag strip.

 

 

So there you have it.

The 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio drag strip.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - side. The drag strip.

Box art – side. The drag strip.

Box art - back. Drag strip layout.

Box art – back. Drag strip layout.

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1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio – Oval

Ontario Motor Speedway ran the inaugural, open wheel California 500 race on September 6, 1970.

Cal500 poster

A huge crowd of 180,000 saw Jim McElrearth take home the victory with the #14 Coyote.

Jim McElreath and his #14 car in the winner circle at Ontario Motor Speedway.

Jim McElreath and his #14 car in the winner circle at Ontario Motor Speedway.

The 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio set pays homage to this track.  The oval layout consists of 32 feet of orange track, 8 joiners, 1 dual-lane Rod Runner with fair start T-bar, two 180 degree dual-lane curves and 2 crossovers.

OT1

Today’s race features a purple 2011 Indy car against a teal F1 Racer.

left to right: 2011 Indy Car vs teal F1 Racer.

left to right: 2011 Indy Car vs teal F1 Racer.

Here’s a lap around the oval.

At the start.

At the start.

The Rod Runner launch.

The Rod Runner launch.

Flying into the first crossover.

Flying into the first crossover.

Screaming out of the first crossover.

Screaming out of the first crossover.

Hard tilt into the first dual-lane curve.

Hard tilt into the first dual-lane curve.

Down the back stretch.

Down the back stretch.

Into the second crossover.

Into the second crossover.

Out of the second crossover.

Out of the second crossover.

Racing into the second dual-lane curve.

Racing into the second dual-lane curve.

Blasting out of the second dual-lane curve.

Blasting out of the second dual-lane curve.

Heading back to the dual-lane Rod Runner.

Heading back to the dual-lane Rod Runner.

Here’s how the 30 lap race turned out.

 

So there you have it. The 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio oval layout.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - side. The Oval.

Box art – side. The Oval.

Box art - back. Oval layout.

Box art – back. Oval layout.

Box art - side.

Box art – side.

1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio – Oval Time Trials

Pole position was originally a horse racing term, where the fastest qualifying horse would be placed on the inside part of the course, next to the pole.

In motorsports, pole position refers to the front spot in the starting lineup grid.  It’s a prestige spot that offers the fastest and cleanest start to a race.

During Ontario Motor Speedway (OMS) time trials, the pole position for Indy cars was awarded to the fastest 4-lap-average achieved around the 2.5 mile oval.

Ariel view of OMS.

Ariel view of OMS.

Leading up to the 1972 California 500 at OMS, Jerry Grant made Indy car history by becoming the first driver to qualify for a race at more than 200 mph.

Jerry Grant at OMS.

Jerry Grant at OMS.

Today I’m running time trials for 6 open wheel cars on the Ontario Trio Oval track.  The 2 quickest times will advance to my next event: the Ontario Trio Oval race.  Here’s the 6 cars ready to go.

From l to r: white 2011 Indy car, teal F1 Racer, red, white & blue F Racer, purple 2011 Indy car, blue Thunderstreak and red F1 Racer.

From left to right: white 2011 Indy car, teal F1 Racer, red white & blue F Racer, purple 2011 Indy car, blue Thunderstreak and red F1 Racer.

And here’s how the 6 cars faired.

So there you have it.  The 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio – Oval time trials.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

Time trials poster for Indy cars. Courtesy eBay.

Time trials poster for Indy cars. Courtesy eBay.

1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio – Instructions

The 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio instructions don’t show up very often on eBay.  So here’s all the steps from 1 through 7.   You can click on any picture to bring up a larger image.

Front page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Front page. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Step 1.

Step 1.

Step 2.

Step 2.

Steps 3, 4 and 5.

Steps 3, 4 and 5.

Step 6.

Step 6.

Step 7.

Step 7.

Tips and contents.

Tips and contents.

Nothing left to do now but……Go Racing!  It’s still fast.  Still fun.

1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio Set

This set, the Ontario Trio, is what got me started on writing this blog.  When I was a kid I lived in, what could comfortably be called, the middle of nowhere.  A little farming community of 800 souls taking up a tiny piece of the vast Canadian prairies.

When Hot Wheels came on the scene in 1968 there were no stores in my town that carried them.  Only when the family ventured to the nearby town of 3,000 people did I get to see these little cars and some of their accessory paks.  But for the big track sets, it was only the rare trip to the big city, 1 hour away, that gave me a chance to see them.

My Hot Wheels buddies were in the same boat.  We had a loose idea of what was going on through Saturday morning TV commercials and comic book ads.  And we got more specific ideas from Mattel’s collectors’ catalogues.  But the only time I ever saw something about the 1971 Ontario Trio Set was a preview on page 30 of the 1970 Hot Wheels Racing World Magazine.

And what caught my eye was the real car on a real track.

OMS6

I was aware that Ontario Motor Speedway existed in southern California through broadcasts of racing events on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.  So this page made me think of the actual track and not a Hot Wheels Race Set.

The bottom section of the page that talks about the Hot Wheels Ontario Trio Set doesn’t show pictures of the dual-lane Rod Runner nor the dual-lane curves.  It was more like looking at an ad for the upcoming Crossover Pak.

OMS7

It did not help that Mattel’s TV track ads for 1971 were abysmal compared to the stellar TV track ads of 1968/69/70.  The only 1971 track ad that I saw showed 2 cars running on a side by side track with no start gate and no finish gate.

Since neither I nor any of my friends ever saw a Hot Wheels Ontario Trio Set, we had no experience with it.  Even recently, as an adult, when I would see “Ontario Trio” in a 1971 track set list, I couldn’t visualize what it looked like.  My early searches on eBay netted nothing.  And a general search on the entire World Wide Web came back with hardly anything.

It was only when I got to an auction site called Worthpoint that I saw a small picture of the Ontario Trio box.  It was then and there that I finally realized this was a real Hot Wheels track set.

Complete Ontario Trio sets with all the track and instructions are still hard to come by.  I had to build my Ontario Trio set by putting 4 or 5 separate eBay auctions together. Interestingly, I was the only person bidding on some of these items.  But that made sense because few people know what this set is about and how it works.

Here’s some box pictures of the Ontario Trio Set.

Ontario Trio box art - front.

Ontario Trio box art – front.

Box art - side.

Box art – side.

Box art - side. The Oval.

Box art – side. The Oval. A pink Mighty Maverick and a green Olds 442.

Box art - side. The figure 8.

Box art – side. The Figure 8.

Box art - side. The drag strip.

Box art – side. The Drag Strip.

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

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

Box art - back.

Box art – back.

Box art - back. Figure 8 layout.

Box art – back. Figure 8 layout.

Box art - back. Oval layout.

Box art – back. Oval layout.

Box art - back. Drag strip layout.

Box art – back. Drag strip layout.

Back - contents.

Back – contents. There is actually 32 feet of Hot Strip track in this set.

Back - Ontario Motor Speedway authorization.

Back – Ontario Motor Speedway authorization and description.

Back - note.

Back – license note.

Box art - end.

Box art – end.

My plan is to set up 3 more blogs and 3 YouTube videos of the Ontario Trio Set in action.

First, the oval which symbolizes Indy Car’s California 500 and Nascar’s Miller High Life 500.

The first California 500.

The first California 500. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/ontario.html.

The first Miller High Life 500.

The first Miller High Life 500. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/ontario.html.

Second, the drag strip which harkens back to the NHRA SuperNationals.

OMS3

The first SuperNationals. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/ontario.html.

And third, the figure-8 which show cases Ontario’s inner race track that was used for Questor’s Grand Prix and Sports Car Club of America events.

The first Questor Grand Prix.

The first Questor Grand Prix. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/ontario.html.

The first SCCA event.

The first SCCA event. Courtesy http://www.progcovers.com/motor/ontario.html.

When finished, we’ll all know exactly what a running 1971 Hot Wheels Ontario Trio set is all about.  And it is still fast.  Still fun.