Every car owner knows that regular maintenance and periodic repairs are an integral part of keeping your vehicle on the road. However, for kids, the mindset is more one of running your toy car into the ground and then getting a new one. But in 1970 Mattel took a different approach by letting the young enthusiast work on his car to keep it running “faster than ever”!
The Tune-Up Tower provided the back bone for Hot Wheels maintenance. The Road Trials Set planted the tower inside an oval track powered by a single-lane Rod Runner.
Box art – side.
That meant you could bring a slower running car in for an evaluation and adjustment, then send it out on the track for a “trial” run to see if it moved faster.
This time around I am working with 3 open wheel redline cars that Mattel released in 1969.
Indy Eagle on the left and 2 Lotus Turbines on the right.
All 3 of these machines ran in the 1968 Indy 500.
1968 Indy 500 starting grid.
Dan Gurney piloted the #48 Indy Eagle.
He drove a spectacular race and finished second behind race winner Bobby Unser.
Joe Leonard grabbed the pole position in his #60 Lotus Turbine.
He was leading the race with only 9 laps to go when a fuel shaft broke and put him out of competition. He finished 12th for the day.
Every Hot Wheels Lotus Turbine car came with a #70 sticker sheet. The original #70 Lotus Turbine was driven by Graham Hill.
Hill won the Indy 500 in 1966 but finished 19th during the ’68 race.
Here’s some pictures of the Road Trials Set in action and a YouTube video to bring it all to life.
Another view of the layout.
Open wheel Hot Wheels parked on the 2nd floor.
Two F1 Racers parked on the 1st floor.
Lotus turbine heading up the elevator.
Purple Lotus Turbine on the Dyno-Meter treadmill.
Indy Eagle on the hoist. Tune-Up Wrench at the ready.
Lotus turbine getting a full suspension work over.
Indy Eagle on the 3rd floor ramp. Getting ready for a track run.
F1 Racer running through the lane merger and onto the race course.
Heading into the Rod Runner.
Blasting out of the Rod Runner.
Racing past the Tune-Up Tower on a fast lap.
So there you have it. The 1970 Hot Wheels Road Trials Set with Tune-up Tower and Rod Runner. Making Hot Wheels still fast. Still fun.