1970 Hot Wheels Road Trials Set: in action

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.

Dan Gurney in the #48 Indy Eagle. Courtesy http://openwheel33.com/paint-schemes/1968-paint-schemes/

He drove a spectacular race and finished second behind race winner Bobby Unser.

Joe Leonard grabbed the pole position in his #60 Lotus Turbine.

Joe Leonard and the #60 Lotus Turbine. Courtesy http://openwheel33.com/paint-schemes/1968-paint-schemes/

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.

Gr.ham Hill and the #70 Lotus Turbine. Courtesy http://openwheel33.com/paint-schemes/1968-paint-schemes/

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.

Track layout.

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.

1970 Hot Wheels Indy 500 Race Set

May 29, 2016 marks the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Logo for the 100th Indy 500.

Logo for the 100th Indy 500.

Adding to this tradition is Hot Wheels. Back in 1970, Mattel issued the Indy Team pak.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back and side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back and side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

It featured a 4 car box set of Hot Wheels’ open wheel cars.

Indy Team 4

Three of these cars ran at Indianapolis including the red Lotus Turbine which almost won the 1968 race (fuel shaft broke on lap 191 while in the lead), an aqua Shelby Turbine which almost won the 1967 race (transmission bearing broke on lap 196 while in the lead) and a light green Indy Eagle. Although Brabham Repcos competed at Indianapolis, the blue F1 model shown here ran in Formula One.

Today I’m going racing, Indy style, with a dual-lane Rod Runner oval track. This layout has 32 feet of orange track, 10 joiners, 1 dual-lane Rod Runner, two 180 degree dual-lane curves, 2 white trestles and a dual-lane lap counter.

Indy parts

IMG_3558

With the dual-lane lap counter we can run 20 lap races.

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For this open wheel race I am running two Winning Formula cars.

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Here’s what happened with this Indy race.

So there you have it. A custom track. The 1970 Hot Wheels Indy Race Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - bottom. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – bottom. Courtesy eBay.

Logo for the 99th running of the Indy 500.

Logo for the 99th running of the Indy 500.

1970 Hot Wheels Speedometer Race Set

Speed!

Box art - front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – front. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

When it comes to speed, supercars and high performance concept cars take center stage.

Today I’m putting 2 supercars and 2 concept cars to the test.

l to r: orange Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept Car, yellow '12 Acura NSX Concept Car, metal flake silver LaFerrari and lime green Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

l to r: orange Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept Car, yellow ’12 Acura NSX Concept Car, metal flake silver LaFerrari and lime green Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

And that test is all about speed. This is a race set where the 1970 dual-lane Speedometer tells us who is the winner.

IMG_3299

There is no finish gate. Whoever slams through the Speedometer with the fastest speed wins.

To generate the highest speed, I’m using a 1970 dual-lane Rod Runner with double rubber bands on each shifter.

IMG_3251

Here’s what happened…

So there you have it. A custom track. The 1970 Hot Wheels Speedometer Race Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Close up. Box art - side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Close up. Box art – side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Close up. Box art - side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Close up. Box art – side. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - end. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – end. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art - back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Box art – back. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1970 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1970 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Basic Drag Set

When I was a kid, although stunting and circuit layouts were important, it was hard to beat straight forward drag racing for fun.

Dual-lane Rod Runner. 1970 Collectors' Catalogue. Copyright Mattel. Inc.

Dual-lane Rod Runner. 1970 Collectors’ Catalogue. Copyright Mattel. Inc.

So, today I am taking a 1970 dual-lane Rod Runner, adding some track and sticking a finish gate at the end. Your basic track.

1970 Dual-lane Rod Runner instructions.

1970 Dual-lane Rod Runner instructions.

And to show this track in action, I’ve got 8 classic muscle cars ready to go.

IMG_3041

l to r: red ’70 AAR ‘Cuda, orange ’68 Barracuda Formula S, yellow ’71 Challenger, green ’69 Coronet Super Bee, light blue ’70 GTO Judge, teal ’69 Cougar Eliminator, purple ’69 Charger 500 and a black ’70 Buick GSX

Here’s a rip down the strip.

Yellow '71 Dodge Challenger vs green '69 Dodge Coronet Super Bee.

Yellow ’71 Dodge Challenger vs green ’69 Dodge Coronet Super Bee.

And...they're off!

And…they’re off!

Blasting down the track.

Blasting down the track.

Almost there....

Almost there….

The Challenger wins. This race is done.

The Challenger wins. This race is done.

Here’s a video of what happened when these 8 muscle cars got on the track.

So there you have it. A custom track. The 1970 Hot Wheels dual-lane Rod Runner Basic Drag Set. It’s still fast. Still fun.

Box art - side.

Box art – side.

1971 Hot Wheels Track Sets Summary

1971 marked an ambitious 4th year for Hot Wheels.  Mattel introduced the Big Belter/Matchmaker, RRRumblers motorcycles and Sizzlers Fat Track.  The big promotions involved more Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwan drag racing plus Ontario Motor Speedway.

For the Hot Wheels mainline there is:

1. The Flyin’ Circus Set.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

2. The Great Getaway.  A limited production chase set sold only in Canada.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

3. The Ontario Trio with oval layout, drag strip and figure – 8 course.

Ontario Trio box art - front.

Ontario Trio box art – front.

4. The Danger-Changer 2-Pak deserves special mention because it did not show up on any sets in 1971 (with the sole exception of a single Danger-Changer in the Great Getaway set).

DC0

With Danger-Changers sitting in the track, the potential for a collision will always grab a kid’s attention.

5. The Mongoose & Snake Drag Set from the United Kingdom (Funny Cars).

UK box and contents. Courtesy eBay.

UK box and contents. Courtesy eBay.

6. The Mongoose & Snake Wild Wheelie Set (Rail Dragsters).

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

7. The Big Belter/Matchmaker & Victory Pak accessory paks let you make the same track as The Wild Wheelie Set.

BBM1

Victory Pak.

Victory Pak.

Here’s a video summary of the 1971 Hot Wheels mainline track sets.

The brand new RRRumblers motorcycles run on 5 tracks.

1. The Big Belter/Matchmaker & Victory Pak combo.

track

2. The Stunt Rider Set

1971 Stunt Rider Set - 01

3. The Daring Duo Set from the United Kingdom.

DD8

4. The Dizzy-Dare Set.

Box art - front. Canadian version.

Box art – front. Canadian version.

5. The Mean Mountain.

MM3

Here’s another video summary.  This time for the RRRumblers motorcycles.

And finally we have the 1971 Sizzlers Sets; 2 orange track sets and 3 Fat Track Sets. With 3 cars wide passing available on Fat Track, racing doesn’t get much wilder than this. Ontario Motor Speedway (OMS) played a prominent part in the first year of Fat Track.

Sizzlers sets include:

1. The High-Winder Set.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

2. The Pursuit Set – United Kingdom.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

3. The Big “O” Race Set (Fat Track). A nickname for OMS.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

2. The California 500 Race Set (Fat Track). The main open wheel event at OMS.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

3. The Super Circuit Race Set (Fat Track). This is Mattel’s biggest Hot Wheels set for 1971.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

This is a summary video of the 1971 Sizzlers track sets:

So there you have it. A summary of all the 1971 Hot Wheels track sets; including cars, RRRumblers and Sizzlers.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

 

1971 Hot Wheels Zig-Zag-Boom Drag Set

Here’s a custom Hot Wheels drag strip with 4 lane changes.  The first 2 lane changes involve Crossover pieces.  So the cars zig; then they zag.  The second 2 lane changes involve Danger-Changers.  Hence the “Boom” part of the name.

It’s going to take some power to get through this much side to side action.  So I’m starting things off with a dual-lane Rod Runner and fair start T-bar.  Add in 32 feet of orange track, 6 joiners, 2 Crossovers, 2 Danger-Changers plus 1 finish gate and away we go.

ZZB

Here’s the layout.

The start.

The start.

The crossovers.

The crossovers.

And the Danger-Changers plus finish gate.

And the Danger-Changers plus finish gate.

I’m using 4 cars that’ll have to be fast to get through this furious raceway.

l to r: 1971 Mustang Boss 351, 1970 Road Runner, 1969 Corvette and 1971 Charger.

l to r: 1971 Mustang Boss 351, 1970 Road Runner, 1969 Corvette and 1971 Charger.

Here’s a run down the track.

Ready at the start.

Ready at the start.

Racing out of the Rod Runner.

Racing out of the Rod Runner.

Into the first crossover. Here comes the Zig!

Into the first crossover. Here comes the Zig!

Out of the first crossover.

Out of the first crossover.

Zagging through the second crossover.

Zagging through the second crossover.

Into the first Danger-Changer.

Into the first Danger-Changer.

Cutting it close in the second Danger-Changer.

Cutting it close in the second Danger-Changer.

Stretching to the finish.

Stretching to the finish.

My YouTube video shows you how these drag races played out.

So there you have it.  A custom track.

The 1971 Hot Wheels Zig-Zag-Boom Drag Set.

It’s still fast. Still fun.