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.

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.

1971 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Danger-Changer Drag Set

The 1971 Danger-Changer 2-Pak allowed kids to build all sorts of great tracks.  One of the tracks pictured on the back of the box (the center one) shows a Dual-Lane Rod Runner powering a drag strip with 2 Danger-Changers in the set.

RRDC 1

To build this track I am using 32 feet of orange track, 10 jointers, 1 dual-lane Rod Runner with fair start T-bar, 2 Danger-Changers and 1 finish gate.

RRDC 3

For today’s drag racing here are the cars that I’ll run.  “On Fire” is the theme.

L to R: '11 Corvette Grand Sport (Fire Dept.), '11 Dodge Charger R/T (Fire Dept.), 1973 Firebird Trans-Am and 1971 Plymouth Road Runner.

L to R: ’11 Corvette Grand Sport (Fire Dept.), ’11 Dodge Charger R/T (Fire Dept.), 1973 Firebird Trans-Am( with blue and white flames) and 1971 Plymouth Road Runner (Heat Fleet).

Let’s take in a race.

At the start.

At the start.

Flying out of the Rod Runner.

Flying out of the Rod Runner.

Racing down the straightaway.

Racing down the straightaway.

Into the first Danger-Changer.

Into the first Danger-Changer.

Zipping into the second Danger-Changer.

Zipping through the second Danger-Changer.

Stretching to the finish.

Stretching to the finish.

Race Rules: In the event of a crash, the winning car is the one that lies closest to the finish gate.

See who wins the 4 car competition at my YouTube site: Smackeral Cafe.

So there you have it.  Take a dual-lane Rod Runner, add a Danger-Changer 2-Pak and build the 1971 Hot Wheels Dual-Lane Rod Runner Danger-Changer Drag Set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

1971 Hot Wheels “Gone In 8 Seconds” Set

In 1974, H.B. Halicki produced a car movie called “Gone In 60 Seconds”.  It’s become a cult classic.  The film centers on a group of guys stealing 48 high-end automobiles for a $400,000 fee.  Each car has to be entered, fired up, put into gear and stolen within 60 seconds. The featured car of the movie is a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 code named Eleanor.

8 sec4

DVD release image for the 1974 movie “Gone in 60 seconds”.

The year 2000 brought a remake of this movie starring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie. Same set up as before.  This time Cage is trying to steal 50 cars in 72 hours in order to set his younger brother free from the mob.  The star car (Eleanor) in this movie is a customized 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback.

8 sec6

From the 2000 movie “Gone in 60 seconds”.

Both movies climax with a high adrenaline police chase of the Mustangs.  In keeping with this theme, I am setting up a special police chase track called “Gone in 8 Seconds”.  Track components include 28 feet of orange track, 8 joiners, two 180 degree dual-lane curves, 1 dual-lane Rod Runner and 2 Danger-Changers.  Here’s the oval layout.

8 sec track

Why “Gone In 8 Seconds”?  That how long it takes to grab a car, put it on the track, set the Rod Runner and launch the vehicle for a full lap on this course.

This is very much a high speed track.  So I am running a teal 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake and a blue C6 Corvette police car.

8 sec cars

This track is like the Hot Wheels Great Getaway Set of 1971 but using a second Danger-Changer keeps the cars in their own lanes when they hit the dual-lane Rod Runner.  That way, when you crank up the dial for one car, only that car gets that power boost lap after lap.  The trouble with the Great Getaway Set and it’s single Danger-Changer is the cars keep crossing lanes through the Rod Runner.  Managing power settings for a given car is difficult.

Once the cars are rolling, if the police car can hit the speeding Shelby in a Danger-Changer section then justice is served.  But if the Shelby can avoid the police for 20 laps then the Shelby makes a clean getaway and is long gone.

Here’s what a lap looks like.

8 sec7

Firing out of the Rod Runner. The chase is on.

Screaming around the first curve.

Screaming around the first curve.

Into the first Danger-Changer.

Into the first Danger-Changer.

Crossing through the second Danger-Changer.

Crossing through the second Danger-Changer.

Hot pursuit to the second curve.

Hot pursuit to the second curve.

Rushing through the second curve.

Rushing through the second curve.

Closer, closer.

Closer, closer.

Justice delivered on the next lap?

Justice delivered on the next lap?

See what happens.  Here’s my YouTube video of this police chase.

So there you have it.  Take a Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set, add a Danger-Changer 2-Pak and make your own 1971 “Gone in 8 Seconds” track special.

It’s still fast. Still fun.

8 sec2

From the 2000 movie “Gone In 60 seconds”.

From the 2000 movie "Gone In 60 Seconds".

From the 2000 movie “Gone In 60 Seconds”.

8 sec5

From the 2000 movie “Gone In 60 seconds”.

8 sec3

From the 2000 movie “Gone In 60 seconds”.

1971 Hot Wheels Great Getaway Set

The 1971 Great Getaway Set was only released in Canada.  It comes with 2 cars: a Paddy Wagon and a Demon.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

The idea behind this set is to have the Paddy Wagon police car hide behind a billboard. When the offending car speeds through the stop sign, the Paddy Wagon is released down a ramp in “hot pursuit”.  Now it’s a “lap after lap” chase, powered by a dual-lane Rod Runner. Swift justice is brought to bear when the Paddy Wagon catches up to the speeding car in the Danger-Changer criss cross  and produces a track clearing crash.  On the other hand, if the Demon out maneuvers the Paddy Wagon and no collision occurs, then the Demon makes a clean getaway.

Box art - side. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – side. Courtesy eBay.

Track components include 21 feet of orange track, 5 joiners, two 180 degree dual-lane curves,1 dual-lane Rod Runner, 1 Danger-Changer and 1 billboard with ramp and stop sign.

The Paddy Wagon has a special roof design so it doesn’t get hung up in the Rod Runner.

Paddy Wagon from the Great Getaway Set. Courtesy eBay.

Paddy Wagon from the Great Getaway Set. Courtesy eBay.

Original 1970 Paddy Wagon with high roofline that gets caught in a Rod Runner. Courtesy www.toycarcollector.com

Original 1970 Paddy Wagon with high roofline that gets caught in a Rod Runner. Courtesy http://www.toycarcollector.com

The 1970 Demon. Courtesy www.toycarcollector.com

The 1970 Demon. Courtesy http://www.toycarcollector.com

For my demonstration I am making this as easy as possible.  A working “billboard and police ramp with stop sign” is impossibly hard to find.  So I am going to skip it and put the law breaking car on the track first, set it off and then add in the police car on the subsequent lap.

Here’s my track set up.

Oval layout with the Danger-Changer on the back stretch.

Oval layout with the Danger-Changer on the back stretch.

My breaking-the-speed-limit car is a white 1968 Shelby GT500 and the chase car is a black 2010 Ford Mustang GT sheriff’s vehicle.

GG2

The 2010 Mustang gets 20 laps to dispense justice by hitting the 1968 Shelby.  If there is no contact, then the Shelby makes a Great Getaway

Here’s a track lap.

Fired out of the dual-lane Rod Runner: the chase is on.

Fired out of the dual-lane Rod Runner: the chase is on.

Hard tilt into the first curve.

Hard tilt into the first curve.

Into the Danger-Changer.

Into the Danger-Changer.

This'll be close!

This’ll be close!

The chase goes on.

The chase goes on.

Banking into the second curve.

Banking into the second curve.

GG10

Cornering hard.

Into the Rod Runner for another lap.

Into the Rod Runner for another lap.

Here’s how the chase plays out on my YouTube channel.

So there you have it.  The 1971 Hot Wheels Great Getaway Set.

It’s still fast.  Still fun.

Box art - front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – front. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – back. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - sides. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – sides. Courtesy eBay.

Box art - end. Courtesy eBay.

Box art – end. Courtesy eBay.

1970 Summary and extra pics

In 1970 Mattel hit full stride with the Hot Wheels main line.  You got to see:

Super-Chargers

Super-Charger

Single-Lane Rod Runners

Rod Runner

Dual-Lane Rod Runners

DLRR

Single-Lane Speedometers

Speedometer

Dual-Lane Speedometers

Dual-lane Speedometer

Drag ‘Chutes

Drag 'Chutes

Tune-Up Towers

Tune-Up Tower

Sky Show airplanes

Sky Show

and mountain race tracks.

HH

The 1970 track set list includes:

1. Speed Test Set

2. Super-Charger Speed Test Set.

3. Super Speed Action Set.

4. Drag ‘Chute Stunt Set.

5. Mongoose & Snake Drag Race Set.

6. Twin ‘Chute Action Set (UK).

7. Rod Runner Speedway Set.

8. Dual-Lane Rod Runner Race Set.

9. Dual-Lane Rod Runner Drag Set.

10. Road Trials Set.

11. Hi-Performance Set.

12. Hazard Hill Race Set.

13. Sky Show set.

Here’s my YouTube summary of the 1970 Hot Wheels sets.

And then there is the first year run of Sizzlers: The Fastest Electric Cars in the World!

There were both single lane sets:

IMG_4361

And dual-lane sets:

DLSizzlers

1. Laguna Oval Set.

2. Atlantic Oval Set.

3. Newport Pacer Set.

4. U.S./8 Race Set.

5. California/8 Race Set.

6. Pacific/8 Race Set.

7. Dare-Devil Duel Set.

8. National Champ Race Set.

This is my YouTube video of the 1970 Sizzlers track sets.

1970…what a year!

All about fast. All about fun.

1970 tracks from Mattel's Hot Wheels Racing World magazine. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

1970 tracks from Mattel’s Hot Wheels Racing World magazine. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Large scale track set up from Mattel's Hot Wheels Racing World magazine. Copyright Mattel, Inc.

Large scale track set up from Mattel’s Hot Wheels Racing World magazine. Copyright Mattel, Inc.