The 1970 Hot Wheels Rod Runner Speedway Set lets you run “lap after lap” action on an oval using a single-lane rod runner. To take things one step further, Mattel added a Tune-Up Tower and produced the Hot Wheels Road Trials Set.
This set includes 12 1/2 feet of orange track, 8 joiners, 2 full curves, 1 lane merger, 1 single-lane rod runner and 1 tune-up tower with 1 wheel wrench.
The Tune-Up Tower is a 3 level structure with parking on the first 2 levels and a Dyno-Meter on the top floor. This rolling treadmill is activated by a white switch on the tower roof. The Dyno-Meter measures spinning wheel resistence and wheel alignment. If a wheel is bent to the left then the car drifts to the left. It makes sense that a car pushing into the sidewall of the track will encounter greater friction and run slower.
A wheel wrench is provided that allows you to bend the axle so that tire alignment is more true.
The result should be a faster car. Mattel lets you “Road Trial” your mechanical fix by supplying an orange ramp off the top level for access to the track oval below which is powered by a single-lane rod runner.
If the car’s performance is still off you can bring it back in for another “tune-up”. If it runs fast and straight you can come in and park or stay out and “race ’em nonstop!”.
The Tune-Up Tower also has an elevator operated by a second white switch that will take your car to any of the 3 levels.
Here’s a 1970 TV ad from Mattel demonstrating the Road Trials Set. Courtesy Mark Roach.
So there you have it. The 1970 Hot Wheels Road Trials Set with Tune-Up Tower and single-lane Rod Runner.
It’s still fast. Still fun.