My Hot Wheels Track & Superchargers Story

A Hot Wheels Ferrari GTB/4

A Hot Wheels Ferrari GTB/4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week on The Collectors Show ( we talked about Hot Wheels with record-setting Hot Wheels collectors Mike Zarnock. It reminded me of when I had Hot Wheels and one of the challenges I faced that causes me to wonder even now.

In those days, you could buy tracks to race your cars. Only there were two tracks that each came with a lap counter. The cars were not powered but were spun around the track by “super-chargers”. The super-chargers were battery-powered devices with pairs of spinning sponges on the inside. The sponges grabbed the car and propelled it around the track. In theory this was a good idea, except that I could never get my track put together so that there were two equal ovals. The other problem was that a single “super-charger” did not have the horsepower to drive a car all the way around the track. I spent hours trying to get the layout so that this would work. After all, the TV commercial made it look pretty easy and fun. There was no reason for me not to be able to reproduce the same scene on the floor of my parents’ house?
Since that never worked I ended up using most of the track in a single oval and both super-chargers on the same single track as well. It wasn’t as cool or competitive as the TV commercial, but it was still fun. There were also drag race strips you could race side by side.

I’d set up track to go down the length of our hallway. It was fun, but I never really got over the disappointment of the “super-charger” thing.
I actually asked Mike about this during the interview, but he could not answer it either. He was probably too nice to tell me what a dumb kid I was and how incredibly easy setting this up was.


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