Powertrack

Powertrack (UK), Speedtrack (US), Turbosprint and Lanechanger are brand names for Matchbox‘s toy slot cars sets. Introduced in the late 1970s, Powertrack and Speedtrack differed from other slot car sets because the cars could be seen in the dark as the cars had headlights. Matchbox’s H0/00 (approx. 1/64) cars were smaller than Scalextric 1/32-scale cars.

In the UK, Powertrack was a less expensive product than Scalextric and traded heavily on the Matchbox brand. With the smaller size, the layouts could be quite complex yet still fit in the typical 8×4 ft board size. Additionally, it did not sit out of place with H0/00 railway sets and Matchbox’s own 75 die-cast range. Peter Kay commented in his autobiography The Sound of Laughter that the Race ‘N’ Chase set he received for Christmas in the late 1970s was the best Christmas present ever.[citation needed]

With the collapse of Lesney/Matchbox in the early eighties, the last official year of production appears to be 1982. Various attempts to buy the Lesney stock and continue selling the products were tried but subsequently died out. Most notably, Proops Brothers, of Tottenham Court Road, London packaged together sets in plain boxes and sold existing sets with various car combinations. Latterly, several vehicles appear from time to time rebranded as ‘Counterlane‘ but these too were short lived.[citation needed]

The sets came with either a 6-volt or an 18-volt power unit. The 18-volt (HVT) cars are extremely quick due to the size and weight and handle well with the aid of a magnet on the underside.[citation needed]

No longer in production, cars and sets can be purchased via eBay with some rarer cars commanding keen[clarification needed] prices, like the red Saab 900 Turbo and the gold, yellow livery Ford Escort. Many of the cars for sale come with poor quality tyres, leaving the cars with no grip. The lack of grip results in the cars just wheel spinning without any forward movement. However, there are replacements available, and it is still possible to buy brand new cars in sealed cartons.[citation needed]

. . . Powertrack . . .

Powertrack sets came in different sets featuring different cars and track type.

In the UK this consisted of:

  • Powertrack PT-1000 – Grand Prix (Launched 1978)

Set comprised: 1 x McLaren F1, 1 x Ferrari F1, 8 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 1 x 9″ 6V Track Terminal, 1 x 9″ Straight, 2 x 6″ Straight. 6V ‘Grandstand’ Battery Box and 2 x Hand Controllers. 8 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheet & Bridge supports.

This is Powertrack’s only UK Battery powered set. The cars do not have headlights. RRP in 1979: £14.99.

  • Powertrack PT-2000 – Monza (Launched 1978)

Set comprised: 1 x Porsche 911, 1 x Chevrolet Corvette, 8 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 1 x 9″ 6V Track Terminal, 1 x 9″ Straight, 2 x 6″ Straight. 6V Mains Transformer and 2 x Hand Controllers. 8 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheet & Bridge supports.

One of the most popular sets Powertrack produced with two of the most ubiquitous cars. RRP in 1979: £19.99.

  • Powertrack PT-3000 – Super Sport (Launched 1978)

Set comprised: 1 x Jaguar XJ Series, 1 x BMW 320i, 9 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 2 x 45 degree 9″ Curve, 1 x 9″ 6V Track Terminal, 5 x 9″ Straight, 2 x 6″ Straight. 6V Mains Transformer and 2 x Hand Controllers. 12 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheets & Bridge supports.

When released, this was a fairly expensive set that was in direct competition with Scalextric. RRP in 1979: £29–99.

  • Powertrack PT-4000 – Le Mans Set (Launched 1978)

Set comprised: 1 x Porsche 936, 1 x Renault Alpine, 11 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 1 x 9″ 6V Track Terminal, 2 x 45 degree 9″ Curve, 11 x 9″ Straight, 2 x 6″ Straight. 6V Mains Transformer and 2 x Hand Controllers. 12 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheet & Bridge supports.

At the time, the track layouts supplied eclipsed most rivals. RRP in 1979: £39–99.

  • Powertrack PT-5000 – Indianapolis (28 ft) (Launched 1981)

Set comprised: 1 x Triumph TR7, 1 x BMW 320i, 9 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 1 x 9″ 6V Track Terminal, 2 x 45 degree 9″ Curve, 13 x 9″ Straight, 2 x 6″ Straight, 1 x Banked Curve (with supports). 6V Mains Transformer and 2 x Hand Controllers. 12 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheet & Bridge supports.

This is one of only three sets launched in the UK after the original Powertrack launch of 1978. (The others were Race & Chase & PT-8000). RRP was £34.99.

  • Powertrack PT-6000 – Race and Chase (American Cop Car) (Launched 1979)

Set comprised: 1 x Police Car, 1 x Corvette Stingray, 6 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 1 x 9″ 6V R&C Track Terminal, 1 x Tip Bridge 9″, 2 x 9″ Straight, 4 x 15″ Straight, 6 x Aprons, 4 x LH End Pieces, 2 x RH End Pieces. 6V Mains Transformer and 2 x Hand Controllers. 4 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheet & Bridge supports.

This was far and away the biggest selling set in the UK; even Scalextric were slow to catch up. UK RRP in 1979: £29–99.

  • Powertrack PT-6100 – Race and Chase (German Porsche Police Car) (Launched 1979)

Set known as Super Verflogungsjagd in Germany

Set comprised: 1 x Porsche Police Car, 1 x BMW 320i, 6 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 1 x 9″ 6V R&C Track Terminal, 2 x Straight 9″, 1 x Tip Bridge 9″, 2 x Crossovers 15″, 2 x 15″ Straight, 6 x Aprons, 4 x LH End Pieces, 2 x RH End Pieces. 6V Mains Transformer and 2 x Hand Controllers. 4 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheet & Bridge supports.

This is the only Powertrack/Speedtrack/Powertrack Plus set released that included 15″ Crossover Tracks. This set was not launched in the UK. The box artwork is in German, but this product may have also been distributed widely across Western Europe.

  • Powertrack PT-8000 – This set featured 4 lane racing (Launched 1981)

Set comprised: 1 x Porsche 911, 1 x Triumph TR7, 1 x Fiat Abarth, 1 x VW Scirocco, 16 x 90 degree 9″ Curve, 16 x 45 degree Curve 12″, 4 x 45 degree 9″ Curve, 2 x 9″ 6V 4 Lane Track Terminals, 6 x 9″ Straight, 4 x 15″ Straight, 4 x 6″ Straight, . 6V Mains Transformer and 4 x Hand Controllers. 16 Crash Barriers, Sticker Sheet & Bridge supports.

This Powertrack set still sells well on eBay. Although expensive for a slot racing set, it undercut Scalextric’s 4 lane set by nearly £40. This is the only Powertrack set worldwide that employed 12″ outer curves to enable 4 lane corners.

The cars listed are those that appear on the box artwork and are generally proven to be sold with the set. However, Matchbox often replaced at least one car depending on immediate stock levels. The blue Porsche 911, dark blue Fiat Abarth, yellow Escort, red Escort and red & White Scirocco are all known to be substitute cars. The car most often replaced appears to be the Gold Scirocco.

UK RRP in 1981: £79.99.

This set was also branded as Silverstone 8000


. . . Powertrack . . .

This article is issued from web site Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under “Creative Commons – Attribution – Sharealike” [1] and some of the text can also be licensed under the terms of the “GNU Free Documentation License” [2]. Additional terms may apply for the media files. By using this site, you agree to our Legal pages . Web links: [1] [2]

. . . Powertrack . . .

Previous post Biscayne Point
Next post Mike Roche