In 1970 Mattel ‘Hot Wheels’ was looking for an answer to compete with the HO slot cars. In answer to this question they developed the ‘Sizzler’. These battery-powered cars came with plastic bodies and chassis – making them light enough to challenge the speed and excitement of the HOcars. The cars used 2 carbon or alkaline batteries in series. They were recharged by a ‘Juice Machine’ – sold separately – which looked like either a gas pump or AC powered ‘Power Pit’. The ‘Power Pit’ featured an automatic time to monitor the charge time.
George Soulakis did the majority of the work for the development of the Sizzlers concept cars. The exception to his involvement was that he had nothing to do with body design.
There were six different Hot Wheel Sizzlers manufactured by Mattel in 1970. There were:
6500/Ford Mark IV LeMans
6501 /Angeleno M70
6502/1970 Mustang Boss 302
6503/1969 Firebird Trans – AM
While these were very popular cars, there were problems with the batteries leaking. My next post will cover how to fix a Sizzler.