Thursday, May 31, 2018

Racing Toward the Past

The year was 1968. The day was Christmas. The place was the garage of 1223 Woodlawn Circle, Denison Tx. One of the best Christmas presents ever was nailed to a 9 foot by four foot plywood board. The Eldon International 500 Race Set! I had seen the set that was set up at Sears, and now I had my own!

Now this thing was BIG (hence the huge hunk of ply) and featured a full banked curve. I ran the little Porsche and Ferrari like crazy over that track, and actually got pretty good at it. Times were good.

Unfortunately, when we moved to Garland, the set was taken down and never fully set up again. Eventually it sat in a closet and then went missing as so many bits of childhood do.

When I started collecting my old toys back, I put the set on my list. However, there was a problem. Although the set isn't particularly rare, finding a complete one that works can be tough. The biggest problem, however, is that, as I said before, this thing is HUGE. The boxed set weighs in at over ten pounds, which puts shipping in the 30.00 to 40.00 range.

Recently, however, a complete working set popped up on eBay. The clincher is that the seller lived just a few miles from my house! A few messages back and forth, a meeting at a gas station for "hand off," and I was once again the proud owner of the race set! Here are some pictures:

The box. They were proud of that banked turn. It actually did make it easier to drive fast around it!

This side shows the layout. When assembled, this set is very impressive!

The other side shows off the cars. Interestingly enough, these cars have different markings than the ones on the top.

Inside the box. The banked turn is on the right side. The lap counter track (with numbers 1 through 0) is in front. 

The cars. These actually do work. I tested them when I got home with a 9 volt battery. 

The Eldon controllers feature a "speedometer" built into the top. I'm about 99% sure that they aren't close to being accurate, but it's a fun feature anyway.

And on the side, we still have the Sears price tag! This set may have been a Sears exclusive. Santa was very generous!
I still haven't set it all up because I just don't have room...yet. However, someday soon I should have the cars screaming around the track again!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

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