QotW: What’s your best road map story?

Today, April 5, is National Read a Road Map Day. We know there’s plenty of JNC owners who began driving after GPS, and we’re not total Luddites that eschew navigation by smartphone. but there’s something romantic and fitting about using paper maps when driving an older car. Plus, it’s a good skill to have for when Skynet or the zombies take over.

What’s your best road map story?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the story behind your first car?

The answers to these questions really brought us back. They really evoked the carefree days of childhood, no matter what type of car it was. For first cars, many had the the standard Hot Wheels, like speedie, or Matchbox, like Justin. But there were many other more obscure brands too, like Banpei‘s Tonka, XRaider927‘s Maisto, and Land Ark Ertl, or even a pedal car like Steve‘s.

They had a natural toy car life cycle. Initially given as gifts, or like in エーイダン‘s case found in a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Some, like Lupus, were drawn to their favorites by watching the car racing on TV or, like MWC70, seeing it in a movie. We took them to school, to play dates, and like HotWheelsAndFriedChicken, even on on long family trips. In the end like, RX626, we remember having some of our precious toys thrown out by parents.

The winner this week was Jim Daniels. We couldn’t find any mention of the Hot Wheels Slingshot he remembers, but given the time frame we presume it was a redline car. In any case, it’s a good story about how cars were obtained in the pre-Internet era.

Well mine started out as like others have said with a Tonka toy dump truck. This was back in the 1960 to early 70s. I would place both hands on the sides of the dump bed and push that truck all over the yard and cul-de-sac. Kids played outside in those days and the number of predators were low parents did not worry. My best friend lived down the street and he always had the coolest toys. He had an erector set that we would build cars out of.

He also had Match Box and Hot Wheels cars, track, parking garages and received a new car on a regular basis. I had a few Hot Wheels but not a collection and I had no track or corresponding toys. We would carry our cars in our front pockets of our pants or shorts and played with them on our driveways and all over the house. We would also carry the Hot Wheels to school in our pockets only to wait for recess so we could go outside to the sand box play areas and build holes/garages to park our cars in. Then we would build roads and in our little minds we built towns and would push our cars to the store or to a neighbors just modeling what we our parents were doing.

Then one day my friend got his newest Hot Wheel The Slingshot. It was the coolest. It was a deep maroon color, had the back that looked like a 63 split window Corvette. With a narrow waist just in front of the A-pillers with a very long hood with finders reminiscent of a1930 Cord L-29 Cabrio. I really wanted that car it was sex on wheels. So I kept bugging my Mom to get me to the store to look for the Hot Wheels Slingshot. But we could not find this specific car. So our Moms got together as Moms do and my Mom found out that the Slingshot was only available through a cereal box company. Ya, like the the secret decoder ring. You had to have so many box tops and money like $.075 combined then mail through the US Postal service to the cereal company and wait.

Not like waiting for the internet to come back on line in a few minutes or Fed Ex over night. I am talking about weeks and months. The kind of thing you marked on your calendar so you knew the week you could expect your package of your new Hot Wheel to arrive. This waiting time was the cruelest thing you could do to a child. I am sure my Mom did not like it either. I think it took almost all summer to collect the box tops and earn the money and wait for my Hot Wheels Slingshot to arrive. But it did arrive in a small box as I remember not the typical Hot Wheel packaging we are familiar with.

Then I would place the Hot Wheel Slingshot in the dump bed of my Tonka Dump Truck and push them all over. Then School started, you know after Labor Day. And guess where that Hot Wheel was, Ya, in my pocket. I was going to show off the Slingshot and that I did. The teacher did not like me taking the car out to show it to everyone. But when recess came I was out in the dirt/sand playing with that car. Yes played with the cars in the sand. Then we would shake out the sand that got inside the cars prior to putting them back in our pockets to return to class. The teacher would always make us wash our hands when returning to class, I don’t know why?

I have looked on line for the Hot Wheels Slingshot of this era and have not found it. Lots of Slingshot models come up but nothing from that era or as I describe the car. Maybe I just like sexy curvy things, Oh wait I do.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

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6 Responses to QotW: What’s your best road map story?

  1. MikeRL411 says:

    In 1960 I was on AF orders to Japan. I went to AAA and asked for a road map from New York City to San Francisco. They dfid their job well. I noticed that some where [I can’t remember where] the map took a wide detour around a midwest town. I asked why. The reply was that that town ran a notorius speed trap. AAA and all other travel assist agencies were rerouting all traffic well away from that town. They eventually bankrupted the tpwn treasury. The interstste road system also coincidently bypassed that town.

  2. Banpei says:

    Every summer mid 80s me and my brother sitting shotgun with our father in his 1982 Carina TA60 wagon, driving to the southern parts of Europe. Either me or my brother would navigate using a 5 kilogram roadmap book containing every major road of Europe. My dad always avoided toll roads, so we had to work hard.. He took us on summer vacations many times to France, Spain and Portugal.

    The Carina lasted five years of ownership and I remember at least four summer vacations. As the Carina got replaced by a far inferior car (ARO 10) also our vacations with our dad stopped.

  3. Nigel says:

    To Florida from Toronto all maps, got lost in Virginia. Maybe it was 2005 in June.
    (Our 2001 Civic had no AC and no radio). Beverages at the 7’Eleven.

  4. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Got a degree in Cartographics. Still get lost. Not very often though…

  5. Peg Baldwin says:

    It may not win any prizes but I was proud of my 14 YO son when we drove through Vancouver in my 1991 Nissan Micra & he navigated with a map.

    Being from small town AB, the city of 2,015,000 at the time (2002) was a bit daunting, but my zippy little Micra and my amazing navigator got us through without any trouble. My gas mileage on that 2,000 mile + trip was an amazing 63 MP(Canadian)G.


  6. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    If you leave Narita & steer 62 degrees, you’ll wind up in San Francisco.
    If you steer 64 degrees, you’ll wind up in LA!

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