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Digital Derby Auto Raceway

I was cleaning the basement and came across this family toy. It’s the Digital Derby Auto Raceway from 1978. This was a favorite toy in the Maldre house, especially with my twin brother. I popped in two C batteries and unfortunately it didn’t start up even though the battery compartment looked pretty clean.

The term “digital” has absolutely no value here. Everything is quite mechanical. The steering wheel physically moves the car shown in the lower right. It is a silkscreened car on a piece of plastic attached to the steering wheel.

The road is composed of two tracks. Think of how an armored tank’s track works or a conveyor belt. These belts have cars silkscreened on them and move at changing paces throughout the game. The object was to avoid having your car hit those cars. If they did touch, then a loud screech would sound and you’d have to hit the red reset button and continue.

A radial dial tracked how many laps you achieved. There is a time dial in the upper left corner, again mechanically driven.

Here’s a youtube video of the game. You get the idea after about, oh, 5 seconds.

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Tom Saaristo
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That was my favorite too! Now I have to see if I can find a working one on ebay