Period: Flock Head
Dates: c.1970 until c.1972
Cat No: 34810
Green grand prix racing car
Helmet and goggles
Red polka-dot 'neckerchief' (scarf)
The Action Man Grand Prix Racing Car was described in the 1970 Action Man Equipment Manual thus: "Beautifully detailed push-along racing car complete with helmet, goggles, racing suit, scarf and boots". It was not a Palitoy creation, rather a bought-in blow molded race car with windshield, roll bar and engine detailing. It resembles the 1960's Team Lotus 25 that Jim Clark and Graham Hill raced to victory. It is a rarer piece than most Action Man vehicles, especially in an undamaged condition. Any child receiving one as a present would have felt the urge to push it as fast as possible outdoors, and that's probably responsible for damaging most of them.
The Action Man Grand Prix Race car is a sought after piece by collectors. The brittle plastic windshield is vulnerable to damage when turned upside down and usually is broken or missing. The stickers (always No.7) usually are in a state of disrepair or absent. The engine block and roll bar, wing mirrors x 2, fuel cap, side pipes x 2, steering wheel and rear exhaust (two halves) push into holes on the body, and can fall out and/or break. Rather ironically the blow-molded body is incredibly strong. Some of the images beelow show a missing the top section of the two part rear exhaust pipes and have a repro windshield and stickers (replacement stickers available here). The Action Man Grand Prix Racing Car boxed set included a Grand Prix Driver outfit (not the figure) and has a couple of race suit variations:
The first has the same overalls as the Landing Signals Officer (this is pictured in the Equipment Manuals) and is paired with the scramble / helicopter pilot style helmet with it's aeronautics badge (with Red Devil type plastic chin strap replacing the oxygen /comms mask) and usual delicate swing-down visor. Red 'neckerchief' and black boots.
The second type is similar to the Scramble Pilot overalls, but with multicoloured panels in shades of grey/green paired with the helmet shared with the Go Kart set. The red neckerchief scarf, being unique to these outfits, is rare. Why the panels on the overalls were non-matching remains a mystery, but this set has always looked like bits and pieces were used to make something visually different in lieu of having an actual budget to produce a more costly and bespoke version because of the low number of cars likely to sell.
The Go Kart Driver also available from 1970, has a blue version of the scarf which is a little more common, although still rare. Reproduction stickers are shown in these images and are available from the Action Man HQ Shop.
GI Joe / Action Joe originally had his own 1967 race car in yellow with a red stripe (also No7). His driver, unlike the Action Man version had a unique racesuit, and did not borrow heavily from the parts-bin. Some reproduction yellow (with red stripe No7) and red (with black stripe No9) race cars were produced by DeSimone in a limited edition run of 350 in the US for the GIJoe I.C.C.A Convention in 1995. These are sought after too.