“Computacar – the amazing car with a ‘memory’ you control!”
The revolutionary battery-powered Computacar from Mettoy was driven by an electric motor which was activated by calibrated cards. There were 17 with every Computacar – 4 pre-cut and 13 blanks for you to programme yourself.
In America, the car was known as the Amaze-A-Matic (“The fantastic car with a brain!”) and was released by Hasbro from 1969.
To set the Computacar in motion, you just inserted a programmed card underneath the car and off it went . . . turning, stopping, starting and reversing as it interpreted the data you fed in via the cards.
Each car had two spring-retained levers that rode on both edges of the cards. One controlled steering, the other controlled the gearbox on the car. Depending on the depth of the cuts on the cards, the car’s steering and forward/neutral/reverse status were changed. The car pulled the cards through its undercarriage via a roller system, and the car’s control levers followed the edges of the cards.
To test your skill as a programmer, six bollards were included with each Computacar, so you could set up an intricate driving test and try to programme your Computacar to complete the course.
There was a choice of two Computacars – a white Ford GT or the futuristic red Chevrolet Astrovette.
When it first appeared in British toy shops in 1970, the Computacar retailed for 45 shillings.