Friday, January 29, 2016

From Hot Wheels to the Real Deal

Okay guys let’s admit it, we miss playing with Hot Wheels??  You know, those little 1:64 scale die-cast cars that we played with when we were growing up.  How many of you guys began to dream about having one of your Hot Wheels in full size?  Well I was one of those guys who had a box full of these little cars and I remember setting them up as if we were having a car show or we were at the race track.  Just think about the hours we spent racing these things around our room, on mom’s dining room table, or in the driveway at your house.  Sometimes we would setup a whole town and play all day!  I had a favorite car that I can still remember today, so I looked it up and turns out it was a black/yellow Mustang made by “Matchbox”, who is another company that made these little die-cast cars. 

(Here is a photo of one of my favorites……I wish I still had this one)
After reading up on these toys, I became curious of the history of these die-cast toys, so I decide to share some of my research.

Mattel introduced the Hot Wheels line of die-cast toys in 1968 with the release of 16 original vehicles (sometimes called the “Sweet 16” by collectors today).  They were advertised as small scale/free-rolling models that were designed to look like hot rods and custom muscle cars of the day.  All of the major car makers of the day had authorized Mattel to make replicas of their most popular cars; Ford, Chrysler, General Motors.  The list of car makers grew as the popularity of the toys blossomed.  What made these cars so cool was the special metallic paint jobs on them called “Spectraflame”, wow even that name sounds wicked!  When we were younger I bet some of you wished the same thing I did, that they made these die-cast cars in “Full” size.  The truth is there were a few full size vehicles made that were copies of the Hot-Wheels toys and one of those vehicles was the “Deora” and it was based upon a custom surf-truck designed by Harry Bentley Bradley for Dodge.  The Deora was also one of the original 16 made by Mattel and the full size version of this concept truck sold at the RM Auction in 2009 for $324,500 (as my Dad likes to say “those are BIG coins”).

(Pictured above are the “Hot-Wheels” and the 1965 “Real” version of the Deora vehicle)
I’m sure you are excited just thinking about all the little Hot Wheels you had when you were young and just maybe you can dig around in the attic or your shed and find your old collection………….oh wait, now you remember your mom sold all your cars and trucks at a yard sale just like my mom did!  Don’t tell anybody!

See you down the road……..Joseph