The Hot Wheels Torino Stocker, based on the third generation (1972-1976) Ford Torino, made its debut in the 1975 Flying Colors and was produced in about 18 variations up until 1986. It was retooled in 2012 and made 3 more appearances as ’73 Ford Gran Torino.
This black model with blackwalls – one of the 10 cars my buddy, Chris, recently found for me on the St. Louis area Facebook Marketplace – fills one of the few remaining holes in my collection of 1979 Hot Wheels.
In my collection I also have a sadly worn example of the white Thrill Drivers Torino from 1977 and another black version with gold Hot Ones from 1982.
Hot Wheels | 1979 | 7647 | Torino Stocker | black with yellow, orange and white trim | HK | bw
Last month, my good friend, Chris, hooked me up with a purchase of 10 nice, blackwall-era Hot Wheels that he had seen listed on the St. Louis area Facebook Marketplace. The oldest of the 10 is this Poison Pinto from 1977.
The real-life Ford Pinto was among the first generation of subcompact cars – including the Chevrolet Vega and the AMC Gremlin – introduced by American automakers in 1970 to compete against popular Japanese imports. The Pinto was introduced in September of 1970, first as a 2-door fastback sedan. The 3-door hatchback followed in February of 1971 and, a year later, the 2-door station wagon made its debut. The Pinto was rear-wheel drive, with engines ranging from the 1.6L Kent inline 4-cylinder to a later 2.8L Cologne V6, and either a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.
The Hot Wheels Poison Pinto – based on the station wagon model – was first cast in 1976 with the same paint and tampo as this one, but wearing redline wheels. It was also included in both 1976 and 1977 in the Super Chromes 6-Pack, wearing redlines the first year and blackwalls in ’77.
There are about 10 variations of the Poison Pinto up until 1985, and about 4 more after it was retooled for the Hot Wheels Collectors club in 2003. In 1979, the casting was used for The Thing from the Heroes series, the only other version I have in my collection.
As a bonus, the Poison Pinto comes complete with a set of tools molded into the rear of the chrome plastic interior.
Hot Wheels | 1977 | 9240 | Poison Pinto | light green with yellow, black and white trim | HK | bw
The Hot Wheels Shock Factor, a winged, off-road racer, was first released in 1992. There are nearly 20 variations, mostly with construction tires. This blue and yellow example from 1998 is interesting in that it is the latest (year of release) model in my blackwall collection and one of only a few that were cast in China.
Shock Factor features a driver cast into the plastic piece which fits between the metal base and the metal upper body. The plastic section allows for a fun two-tone color combination.
Hot Wheels | 1998 | Shock Factor | yellow and blue with red, white and black trim | CH
First released in 1984, the Hot Wheels Turbo Heater was designed by Larry Wood and is based on the 1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo. The real-life Dodge Daytona was a front-wheel-drive hatchback produced by Chrysler from 1984 to 1993. Available engines for 1984 were the 93hp 2.2 L Chrysler K engine or the turbocharged 142hp version. The ’84 Daytona Turbo was included in Car and Driver‘s 10Best list. The Chrysler Laser, essentially an upscale rebadge of the Daytona, was produced from 1984 to 1986.
There are only about 5 variations of this Hot Wheels casting over two years (including the 1986 release which was called Highway Heat). This well-worn metalflake blue blackwall example of Turbo Heater from 1985 – it could also be found that year with gold Hot Ones – was found in the 25-cent tub at the Wichita Flea Market and is the first of this casting that I’ve added to my collection.
Hot Wheels | 1985 | 5911 | Turbo Heater | metalflake blue with yellow, blue and white trim, yellow interior | MY | bw
In 1983 Majorette introduced the Chevrolet Blazer 4×4 Depanneuse (French for tow truck). The casting has two plastic tow hooks that swivel out on either side. There are at least three dozen variations of the Depanneuse. But the Chevrolet Blazer 4×4 was also released in the form you see here – with plastic lights replacing the tow hooks. And there are over 40 versions of this, including quite a few with monster truck tires. Add in another dozen or so military variations with guns or rocket launchers mounted in the back, and 4 models where it was converted to a Beverage Truck, and you have a rather large family under the Majorette Chevrolet Blazer 4×4 series.
I don’t often come across Majorettes, but I found this one in the 25-cent tub at the Wichita Flea Market. I still have a single French-cast Majorette from my childhood, so I like to add more of the brand to my collection when I can, even when they are in rough shape like this one.
Majorette | #291 Chevrolet Blazer 4×4 | neon yellow with black and red trim, missing one black plastic light | 1:62 | Made in France 1988-91 | or4hc
The photo below compares my two Majorette Chevrolet Blazer 4x4s, showing that the casting on the right is the same as the military versions, having a round hole in the bed that would allow for the mounting of a gun or rocket launcher.
It’s also interesting to note that the base of both models is stamped with Depanneuse as well as both 228 (the number of the Depanneuse) and 291 (the number of the non-tow truck version) as you see in the next photo.
You can see more photos of my Majorette Chevrolet Blazer 4×4 Depanneuse by clicking here. And you can see other Majorettes in my collection here.
It can be confusing when Hot Wheels uses different names for the same casting. It gets even more confusing when one of those names is then shared by a completely different casting.
Beach Patrol, based on the first generation Chevy S-10/GMC S-15, was first released in 1983 with plastic surf boards in the bed. In 1986 it was used for Path Beater, and in 1991 it became Surf Patrol. 25 or so variations exist between the three castings. The version of Path Beater I’m showing here is not to be confused with the 1993 Hot Wheels Path Beater, which was actually a re-name of the Bywayman casting.
I found this model from the 1988 Color Racers series in a 25-cent tub at the Wichita Flea Market. As you can see, it’s missing large chunks of its color-changing paint. But I like this casting enough that I couldn’t pass it up for a quarter. On the positive side, the plastic light bar is a little bent, but still intact.
Color Racers were sold in 3-car packs, but I’m not sure the three packs were always the same three cars; the Color Changers page of the Hot Wheels wiki has photos of catalog pages that show the Path Beater in two different 3-pack combinations.
Hot Wheels | 1988 Color Racers | 5607 | Path Beater | yellow to green with red and green trim | MY | bw
The Matchbox Fire Pumper was first released in 1966, with about five variations produced up until about 1982. I found mine last weekend in the 25-cent tub at the Wichita Flea Market. It’s missing a lot of paint, the plastic insert that carries the hoses and ladders, and the labels on the cab. (Or it may be the version that came with no labels.) So, would I pay a dollar for this? No. But I would give a quarter any day.
In 1970, the Fire Pumper was given Superfast wheels. On a later variation, the plastic insert was modified to include a water cannon.
Matchbox | 1966 | 29 | Fire Pumper | red missing/no labels, missing plastic hose/ladders | England | black plastic wheels
Other 1966 Matchbox cars in my collection include the #9 Boat and Trailer, the #14 Daimler London Bus, the #36 Opel Diplomat, the #48 Dodge Dump Truck, the #55 Ford Galaxie Police Car and #59 Ford Galaxie Fire Chief Car, and the #64 MG 1100.