The Hot Wheels Baja Bug – an off-road VW Beetle with a super-tuned engine and a roll-cage inside – made its debut in the 1984 Hot Wheels Real Riders series. The popular casting has since been produced in about 65 variations and counting.
In 1980, Hot Wheels released a series of CAT construction vehicles; Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Forklift and Wheel Loader. Appropriately, 1980 was also the first year for the construction tire, and the Dump Truck and Wheel Loader were outfitted with these rugged, yellow-hub tires. The construction tire went on to become a staple of the Hot Wheels lineup – looking great on 4x4s – with hubs painted chrome, orange, gold or white, depending on the need.
In 1987, Hot Wheels added two more CAT models, Earth Mover and Road Roller, both of which were cast in Malaysia and wore yellow-hub construction tires for their first release. This Collector #482 Earth Mover from 1996 – cast in China and with chrome hub 8-spoke construction tires – technically doesn’t fit the strict criteria of my blackwall collection. But I picked it up as a nice companion to the Oshkosh Cement Mixer in my neighborhood Facebook Marketplace score.
Hot Wheels | 1996 | #482 | CAT Earth Mover | yellow with red Hot Wheels logo | CH | 8-spoke ct
The McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing company, maker of concrete transport trucks and refuse collection vehicles, was established in Dodge Center, Minnesota in 1970. In 1984, it began building its front discharge mixer for the Oshkosh Corporation, which eventually purchased McNeilus in 1998.
The Hot Wheels Oshkosh Cement Mixer made its debut in 1992 and has been produced in about 20 different variations until it was included in the Final Run series of 2002. This blackwall Collector #269 version from 1995 – it could also be found that year with 5-spoke or 7-spoke wheels – is one of my recent neighborhood Facebook Marketplace finds and is the first of this casting that I’ve added to my collection.
Hot Wheels | 1995 | #269 | Oshkosh Cement Mixer | yellow with black roller, red and white Hot Wheels logo on front | MY | bw
The Hot Wheels Olds 442 W-30 made its debut in the 1993 Demolition Man series and has been produced in over 40 variations and counting. The original Olds 442 casting goes all the way back to 1971, but this version doesn’t have the rear wing or the opening hood of that model. Nor does it have the light bar that was added to a retooled car in 1973, released with different liveries as Police Cruiser, Chief’s Special, Maxi Taxi and Staff Car.
This casting represents the 1970 Oldsmobile 442 (that year’s Indy 500 pace car) with the W-30 option. The performance package included a fiberglas hood with functioning air scoops, a low-restriction air cleaner and a special intake manifold, camshaft, cylinder heads, distributor and carburetor that boosted the 455 V8 to 370 hp.
The Oldsmobile Aurora was a luxury sports sedan produced from 1994 to 2003 which featured a 4.0 L V8 engine. Interestingly, the Hot Wheels Oldsmobile Aurora entered the line-up in 1993 as part of the Demolition Man series. Having never seen the sci-fi movie that starred Sylvester Stallone, I’m not sure what role the car may have played in the movie. But I can tell you that the Hot Wheels casting has been produced in over 30 variations up to 2007. This Collector #265 from 1994 is from my recent neighborhood Facebook Marketplace find and is the first of this casting I’ve added to my collection.
Hot Wheels | 1994 | #265 | Oldsmobile Aurora | pearl green with gray base and interior, tinted windows, white Hot Wheels logo on back | MY | bw
The Hot Wheels Fat Fendered ’40 was first released in 1983 as the ’40s Ford 2-Door. In 1985, the name was changed to Fat Fendered ’40 and there have since been well over 3 dozen variations of this popular casting. This nice purple version from 1993 is one I landed in my recent eBay splurge.
Back in August, I got up on a Sunday morning and started perusing the Facebook Marketplace. I saw some newly listed Hot Wheels Collector Cards and sent a message to the seller. Turns out, they were close by in my neighborhood, and shortly I had my hands on a half dozen nice cars for a great price.
The Hot Wheels Auburn 852 was first released in 1979. Around 30 variations were produced up to 2003, when it was included in the Final Run series. This example from my recent eBay binge has red paint, black plastic fenders and interior, and whitewalls and is from 1993.
I really like the way this casting looks in whitewalls and this model is in pretty decent shape. However, it does suffer a little from a lack of quality control in the paint booth.
Hot Wheels | 1993 | #215 | Auburn 852 | red with black fenders | HK | ww
The Hot Wheels Race Team Series made its debut in 1995 and ran through 1998. The livery for 1995 was generally metalflake blue with white, red and yellow tampo – the Hot Wheels flame logo figuring prominently. Four castings made up the 1995 series of individual cars: #1 Lumina Stocker, #2 Hot Wheels 500, #3 Side Splitter, and #4 Dragster. 5-Packs were also available, and that first year they included these four plus either a Sol-Aire CX-4 or a ’57 Chevy.
Dragster was first released in 1994 as Driven to the Max. It was produced in about 30 different variations up to 2008. I landed this 1995 Race Team Series version in my recent Facebook Marketplace score.
The Hot Wheels Dragster features a plastic wing that folds forward to fit inside the blister. When the wing is extended back, Dragster measures nearly 4″ long.