1975 Matchbox Cosmobile

There is a current posting in another online forum about this car, the 1975 Matchbox Cosmobile, where it is described as a “horrible generic” and an “awful fantasy.” Even the originator of the post has to dig deep to “say something positive” when he admits that he likes the particular shade of blue paint.

I admit, when I was a kid, I preferred more realistic cars. But as I’ve gotten older, I find these fantasy castings really interesting. Put yourself in the designer’s shoes and imagine the challenge of creating a vehicle that’s really cutting edge for the time. Looking back at it now – 43 years later – even though the Cosmobile is obviously supposed to be some kind of futuristic vehicle, the awkward angularity may have only predicted the automotive design of the 1980s (think Chrysler’s K platform or the Toyota Celica Supra). It may not be a classic beauty, but I think it’s an awful lot of fun.

The Cosmobile could be found in upper body paint colors of metallic red, metallic avocado, and metallic blue, with differences in lower body, interior and window colors, creating a total of about 8 different variations. And, by the way, the lines also remind me a little bit of the Stretcha Fetcha from my childhood collection.

Matchbox | 1975 | 68 | Cosmobile | metallic blue upper, yellow lower, chrome interior, amber windows | Superfast wheels

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1983 Hot Wheels ’31 Doozie

Out running errands on a Saturday back in November, I stopped at an estate sale in the neighborhood. Right away, I found this nice Hot Wheels ’31 Doozie among some other nicknacks on the pay table. I asked them to hold it for me as I looked around the rest of the sale. I enjoyed exploring the beautiful home full of antique furniture and art, and as I looked around I listened as the woman running the sale talked about the homeowner. She said he had been a WWII veteran and then joined the CIA after the war. She said the basement of the house was full of war memorabilia and other very interesting historical items that they were still trying to sort through. I didn’t find any more cars, but I am very happy with this find. And I’m fairly certain it’s the only model in my collection that was owned by a CIA man.

The Hot Wheels ’31 Doozie first came out in 1977, modeled after the 1931 Duesenberg dual-cowl phaeton. I have an early Doozie from my childhood as well as a maroon version from 1986. The casting can be found in about 18 different variations up until the Final Run series from 2003. My whitewall-wearing estate sale find is from the 1983 Extras Series.

Hot Wheels | 1983 Extras Series | #58 | ’31 Doozie | red with brown interior and fenders | MY | WW

2018 Hot Wheels Flames ’63 Chevy II

I think I spent most of 2018 looking for this Hot Wheels Flames version of the ’63 Chevy II, a casting which made its debut in 2016. Just before Halloween, I finally found mine at a relatively new (to Wichita) store called 4 Below (similar to a dollar store, with everything $4 or less). In fact they had a pair of them hanging in their small Hot Wheels section, so I was able to choose the cleanest card of the two.

I’m not a huge fan of the PR5 wheel, but the flame and paint combo is pretty sharp. I see there is also a black Kroger exclusive version with blue and yellow flames that looks even more striking, so I’ll be hunting for that one too. My favorite variation so far of the ’63 Chevy II is the 2017 Retro Series version that was a Target exclusive.

Hot Wheels | FJW68 | 2018 HW Flames | ’63 Chevy II | metallic green with orange and yellow trim | PR5

1995 Hot Wheels Little Debbie Bakery 3-Pack Promo

I had been seeing these blackwall Hot Wheels Little Debbie cars on eBay and even bid (unsuccessfully) on a couple of them. When I figured out they were from the same 3-pack, I realized I could get all three – still in the package – for a better price than bidding on them individually. According to the Hot Wheels Wiki, this 3-pack from 1995 was a mail-in offer, which can also be found with all of the cars wearing 7-spoke wheels.

Hot Wheels | 1995 Little Debbie Bakery 3-Pack Promo

The Hot Wheels Delivery Truck was first released in 1977 as Letter Getter, based on the iconic U.S. Postal Service delivery vehicle. In 1979, the casting was used in the Scene Machines series for both the Incredible Hulk and S.W.A.T. Van. The extremely popular model is still being produced – now about 5 dozen variations – and not only does it deliver junk food (also Frito Lay, Twix, etc.,) it has been everything from the Hot Wheels Racing van to a combat medic to Homer Simpson’s nuclear waste truck.

Delivery Truck | white with red and blue Little Debbie trim | MY | BW

The Hot Wheels ’32 Ford Delivery is said to be based on designer Larry Wood’s own car and is another very popular casting. It was first released in 1989 with Hot Wheels delivery trim and has seen over 40 variations since then. This is the first of this casting that I’ve added to my collection. In addition to McKee Baking on the sides (McKee Foods is the corporation that owns the Little Debbie brand), the ’32 Ford has a small Little Debbie logo on the back.

’32 Ford Delivery | white with red plastic fenders, red and blue McKee Little Debbie trim | MY | BW

I’m a fan of the original Hot Wheels Hiway Hauler which was first released in 1980, but this is my first of the second generation Hiway Hauler. First cast in 1992 with Kool-Aid Wacky Warehouse livery, this rig has been released in over 60 variations and is still going strong.

Hiway Hauler | white with red and blue McKee Little Debbie trim | MY | BW

Hot Wheels and Little Debbie did 3 more exclusive 3-packs in subsequent years:

  • 1997 – Forklift, Off Road Racer, Thunder Roller
  • 2001 – ’70 Chevelle, ’69 Mustang Mach I, ’70 Road Runner
  • 2005 – Delivery Truck, Roll Patrol Jeep, Hiway Hauler

1966 Matchbox Ford Galaxie Fire Chief and Police Car

I spotted this 1966 Matchbox Ford Galaxie Fire Chief at the Shopkeepers Antique Mall awhile back. I debated about it for a week or so, but eventually went back for it. Since the Ford Galaxie was the main competitor to my beloved Chevy Impala, I thought it should be represented in my collection.

This Matchbox model represents a 1965 Galaxie, the third generation of the full-size car. The variation of the Fire Chief car with a red roof light is worth quite a bit more than this more common blue roof light version. The casting was also released in 1970 with Superfast wheels.

Matchbox | 1966 | 55 | Ford Galaxie Police Car | white with red roof light | black plastic wheels

A short time after I acquired the Fire Chief car, I saw this Matchbox Ford Galaxie Police Car on eBay. I put in a bid and was somewhat surprised to come up the winner for a decent price.

The Galaxie Police car also has a more valuable variation – one with a blue roof light. Interestingly, the Police version of the Galaxie was never released with Superfast wheels.

Matchbox | 1966 | 59 | Ford Galaxie Fire Chief Car | red with blue roof light | black plastic wheels

2018 Hot Wheels Art Cars ’64 Chevy Impala

Fans of the Hot Wheels ’64 Chevy Impala were excited to see it included in this year’s 50th Anniversary Black and Gold Collection. Well, to make for an even better year, it also showed up in this year’s Art Cars series. The striking black and white Maori-inspired graphics are complimented by a beautiful set of white-tire black lace wheels.

I found mine at Walmart, but funny enough, I think I may have passed over this car previously. At a glance, it is very similar to the black and white version of the 2016 Art Cars ’65 Chevy Impala.

Hot Wheels | FJW74 | 2018 HW Art Cars | ’64 Chevy Impala | white with black trim | white tires with black LW

1967 Matchbox Dodge Stake Truck

I was interested in this Matchbox Dodge Stake Truck because it’s the precursor to the Superfast version from my childhood. I found this one on eBay and it’s in such great shape that I had to ask the seller if it had been restored (the seller claimed it was all original).

This casting first appeared in 1966 as the #37 Dodge Cattle Truck, but it had a more enclosed plastic compartment with an opening tailgate ramp. It also came with two plastic cows. My eBay find is the #4 Dodge Stake Truck, which could be found from 1967-1969 with regular wheels, then from 1970-1971 with Superfast wheels. In 1976 it was reissued as #71 Cattle Truck with Superfast wheels and the two plastic cows (I still have the cows with mine). Since then, there are more than 40 variations continuing up until 2000.

Matchbox | 1967 | 4 | Dodge Stake Truck | yellow with green stake bed, no tow hook | black plastic wheels