2017 HW Retro ’63 Chevy II

On the drive back from Minnesota in June, I was getting sleepy. I decided what I needed was to get out and stretch my legs for a bit at a Super Target in Des Moines. It turned out to be a great idea, because I found the Hot Wheels Retro Series ’63 Chevy II that I’d been looking for. I love the simple, bold design and the beautiful illustrations on these Retro cards. And the series – which is a Target exclusive – includes some great castings such as the ’84 Hurst Olds, the ’85 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, and the Volkswagen SP2.

DTX85 | 2017 HW Retro Series (Target Exclusive) | ’63 Chevy II | metallic orange with red and blue trim | 5SP

The Hot Wheels ’63 Chevy II became an instant favorite of mine when it was introduced in 2016. I also have the first release and the HW Flames version from earlier this year.

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M2 Machines 2017 Auto-Vault 1958 Chevrolet Impala

I admit I don’t give it much effort, but I’ve never found a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt or a chase car of any kind in a store. While we were vacationing in Minnesota in June, I picked up this new variation of the M2 Machines 1958 Chevrolet Impala at a WalMart. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the MEX03 code and realized it was not just a normal release. Could it be I finally found something rare? This is what the M2 Facebook page posted back in April:

Attention M2 Machines collectors – keep your eyes peeled for the first official M2 Machines Auto-Vault release making its way into Walmart stores throughout the US next month. Due to economic situations in Mexico 1600pcs of the 4000pcs of each casting produced for Walmart Mexico 31500-MEX03 and 31500-MEX04 were redirected to the United States for distribution. Wanting to change things up a bit for collectors we decided to repackage the vehicles to maintain a clear visual difference between the Mex and US releases. Though the vehicles are the same, we ditched the clamshell packaging and opted to put these 1600pcs of each casting in an all new Auto-Vault wrap. If you were not able to add these releases to your collection this is a great opportunity to pick them up.

I’m not actually sure how 1600 pieces compares to the production numbers for a Treasure Hunt, but I think M2’s chase cars are limited to 750, so this one is not quite on that level. But I really like the look of it either way.

2017 Auto-Vault MEX03 | 1958 Chevrolet Impala | black

Some of my other recent M2 Impalas can be seen here.

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Scale Model Supplies Vintage Plastic Duncan Batmobile

Whenever I travel, I try to seek out any hobby stores that might carry die-cast cars. This usually means dragging my family to some out-of-the-way location and making them wait patiently while I inspect displays of cars. But on our June trip to my family reunion in Minnesota, everyone was impressed with the unique place I took them to.

Scale Model Supplies is located in a former bowling alley in St. Paul. The place is huge and has such an enormous and varied inventory that it kind of boggles the mind. My cousin, Tom, who was along for the trip, was particularly amazed by the population of HO scale figures in the train section. My son spent some time looking in the die-cast section for another James Bond vehicle to go with the one we found him in Phoenix. There is a huge section of plastic models with every kind of vehicle. One aisle has stamp and coin collecting supplies. There is also a large room with three different slot car tracks. Even my wife was impressed.

I did find a few die-cast cars, but my favorite section was a room in the back that looked like a flea market, with bins full of used train and slot car parts and lots of old toys. When my cousin saw me marveling at this old plastic Batmobile, he bought it for me as a Father’s Day present.

The car, which is about 8″ long, is missing the steering wheel, the two front wheel covers, most of the red painted details, and the three yellow and black batman stickers that used to be affixed to the doors and top. But it still has both front and rear clear plastic windshields and the Batman and Robin figures in their seats. The bottom is stamped with the words “COPYRIGHT DC COMICS, INC,” a Duncan logo and “Toronto, Ont., Canada” and “Baraboo, WI, USA”.

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My Final Village Flea Market Hot Wheels Finds

After 42 years, the Village Flea Market in Wichita has closed. It was reported that the owners had decided to convert the massive building at Pawnee and Meridian to a storage facility for their real estate development company. I’ve made some nice finds at the Village over the years, including this bunch of Hot Wheels blackwalls I picked up on my last visit back in May. These were at a table in the open area out in the middle. When he saw me looking at them, a little boy took some interest, so I stepped away to let him check them out. Fortunately for me, he quickly got distracted and walked away. The man was asking $2 each, but he let me have these four for $5.

This Hot Wheels Old Number 5 was first released in 1981, but this Malaysia casting is from 1982. As with all of these cars, all of the plastic parts are intact – I only had to clean off a layer of dust to find some really sharp cars.

1982 | 1695 | Old Number 5 | red with red painted base, black and yellow trim, louvers on hood | MY | bs

The Hot Wheels ’37 Bugati and Auburn 852 are both from 1981. I knew I already had them in my collection, but when I got them home, I discovered both of these are made in Malaysia, whereas the two I already own are cast in Hong Kong. I have a few other variations of the Auburn 852, including the 1979 first casting.

1981 | 1696 | ’37 Bugati | black w/red sides and hood | MY | bs

1981 | 2505 | Auburn 852 | yellow, dk. brown plastic fenders | MY | bs

This Hot Wheels ’35 Classic Caddy is the first release from 1982 and the first variation of this casting I’ve added to my collection.

1982 | 2529 | ’35 Classic Caddy | tan | MY | bs

 

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2017 Johnny Lightning Musclecars USA 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible

The packaging for the 2017 Muscle Cars U.S.A. series from Johnny Lightning features vintage ad photos and color chips for the factory-matched paint. Cars in the series include two versions each of a 1970 Ford Torino GT, 1969 Dodge ChargerR/T, 1970 Chevy Camaro Z28, 1970 Olds Cutlass S W-31, 1969 AMC AMX and this sweet, Grotto blue 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible.

JLMC003 | 2017 Musclecars USA R1, Version B | 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible | Grotto Blue

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2017 Racing Champions Mint 1960 Chevy Impala

This nice gray 1960 Chevy Impala is version B from the 2017 Racing Champions Mint Release 1. I have several of the Racing Champions 1960 Impalas from 2000 and prior, as well as two from 2016.

2017 | Racing Champions Mint R1 | 1960 Chevy Impala (Version B) | gray

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Auto World 2017 Vintage Muscle 1970 Chevrolet Impala

The summer before my senior year in high school, I did some work for my older brother, Joe, to earn a car to drive. The Impala he loaned me to use was similar in some ways to this Auto World 2017 Vintage Muscle 1970 Impala. But in many ways, it was very different.

This is a 1970, the car I drove was a 1969.

This is a two-door, the ’69 was a four-door.

This Auto World model – Vintage Muscle Release 1, version A – is painted a beautiful Mulsanna blue. My brother’s car was brown with highlights of rust.

This has a black top. The car from my youth had a tan vinyl top that was peeling off in places.

This car has a nice, clean, straight body. The car I drove had been rear-ended by a tow truck and the trunk was held shut with a bungee cord.

Even though my high school Impala was not as nice as this, this model brings back some fond memories. And at the time I sure appreciated having the use of it that old Impala – that is, when I could manage to get it started.

Vintage Muscle Premium 2017 R1 Version A | 1970 Chevrolet Impala | Mulsanna blue with flat black roof

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Splurging at the Antique Store

Antique stores and art galleries are two things I really enjoy. In downtown Wichita, Vertigo 232 is on the second floor of a building that also houses Shopkeepers Antique Mall. Even better, you have to enter the antique store to access the stairs up to the gallery, a situation that gives me opportunity to browse the cases for cars.

While delivering work for a recent show in the gallery, I saw these four cars in the case. I tend to resist buying from antique stores – as opposed to garage sales – because I feel like someone else has made the find for me and I’m paying extra for it. But, at $2 and $3 each, these cars weren’t too bad a value. So I told myself that if they were there the next time I came in, I would pick them up.

When I came back to the gallery at the end of the exhibition to pick up my work, the cars were still there. So I splurged.

This Hot Wheels Porsche 959 is the 1988 first release of a model that’s been released in a few dozen variations since. I really like this paint and tampo combination as well as the Ultra Hots wheels.

Hot Wheels 1988 | 4631 | Porsche 959 | metallic dark red with orange and yellow trim | MY | UH

There are at least a dozen variations of the Matchbox BMW M1, which first came out in 1981. But this metallic gray version, with its opening hood (trunk?) and lack of rear wing and ground effects, appears to be a different casting altogether.

Matchbox 1981 | 52 | BMW M.1. | metallic gray, black 52 and stripe, hood opens, clear windows | Eng. | Superfast wheels | 1:57

I still have a bunch of nice Tomica models from my childhood, so I’m happy to acquire more when I’m fortunate enough to find them. The Tomica Maserati Merak SS and Porsche 928 are both red and both from 1978.

Tomica 1978 | F45 | Maserati Merak SS | red with black trim | 1/62

Tomica 1978 | F53 | Porsche 928 | red | 1/63

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2009 HWC Neo-Classics Olds 442 Security Car

The Hot Wheels Olds 442 Police Cruiser from my childhood was a favorite. Despite lots of playtime, it survived in reasonably good shape. It’s always fun to find variations of the cars I had when I was a kid (you can see some other Olds 442s here). So, a few months back, when I saw that the Hot Wheels Collectors website was offering the 2009 Neo-Classics Olds 442 Security Car at half price, I ordered one.

This recent version has had its light bar retooled, but the 442 is pretty striking in this Spectraflame red and chrome combo. And though a security car seems a step down from the Police Cruiser of my youth, you have to admit working security for Mattel would be a pretty cool job!

P2139 | 2009 HWC Series 8 Neo-Classics | Olds 442 Security Car | 3882/10,000 | Spectraflame red and chrome with white, red and black Mattel Security trim | Neo-Classic RL

I also have HWC variations of my childhood Super Van, Heavy Chevy and Ford J-Car.

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2016 Racing Champions Mint 1966 Chevy Novas

I recently found two more of the Racing Champions Mint 1966 Novas from Release 2. The white model is Version C and the blue one is Version D. I previously found the green Version B, so the only one I am missing is the pale yellow Version A.

2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version C) | white

2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version D) | blue

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