Late 1970s Gold Chrome Rodger Dodger

One of the complications of collecting “loose” Hot Wheels is that occasionally you find one that you can’t put a date on. The gold chrome Rodger Dodger is a case in point. This casting, based on a 1973 Dodge Charger SE, was first released in 1974. For the 1977 Flying Colors series, it was painted gold chrome and  given magenta, white and red tampo. The gold chrome version came out again in 1978 as a Drag Stripper and again in 1979. All three gold chrome variations have identical tampo, were made in Hong Kong, have blue tinted windows and chrome bases. Now, if this car had redlines, then it would be from 1977. But some 1977 versions made the transition to blackwalls, and both of the subsequent years wore them as well. So without the original package, there’s no way to definitively know in which year it was produced.

I bought this one on eBay to go with my growing gold chrome subcategory. I also have a similar but later casting called Dixie Challenger.

IMG_2973IMG_2974 1977/8/9? | 8259 | Rodger Dodger | gold chrome with magenta, red and white trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls

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1980 ‘Vette Van and 1981 Iron Man

In 1980, Hot Wheels introduced the Hi-Rakers, a series of models in which the back end could be raised or lowered to adjust the rake of the car. This ‘Vette Van from 1980 is an example.

IMG_1470 IMG_1472IMG_14711980 | 1135 | ‘Vette Van | black with white, red and yellow trim | Malaysia | blackwalls

In 1981, the casting was painted white, given new graphics and released as Iron Man in the Heroes series, though with the same Hi-Raker action.

IMG_1467IMG_1469IMG_14681981 | 3301 | Iron Man | white with black, red and yellow trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls

Other Hot Wheels Hi-Rakers are the 3-Window ’34, ’40s Woodie, Dodge D-50, Split Window ’63 and Turbo Wedge.

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1978 Jaguar XJS

The Jaguar XJ-S was a luxury grand tourer made by the British carmaker from 1975 to 1996. Though it has some nice lines and interesting features, it is hardly a design icon like its predecessor, the beautiful E-Type. The XJ-S was initially powered by the formidable V12, with a straight-six option available by 1983.

This is the first release of the Hot Wheels Jaguar XJS, which came out in 1978. The Hot Wheels XJS was produced up until 1987 in about 12 different variations, including the gold chrome version from 1979.

IMG_1355 IMG_13541978 | 2012 | Jaguar XJS | gray with yellow, red & black trim, | Hong Kong | blackwalls

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Nylint Aerial Hook-N-Ladder

With the recent 3.5+” of rain, we’ve had a little water finding new places to creep into our basement. One of the few things that got a little soggy, was the Nylint fire truck that I’ve had since the late 1970s, still in its original box. While I’m airing it out, I thought this would be a good time to photograph it.

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The Nylint Corporation was formed in 1937 by Bernard Klint in Rockford, Illinois. Initially a manufacturer of kitchen utensils, Nylint prospered during WWII by shifting manufacturing to anti-aircraft magazines and torpedo components. After the war, Nylint took advantage of their modern metal-stamping facilities to create pressed-steel toys. One of Nylint’s first toys, called the “Amazing Car,” was based on the real Chrysler Airflow and featured a wind up motor. During the 1950s, Nylint began to make toys modeled after heavy construction equipment. Over the years, Nylint created a mix of trucks, some based on real vehicles and others of a more stylized nature. But in the late 1970s, Nylint began to make realistic versions of trucks using actual corporate logos which were geared for the collectible market. Nylon continued to make pressed-metal toys until the company’s demise in 2001.

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1977 Z-Whiz

This is the first release of the Hot Wheels Z-Whiz which came out in 1977 – or is it? It seems there is an identical version which was released in the 1978 Super Streeters series. Without the packaging, I guess it’s impossible to know for sure. There are redline versions of the grey 1977 model too, and there is an ulra-rare white version that goes for big bucks. In addition, Z-Whiz was produced up until 1984 in several other colors including the gold chrome variation from 1979.

IMG_1344 IMG_13451977 | 9639 | Z-Whiz | gray with orange, yellow and blue trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls

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2008 Hot Wheels Top 40 Set ’68 Chevy Nova

I remember seeing the Hot Wheels Top 40 Set at Toys “R” Us way back when, but I wasn’t willing to pay the full retail price for 40 cars when all I really wanted was the ’68 Nova. Now it looks like the sets are going for around $100 online. I found this loose version on eBay for quite a bit less. I think the redlines look especially sharp against the silver, gray and black paint and trim.

IMG_5656 IMG_5657N4608 | 2008 Hot Wheels Top 40 Set | ’68 Chevy Nova | metalflake silver with gray & black trim | RLBW

Here’s a link to my Hot Wheels ’68 Nova page.

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1980 Stutz Blackhawk


The original Stutz Motor Company made its American luxury cars from 1911 until 1935. In 1968, the company was revived and produced the Stutz Blackhawk from 1971 through 1978. The Blackhawk of the 1970s had a custom-build Italian body that was installed over a GM platform and engine. The first Blackhawk was purchased by Elvis Presley in 1970 for $26,500. Other famous owners included Evel Knievel and Muhammad Ali.

My Hot Wheels Stutz Blackhawk is from 1980, the year of its first casting. I found it on eBay while hunting for other blackwalls. The Hot Wheels version was produced up until 1999 in about 15 different variations. I’m not sure this is the paint job Elvis would have wanted on his car, but I think it makes a nice addition to my collection.

IMG_1348 IMG_13491980 | 1126 | Stutz Blackhawk | gray with blue, yellow and white trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls

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2009 Faster Than Ever Chevy Nova

This is one of three color variations of the 2009 Hot Wheels Faster Than Ever Chevy Nova. This metalflake blue version with white trim was a Kmart exclusive. I found this one on eBay.
IMG_5661IMG_5658P2456 | 2009 Faster Than Ever #10 (KMart Exclusive) | Chevy Nova | metalflake blue with white trim | FTE

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1978 Packin’ Pacer

Of all the unique cars that American Motors made, the Pacer is the most iconic. Introduced in 1975, the AMC Pacer is a compact car with a width equal to a full-sized model, giving it unusual proportions. The Pacer’s rounded styling and large area of glass led to comparisons to a fishbowl. While the car’s unusual looks created a buzz, the vehicle’s power and performance were lacking. With increased competition of compact cars from Germany and Japan, sales of the Pacer fell after the first two years and 1980 was its final year of production.

The Hot Wheels Packin’ Pacer came out in 1978, with a chrome rear-engine and yellow paint with red, purple and blue decoration. It was based on the Pacer station wagon, which was slightly less odd-looking than the coupe. The original tool lasted as many years as production of the real car, seeing variations in orange, white and light blue up until 1983.

IMG_1342IMG_13431978 | 2015 | Packin’ Pacer | yellow with red, purple and blue trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls

My family has a little bit of history with American Motors cars. I’ve posted before about my brother’s ’68 AMXs. Here’s a photo of the one with the clean body taken in 1987 in his yard in rural North Dakota.


Also, My dad had two different AMC Hornets. The first one was a green car that he really liked. When my oldest sister went off to college, the car went with her and she drove it for a few more years. Dad went out and bought a red Hornet wagon, but that one, pictured here in our driveway, gave him nothing but trouble.




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2006 Red Line Series 1968 Nova

This Hot Wheels 1968 Nova from the 2006 Red Line Series was one that I missed the first time around. Although I do have the metalflake purple version from the same series, this metalflake green model which I recently found on eBay is similar in color to the green-gold metallic ’73 Nova that I drove when I was younger.

IMG_5613 IMG_5620J3424 | 2006 Red Line Series #3 (KMart Exclusive) | 1968 Nova | metalflake green with Red Line Series tampo on sides | RL5SP

Okay, mine wasn’t quite as bright – even in the sun. This is my 1973 Nova 2-door hatchback in Tempe, Arizona, 1985.


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