Wichita Blacktop Nationals

Die cast cars are great, but sometimes you just have to get out and see the real thing. My friend Wade and I took our boys to the Blacktop Nationals last night. I’m just going to let my photos speak for themselves.

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Husky Guy Warrior Coal Truck

I don’t often come across Husky cars, so I was happy to find this Guy Warrior Coal Truck in a thrift store recently. Husky cars were made starting in 1964 and sold exclusively at Woolworths stores. By 1970, when the exclusive contract expired, the Husky line was rebranded as Corgi Junior.

Guy Motors was a manufacturer of cars, lorries and buses based in Wolverhampton, UK, from 1914 until 1982. The Warrior chassis was developed in the mid-1950s and was used on a variety of trucks and buses.

This Husky Guy Warrior Coal Truck would have originally included a molded plastic load of coal. The casting was also released as the #13 Guy Warrior Sand Truck, which was painted blue and included a load of sand.

IMG_6224 IMG_6225Husky | #10 Guy Warrior Coal Truck | dark red

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2014 Greelight Hitch & Tow ’67 Impala and Airstream

As summer draws to an end (already!), I find myself thinking about family vacations from my youth. I’m pretty sure my family camped next to this Impala and Airstream combo one summer many years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My family’s trailer wasn’t a slick Airstream, but our ’66 Pontiac Catalina wagon would’ve given the Impala some stiff competition on the highway.

Somehow I missed this package when it was in the stores last year, so I had to chase this one down on eBay. It has all of the nice detailing typical of Greenlight models and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next in the Hitch & Tow series.
IMG_6262 IMG_6264 IMG_62652014 | Greenlight Hitch & Tow Series 1 | 1967 Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan and Airstream 16′ Bambi | blue

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1998 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary Spoilers Set

I found this Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary Set a few years back when I stumbled across the garage sale of a pretty serious collector. The set from 1998 includes replicas of four of the Spoilers, a series first introduced in 1970 that included supercharged engines and spoilers on each car. These 30th Anniversary versions have even larger engines than were put on the originals. I bought the set mostly because it includes the Heavy Chevy, which was a favorite car from my childhood.

IMG_6237 IMG_6238 IMG_623919322 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Nitty Gritty Kitty, Heavy Chevy, King Cuda, Light My Firebird


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1998 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary Replicas

I haven’t had much luck at garage sales this summer, though I’ve been to quite a few. Instead, I’ve been scoring my finds at resale shops. I found these Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary replicas at one of those stores that specializes in pre-owned children’s clothing and toys. The outer boxes are a little beat up, but the unopened blister packs inside are in good shape.

In 1998, celebrating 30 years of production, Mattel created these replicas of the cars in their original packages which were said to “represent  collectors’ favorite models” – one from each year of Hot Wheels history. Below you can find a scan of the back of the outer box, which lists each casting that was chosen to represent each year.

Prior to 1998, Sweet 16 had only been released once – in 1973. Finding an original in mint condition can set you back a few hundred dollars. This retool, of course, is worth considerably less, but still a fun find.

IMG_6202IMG_620518862 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Sweet 16 (1973) | red | redlines

Large Charge is nowhere near as rare. After its first release in 1975, it was produced in more than 30 variations (sometimes called Silver Bullet or Aeroflash) up until as recently as 2011.

IMG_6203IMG_620618864 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Large Charge (1975) | green | redlines

Auburn 852 is another popular casting which first appeared in 1979. I have one of the original first casting, as well as a few other variations.

IMG_6201IMG_620418868 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Auburn 852 (1979) | red | blackwalls



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M2 Machines 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS

Castline has been cranking out their M2 Machines ’67 Novas for years. I have over 20 variations going back to at lease 2009. They are nice models, but it’s nice to see them switching things up a little bit. For Release 29, they cut a hole in the hood and gave each version a different engine. I found both variations of R29 at Walmart, my favorite of which has the black stripe and the stacks.

IMG_6162 IMG_6159 2014 Auto-Drivers R29 | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 14-17 | metallic gold

2014 Auto-Drivers R29 | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 14-16 | metallic gold with black stripe

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Hot Wheels Club Original 16 Ford J-Car

I don’t often go for the offerings available only on the Hot Wheels Collector’s website. But I’m pretty fond of the Ford J-Car that I still have from my childhood, and this is a casting that hasn’t been on the pegs since 1971. There’s also a 2010 Neo-Classics version in Spectraflame blue that I’d like to get my hands on.

IMG_6156IMG_6158 BLR25 | 2014 HWC Original 16 Series I Ford J-Car | spectraflame green with black & white trim | redlines


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Jada ’67 Chevy Nova SS

I recently found this Jada BIGTIME Muscle ’67 Chevy Nova at Toys ‘R Us. See my other variations of the Jada ’67 Nova below. This Wave 20 variation has a cutout in the hood so the blown engine can breathe.

IMG_5662 IMG_5660Jada Toys | BIGTIME Muscle | Wave 20 | ’67 Chevy Nova SS | red
IMG_6209IMG_62132005 BIGTIME Muscle | ’67 Chevy Nova SS  | yellow & black

IMG_6208IMG_62142005 BIGTIME Muscle | ’67 Chevy Nova SS | silver & black

IMG_6210IMG_62112005 BIGTIME Muscle | ’67 Chevy Nova SS | silver & black stripes & flames

IMG_6207IMG_62152007 For Sale | ’67 Chevy Nova SS | gray and black primer

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Antique Store Finds

When I was in Manhattan, Kansas, a few weeks ago, I walked into a little antique shop and found this fun assortment of cars. All of these cars are fairly well worn, but the price was right.

Compare this 1967 Lesney Matchbox Greyhound Bus to the Hot Wheels version from 1980.

IMG_6145IMG_61461967 Lesney Matchbox | 66 | Greyhound Bus | metallic gray, amber windows | black plastic wheels

This Lesney Matchbox London Bus from 1966 is a little rough, but it’s in better shape than the 1970s-era London bus from my childhood.

IMG_6148 IMG_61471966 Lesney Matchbox | 14 | Daimler London Bus | green with Esso graphics | black plastic wheels

This 1965 Taylor Jumbo Crane still has a functioning boom and intact plastic hook.

IMG_6140 IMG_6143 IMG_61491965 Lesney Matchbox | 11 | Taylor Jumbo Crane | yellow with red weight box | black plastic wheels

I had never heard of the Corgi Rockets before, so this gold chrome Aston Martin DB6 may be the most interesting car in the lot. The Rockets, which were meant to be raced on track sets, were produced for only a little over a year starting in October of 1969. Each car came with a key which could be used to remove the black plastic chassis so the car could be given a “tune-up”.

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IMG_61671969 Corgi Rockets | D901 Aston Martin DB6 | gold chrome

Finally, I can’t resist one of the original 16 Hot Wheels redlines, even if it’s been given a custom paint job and partially burned like this Deora from 1968.

IMG_6136IMG_61371968 Hot Wheels | 6210 | Deora | red, with custom paint | USA | redline

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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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