One of the Hot Wheels castings I still need for my 1979 collection is the Monte Carlo Stocker. While I didn’t land the Monte Stocker – first released in 1975 – in my recent batch of eBay purchases, I did score a variation of that casting, called Lowdown. Lowdown first appeared in 1976 and can be found in six different variations, including this gold chrome version with blackwalls from 1977.
This shiny Lowdown makes a nice companion for my Rodger Dodger, another gold chrome model from about the same time period.
Hot Wheels | 1977 Flying Colors | 9185 | Lowdown | gold chrome with red, white and blue trim | HK | bw
The Larry Wood designed Hot Wheels Radar Ranger is a stout, futuristic, six-wheeled vehicle with a glass cockpit up front and a rotating chrome radar dish. It was first released in the 1988 Action Command series and can be found in about 18 variations up to the 2001 Final Run series. This metallic silver version with construction tires is from 1990. It is from my recent Facebook Marketplace score of Collector Cards Hot Wheels and is the first of this casting that I’ve added to my collection.
Hot Wheels | 1990 | #63 | Radar Ranger | metallic silver with black, red and blue trim | MY | ct
In addition to my recent score of ’90s Collector Cards from the Facebook Marketplace, I’ve also been on a bit of an eBay splurge. I decided to go after some of the harder to get variations that I still needed for my 1979 Hot Wheels collection. Since I had to pay a little more for some of these, I tried to find a much less expensive item from the same seller and take advantage of combined shipping to spread out the cost. When I average it out on this particular batch, I ended up spending $7 per car or just over 40% of mint value. Given that most of these cars are not mint condition, that’s probably not very impressive.
But I’ve been on the lookout for this orange ’56 Hi-Tail Hauler for some time, so I’m happy to finally add it. This particular variation (no tampo on the roof) actually appeared both in the 1978 The Heavies series and in the 1979 mainlines. Without the original package, it’s impossible to tell which one this really is. But for my purposes, I’m going to check it off my 1979 list and include it there.
It makes a really nice companion to the 1979 light blue variation of the same casting that I already have. My only other Hi-Tail Hauler is the metalflake blue version from 1982.
Hot Wheels | 1978/1979 | 9647 | ’56 Hi-Tail Hauler | orange with yellow and blue flames, black motorcycles, no roof tampo | HK | bw
For awhile now I’ve been a lot more interested in my collection of “vintage” diecast – especially my blackwall Hot Wheels – and less interested in much of the newer stuff that has been taking up space in several storage tubs in my basement. Recently, finding myself with a little more time at home and fewer opportunities to go out hunting for new cars, I finally got around to listing some things from my own collection to sell on the Facebook Marketplace. After having some success with that, I accumulated a little pile of cash to reinvest in the items I’ve been enjoying more.
So when I recently saw a local listing (also on the Facebook Marketplace) for a bunch of ’90s Collector Card Hot Wheels selling for $3 each, I jumped on it. Soon I was wandering through a pair of garages, which were, amidst the real cars and motorcycles, well-stocked with tubs of diecast. From a table of cars laid out, I picked out a nice selection to bring home with me.
Since its debut in 1978 as Highway Patrol, the Hot Wheels casting shown here as Sheriff Patrol has appeared in about 30 different variations, often with different names. The same model was used for 1979’s Fire Chaser, 1983’s Airport Security and 1992’s Gleamer Patrol from the Gleam Team series.
I already have two nice examples of the 1990 Sheriff Patrol – one that I picked up on eBay and another that’s still sealed in the 1992 Emergency Squad 5-Pack.
Hot Wheels | 1990 | #59 | Sheriff Patrol | black with yellow, blue and white trim | MY | bw
For months now I’ve been staying away from Walmarts and Targets. I have not been checking out garage sales or wandering through antique stores. And even though the monthly flea market started up again, I did not attend. When my wife and I made a grocery run to the neighborhood (Kroger-owned) Dillon’s and I saw a few display boxes loaded with Hot Wheels, I almost started drooling through my COVID mask.
Even still, I don’t want to be digging through the piles. So I was happy when this HW Art Cars ’70s Van with the King of Hearts livery was sitting right on top for me. This goes nicely with my collection of Super Vans – including the Super Van that I still have from my childhood.
I do like the Art Cars series, but I only buy the castings that I collect. So far, I have two variations of the ’65 Chevy Impala from the 2016 series, the striking black and white ’64 Impala from the 2018 series, and two variations of the ’64 Nova Wagon from the 2019 series.
Hot Wheels | GHC21 | 2020 Art Cars | Super Van | white with King of Hearts trim | MY | red chrome rim black 5SP
Other Super Vans in my collection include the chrome California Cruisin’ van from 1979, the white flamed-out version from 1980, the metalflake gray California Cruisin’ van from 1982, the 2008 Collectors Convention Super Van, the Archie Comics version from the 2013 Pop Culture series, and the Old El Paso Super Van from the 2013 General Mills series.
The Hot Wheels California Customs series, which was produced from 1990-1991, was a brightly colored range of cars packaged with a plastic collector coin and a sticker sheet. The first year featured 17 different castings, with different variations of many of those. 1991 brought another 10 castings, with a total of 48 variations of the 27 castings over the two-year span. Most had metalflake, fluorescent, or chrome paint, and many wore Real Riders. This chrome blue Custom Corvette with yellow Real Riders is from the first year of the series and is from the box of toys my friend, Leslie, gave me.
The chrome paint is tarnished; it might benefit from a good cleaning, but I don’t want to damage any of the stickers (even though they were applied in a rather questionable manner).
Hot Wheels | 1990 Hot Wheels California Custom | 1301 | Custom Corvette | chrome blue with pink, yellow and white trim, stickers added | MY | yelrr
Another Hot Wheels Custom Corvette in my collection is the pearl white Collector #200 from 1993.
The Hot Wheels Split Window ’63 made its debut in the 1980 Hi-Rakers series. In 1983 it was given a regular base and the popular 1963 Chevy Corvette model has since had a long run of over 100 different variations and counting. This flamed-out magenta version from Leslie’s box of toys is from 1987.
I have two other examples of the Hot Wheels Split Window ’63 that I’ve added to my collection; a black McDonald’s promo from 1991 and a mint Collector #197 from 1993.
Hot Wheels | 1987 | 1486 | Split Window ‘63 | magenta with light green, white and yellow flames | MY | ww
Continuing the recent trend of adding Hot Wheels Camaro Z-28s to my collection, I found another variation of the casting in the box of toys from my friend, Leslie. This rough metalflake red version is from the 1984 Hot Ones series.
Including my recent find that included 5 Camaro Z-28s, as well as one from the 1988 Color Racers, this make the 7th example of this model in my collection.
Hot Wheels | 1984 | 5182 | Camaro Z28 | metalflake dark red with white, yellow and blue trim | MY | gho
When my friend, Leslie, bought her house awhile back, it came complete with boxes of stuff in the basement left by the previous occupant. She recently allowed me to sort through a box of old toys and pick out some things I wanted for myself. Most of it is pretty rough, but I did find a few things worth adding to the collection.
The Hot Wheels CAT Dump Truck was first released in 1980 and can be found in about 12 different variations. This Malaysia-cast model with no tampo, C777 cast in the left side of the cab, and CATERPILLAR cast in the front is from the 1882 Workhorses series. It also has a metal dumper, as compared to the plastic dumper variation from about ten years later.
Hot Wheels | 1982 | 1171 | CAT Dump Truck | yellow with CV77 cast in left side, metal dumper | MY | yelct
The Hot Wheels ’58 Impala, which was first cast in 2007, is one we don’t see very often. Of the 10 different versions, 5 were included in that first year’s release in the Hot Wheels Classics Series 3. I have two of those – Spectraflame gold and light purple, which you can see below (the other colors that can be found are Spectraflame shades of red, ice blue and dark blue).
Hot Wheels | L0732 | 2006 Hot Wheels Classics Series 3 | ’58 Impala 4/30 | Spectraflame gold with silver trim, white top | TH | wl5sp
Hot Wheels | L0732 | 2006 Hot Wheels Classics Series 3 | ’58 Impala 4/30 | Spectraflame light purple with silver time, white top | TH | wl5sp
In 2008, the ’58 Impala showed up in the Since ’68 Series, which commemorated 40 years of the brand. The series was made up of four segments: Top 40; Muscle Cars; Originals; and Hot Rods, in which the ’58 Impala was included. I think this metalflake gray with red model in basic redlines is super sharp.
Hot Wheels | M1573 | 2007 Hot Wheels Since 1968 Hot Rods | ’58 Impala 5/10 | metalflake gray with red tampos on sides and top | TH | rl
In 2009, the ’58 Impala was included in the Connect Cars series and in 2011 there were two variations in the Treasure Hunts. The most recent appearance of the casting was the American Graffiti ’58 Impala in the 2013 Retro Entertainment Series.