In the back corner of the Paramount Marketplace, there is a booth that has quite a few carded Hot Wheels. Every time I go in, I scour that booth for Collector Card variations that I don’t yet have. Surprisingly, on my recent visit I found three more to add to my collection.
The Hot Wheels Mercedes 380 SEL was first released in the 1982 The Hot Ones series and has been produced in about 33 different variations up until it was included in the 1999 Final Run series. This metalflake burgundy version is one of two wheel variations (the other wore 5-spokes) of the Collector #253 from 1995.
Back in May, I dropped into Paramount Marketplace to see what could be found. In one booth, I came across a baggie of 6 assorted diecast Jeeps and 4-wheelers for $2.50. I spotted one keeper in the bag and figured I would send the rest to my friend, Brad, who collects trucks and off-road vehicles. When I got home, I realized this beat-up Hot Wheels CJ-7 was the 1983 tan interior variation that I did not yet have. In addition to having large gouges in the paint, this model is missing the windshield and has a caved in plastic roll cage. It is so rough that it makes my 1983 black interior version – which is also missing parts – look pretty good.
Hot Wheels | 1983 | 3259 | Jeep CJ-7 | metalflake red-brown with black, red and orange eagle, tan interior and spare tire, missing windshield | MY | bw
This next CJ-7 is the “keeper” from the bag. It is from a 1988 Color Racers 3-pack and, though the paint is in reasonably decent shape and it has an intact windshield, it also has a caved-in roll cage.
In 1981, AMC introduced the CJ-8, its pick-up truck version of the Jeep. More than 22 inches longer than the CJ-7, base models were powered by a 150 cu. in. four-cylinder engine and a four-speed manual transmission, with options that included a 6-cylinder and a five-speed manual transmission. The Scrambler package featured graphic stripes and special wheels. The CJ-8 was not well-received at the time and it had difficulty competing with the popular and less-expensive import mini-trucks. Disappointing first-year sales (8,355 as compared to an average annual sales of 34,482 for the CJ-7) only declined over the next few years, and 1986 was the last year of production. In recent years, however, collector values of the relatively hard-to-find CJ-8 have increased dramatically.
The Hot Wheels Jeep Scrambler was first cast for the Real Riders series in 1983. It was produced in about 11 different variations up to 1997, then was retooled for 2009 and has so far seen about 13 more variations. This black version with red and yellow stripes is from the 1984 Real Riders series and is one of my recent R&S Resale finds. It’s a little rough and has two non-original replacement tires on the driver’s side, but it was definitely worth rescuing from the box of loose cars in the back of the store.
The Hot Wheels CAT Earth Mover was first released in the 1987 Hot Wheels Workhorses series. One of 6 different CAT vehicles made by Hot Wheels during the 1980s, the casting was produced in about 5 different variations until 1996. This example of the 1989 Workhorses release is one of my recent R&S Resale finds. Unfortunately, it is missing the plastic cage around the cab and has a bent exhaust stack.
The Hot Wheels Command Tank was first released in 1984 as Battle Tank and was produced in about 9 different variations up to 1996. It is based on the real-life U.S. Army M113 armored personnel carrier. This olive camo version is from the 1985 Action Command series and will make a nice companion to the Troop Convoy, Roll Patrol Jeep CJ-7 and Big Bertha I already have from the same year and series.
In 1983, Hot Wheels released a line of vehicles packaged with an additional plastic part that could be added or removed from the vehicle. For example, the metallic light blue Hi-Tail Hauler with a white plastic camper on the bed is from the Extras Series. Other castings included in the series – which only lasted one year – were the ’31 Doozie (removable top), the Oshkosh Snowplow (removable blade), the Peterbilt Dump Truck (removable dump bed), the Sunagon (removable top), and the Upfront 924 with a removable plastic ski rack.
The Hot Wheels Ford Stake Bed Truck made its debut in the 1983 Extras Series and has been produced in about 19 different variations. This nice example of the ’83 first-casting is one of my recent eBay scores.
The Hot Wheels Turbo Streak is an open-wheel racing car designed by Larry Wood and first released in 1983. There are about 30 variations that can be found – including several promos – up until the casting was included in the 1998 FAO Schwartz History of Hot Wheels Racing III.
The Hot Wheels Porsche 930 was first cast in 1991 and has been released in about 30 different variations. It is based on the real-life, top-of-the-line, turbocharged version of the Porsche 911 that was manufactured by the German automaker between 1975 and 1989. The Hot Wheels version represents the Flachbau (flatnose) package, a premium option which featured the slanted front end (and the resulting aerodynamic improvements) of the legendary Porsche 935 race car.
The Hot Wheels casting that would eventually be called Malibu Gran Prix was first released in 1974 as El Ray Special and, in 1976, the name was changed to Formula P.A.C.K. In 1982, the casting was reissued as Malibu Gran Prix, and it was cast in both Hong Kong and Malaysia. I already have a well-worn example of the Malaysia casting, but I picked up this much cleaner model among my recent finds at R&S Resale.
The Hot Wheels Sting Rod is a Larry Wood design that was first cast in 1988. It was produced in about 6 different variations up until 1996, then was retooled in 2010 and so far has been released in about 7 more versions. Sting Rod, a highly armored and weaponized sports car (Toyota Supra?) with a monster off-road chassis, is among the more fantastic vehicles included in the Action Command series, which generally included more traditional military-type models. In the 1988 Action Command series, Sting Rod was released in 4 variations; olive camouflage with either black or sawblade construction tires and tan camo with the same wheel options. This example with olive camo and black construction tires is one of my R&S Resale finds.
The missile launcher on the back of Sting Rod can be pivoted up and down to aim at your target.
Hot Wheels | 1988 Action Command | 5025 | Sting Rod | olive with dark green, brown and tan camouflage | MY | black ct