Only once has it ever happened that someone has given me their entire childhood collection – not that I would discourage it from happening again! My friend, Big A, kept his hot wheels in a Race Case almost identical to mine. A few years younger than me, his collection is a nice selection of mostly blackwalls from the early 80s. My favorite is this Hare Splitter, a German round-headlight version of the 1974 VW Rabbit. The original 1979 casting is identical with the exception of a red tire rack; the other version from 1982 was yellow. I’d like to put this car up against my childhood Ford Escort RS2000. Which do you think would win?
I saw some garage sale signs pop up in the neighborhood on Wednesday evening, so I decided to check them out on the next day. I stopped at one on my way home for lunch on Thursday. I found a box with some old Hot Wheels tracks, a Speedometer and a Big Belter (with Speed Control). As I paid for the find, I asked the woman if she had any cars hidden around anywhere. “I sold them all this morning,” she said, “Tray after tray of my husbands old cars from the 60s and 70s.” Ouch. I guess until I get serious enough to get up at 6AM every Thursday, I’ll have to be happy with the things that the professional garage salers pass over.
The Speedometer, which is copyrighted 1968, still works fine. The Big Belter, copyright 1970 just needed a couple of fresh rubber bands, though the Speed Controls seem to be worn out and I think it’s missing a tower or something in the middle. My find also included several sections of straight track and two 180 degree curves, and a few sections of yellow Matchbox Superfast track. If you want more info on Hot Wheels track sets, check out the HotWheelsRaceTracks blog, where you can even watch videos of the sets in action.
We had quite a bit of track when I was a kid, enough that we could make a whole city out of Lincoln Logs and other building toys that our Hot Wheels could zip around. An older brother inherited that track, but a few years ago I bought a re-issue of the old Stunt Action Set at Target – the one with the classic loop and the ramp. In fact, about the only time that my son plays with Hot Wheels is when we get out the orange track. Still, I was a little surprised how much fun he’s been having with this Speedometer.
So we went to another garage sale this morning and I came across some newer Hot Wheels toys, a police station and a bank. I showed them to my son and he immediately wanted to buy them. “Dad,” he said, “we could make a whole city!”
I haven’t had much luck at garage sales the past few weekends. I brought home a couple of loose cars last Saturday, but they turned out to be not as old as I thought they might be. Just like the old saying: You can’t alway judge a car by it’s wheels.
So here is a nice find from a few seasons ago. The Matchbox Ford Heavy Wreck Truck first came out in 1968 and the prototype version with amber windows can be fairly valuable. This one has seen a little playtime, but it makes a nice companion for the Dodge Wreck Truck from my childhood collection.