1968 Custom Fleetside and Flea Market Finds

When it comes to buying redlines, I’ve been burned before. I bought a lot of loose cars once because I got a glimpse of some redline tires on one of them. It wasn’t until I got them home that I flipped the car over and realized I had purchased a 25th anniversary car. So I was a little wary when I saw this Custom Fleetside on a table at the flea market. Since it was in a booth with a bunch of unrelated items, I thought there was a chance the seller just didn’t really know what he had. So I took a chance and paid the $8 for it. Now I’ve looked it over pretty well and done some more research and I’m pretty sure this is one of the original Sweet 16.

I get pretty excited when I see those values in my price guide, but then I remind myself that those are the mint-in-package prices. This car is obviously nowhere near mint, especially with the missing plastic box cover. But I’m not really doing this for the investment anyway, so I’ll consider it $8 well spent.

The Custom Fleetside is said to be the Hot Wheels model that most closely resembles the original inspiration for the toy cars. When Hot Wheels car designer Harry Bradley was struggling to come up with the look of the new die-cast toys, Mattel founder Elliot Handler pointed to Bradley’s own custom ’64 Chevrolet El Camino which had redline tires, mag wheels, a chopped top and a hood scoop. These elements became the signature look of all the original Hot Wheels, including this customized Chevrolet C10 Fleetside.

img_0373 img_03771968 | 6213 | Custom Fleetside | red with black top, missing box cover | Hong Kong | redline wheels

And here are the other finds from a productive day at the flea market. Just to remind you that I like Matchbox cars too, I picked up this GMC Refrigerator Truck. With its missing back door, it makes a nice companion to my Grit Spreader with missing wheels.

img_0378 img_03791967 | 44 | GMC Refrigerator Truck | red with turquoise container | black plastic wheels

The Hot Wheels Redliner was part of the 1985 Ultra Hots series. It is a variation of the AMX/2 that was first cast in 1971 and has been released under other names such as Xploder and Warpath. The spectraflame gold was what caught my eye and the ultra hot wheels sealed the deal.

img_0381 img_03821985 | 3917 | Redliner | spectraflame gold with red, orange & white trim | Hong Kong | ultra hot wheels

The Baja Breaker was first released in 1978 and has appeared in many variations over the years, including a few others that I have in my collection. This green version came out in 1980.

img_0383 img_0384 img_03851980 | 4360 | Baja Breaker | green with blue and white tampo, plastic hood opens | MY | blackwall tires

And finally, Science Friction. What else can you say about a rear-engine beast that has chrome windows, a radar dish, and some kind of ray gun protruding from in front of the windshield? The car was originally introduced in 1978, but this magenta beauty with the orange and blue stripes came out in 1982.

img_0386 img_03871982 | 2018 | Science Friction | magenta with blue & red trim | Malaysia | gold hot ones



2012 The Mystery Machine

I got a nice package in the mail last week, courtesy of a friend from the Hot Wheels collector’s message boards. I’d been unable to find the Mystery Machine locally, so I was pretty happy to get ahold of not just one, but both of the package variations. I don’t know the story behind the two different packages (anyone?), but the second one is identical to the look of the 2013 cars, even though it’s emblazoned with “NEW FOR 2012.” The only difference that I can see on the cars is that the bottom of the first is stamped “E25” and the second is stamped “E30”.

img_0332img_03452012 New Models | The Mystery Machine | teal with The Mystery Machine trim | Orange J5

img_0331img_0346HW Imagination – 2012 | The Mystery Machine | teal with The Mystery Machine trim | Orange J5

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was waking up on Saturday mornings to watch Scooby Doo on television. When my little boy was younger, we found some of the early episodes on DVD (remember when the gang met Batman and Robin?) and bought it for him. Just like that, the love of Scooby Doo was passed on to the next generation. At some point, we picked up these action figures at a garage sale and when I found out there was a Mystery Machine to go with them, I hunted one down on eBay. It’s been one of his favorite toys ever since.



1980 Hiway Hauler

The search for cars has taken me to some interesting places. I’ve been to rural trailer parks and mansion-lined neighborhoods. I’ve met some interesting characters too.

A few summers ago, my wife noticed a listing for a garage sale that was advertising lots of toys for sale. It was in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood and they did have lots of toys – piles and piles of them. When I didn’t see any diecast cars, I asked the guy if he had any Hot Wheels. We exchanged phone numbers and when I met him back there a few hours later, he sold me several cases of diecast toys out of the trunk of his car. I’ll call this guy The Dealer because I had the impression that he could have gotten me anything I wanted for the right price.

My favorite car from the many that The Dealer sold me is this Hiway Hauler, the first casting from 1980 with North American Van Lines emblazoned on the side. Hiway Hauler would go on to become the tiny rolling billboard for many brands over the years, including Mountain Dew, Goodyear, WalMart and even NASA.

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1980 | 5144 | Hiway Hauler | white with “North American Van Lines” graphics | Hong Kong | blackwalls

1984 Baja Breaker

The Ford 4×4 van was introduced to the Hot Wheels lineup in 1978 as the Baja Breaker. It features a roof rack, skylight window, running lights and a black plastic opening hood. The Baja Breaker has appeared in many variations over the years, including this black version with a red A-Team stripe (inspired by the popular television show of the time). Another version of the Baja Breaker I recently added to my collection is the Motocross Team Scene Machines van from 1979.

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1984 | 4360 | Baja Breaker | black with red stripe, plastic hood opens | Malaysia | blackwalls

2013 HW Showroom ’66 Chevy Nova

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year by posting photos of the first 2013 Hot Wheels model that I’ve added to my collection, the HW Showroom ’66 Chevy Nova. It’s similar to the lime green version from the 2012 lineup, with updated decoration.

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2013 HW Showroom | ’66 Chevy Nova | lime green with black, orange and silver trim | Chrome rim black PR5