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