While hunting on eBay for all the first-release Hot Wheels from 1979, I often get distracted. This Ford Stake Bed Truck from 1986 is one of those distractions. I think I like it mostly because it reminds me a lot of the Matchbox Dodge Cattle Truck from my childhood collection, but it didn’t hurt at all that I won the auction for only 1 cent.
The Ford Stake Bed Truck was first released in 1983 and has appeared in quite a few variations over the years. It also has been produced in different configurations as the Ford Dump Truck, Rig Wrecker, and Semi Fast II.
1986 | 4018 | Ford Stake Bed Truck | metallic dark red with yellow white and blue trim and yellow bed | Malaysia | blackwalls
Here’s another pretty clean eBay find, the yellow Inside Story from 1980, which makes a nice companion to the gray first release from the year before.
1980 | 2510 | Inside Story | yellow with purple and red trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls
One of my favorite childhood Hot Wheels was the Corvette Stingray. I don’t think I was the only kid who felt this way, since this popular casting has been released in multitudes of variations ever since its first release in 1976. For the first few years, the casting used the same tampo pattern as the original, but with variations in the color and underlying paint, such as this orange, black, purple and yellow version from 1980.
1980 | 9241 | Corvette Stingray | orange with black, purple and yellow trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls
This is another fairly clean first release from 1979 that I was able to find on eBay. Royal Flash is a diecast version of the Lotus Esprit with the Union Jack emblazoned on the hood.
1979 | 2501 | Royal Flash | white with red and blue Union flag trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls
This casting originated in 1970 as Tri Baby and was released again in 1973 as Buzz Off. This gold chrome version with groovy trim and a black plastic base is from 1977.
1977 | 6976 | Buzz Off | gold chrome with orange, maroon & black trim, black plastic base | Hong Kong | blackwalls
Originally released in 1975 wearing white paint and using the same casting as the much beloved Super Van, Paramedic was a fine compliment to the Emergency Squad. In 1977, Paramedic was produced in yellow and could be found with either redlines or blackwall tires.
1977 | 7661 | Paramedic | yellow with red & white trim, metal base | Hong Kong | blackwalls
The famous American drag racer, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme began his partnership with Hot Wheels in 1970, when diecast versions of his dragster and funny car – along with dueling versions from his rival, Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen – were both released in the lineup. This 1978 first release which carries the Prudhomme name is based on the Plymouth Arrow funny car. The same casting was also used for the Human Torch in 1979, the Pepsi Challenger in 1982, and Screamin’ in 1985.
1978 | 2023 | Army Funny Car | white with red & blue trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls