Way back during Spring Break, my family and I made a road trip down to Dallas for a few days. I didn’t get a chance to do any car shopping in Dallas, but on the drive back I suggested we stop to stretch our legs in Oklahoma City. We found ourselves at the WalMart just off I-35 in Edmond, where I found the ZAMAC ’66 Chevy Nova. More recently, I picked up the light blue version at a WalMart here in town. I grabbed the lime green version very early this year, so this completes the trio of ’66 Novas that have been released so far for 2013.
I think my favorite of these is the ZAMAC version. ZAMAC is an acronym for the words zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper, the four elements used in the alloy developed by the New Jersey Zinc Company in 1929. This alloy solved the problem of “zinc pest”, which caused early die-cast products to corrode and crumble due to the inclusion of lead impurities. Since the very beginning, Hot Wheels have taken advantage of the ZAMAC shine; the earliest redlines were painted with translucent, bright “Spectraflame” colors which allowed the sparkle of the underlying metal to show through. In 2004, almost half of all the First Edition Hot Wheels were released with the popular clear-coat over metal finish. This year, there are 12 different models with the ZAMAC look, all of them available exclusively at WalMart.
I find it interesting that these Novas have a “502” on the hood. The Chevy 502-cubic-inch engine was a large block V-8 that was offered in various fleet and service vehicles in the late ’80s and early ’90s, but became popular in later years by customizers and hot rodders. The largest engine option available in 1966 for the Nova was a 350hp 327 V-8.
X2046 | 2013 HW Showroom | ’66 Chevy Nova | ZAMAC/blk, blue, pink trim | black PR5 white rim
X1996 | 2013 HW Showroom | ’66 Chevy Nova | light blue with black, red, white trim | black PR5 red rim
When I was very young, my parents had a Pontiac Catalina station wagon, a 1966, I think. One of my earliest memories involves standing up in the front seat between my between my mom and my dad, looking out the windshield as we cruised down the highway on a roadtrip somewhere. So I’ve got a soft spot for wagons from the 1960s. That’s part of the reason why the ’64 Nova station wagon is my favorite new casting since the ’68 Nova came out back in 2004.
The first real Chevy II was made in 1962, a basic compact car that would compete directly with the popular Ford Falcon. Originally the Nova badge was reserved for the high-end models. In 1964, the Chevy II was produced in a 4-door sedan, 2-door sedan, 2-door station wagon, 2-door sport coupe, and a 4-door station wagon like this casting. 1964 was also the first year that a V-8 option was offered, boosting the Nova’s appeal among drag racers.
So far, the Hot Wheels Nova station wagon has been produced in two colors, metallic aqua and metallic burgundy, both of which are pictured here.
X1624-09A0F | 2013 HW Showroom | ’64 Chevy Nova Station Wagon | metallic aqua with black and white trim | MC5
X1624-09A0F | 2013 HW Showroom | ’64 Chevy Nova Station Wagon | metallic burgundy with black and white trim | MC5
Before I found the metallic burgundy version on a card, I saw it in a 9-car gift pack, so I have this loose version too.
This Bertone Runabout Speed King from 1971 is another garage sale find. The paint is pretty worn, the windshield is not entirely intact, but the plastic opening hood still functions. This is only the second Matchbox King Size that I’ve added to my collection.
1971 | Speed Kings K-31 | Bertone Runabout | orange with green windshield | Superfast wheels
My first garage sale find of the season was this Airport Rescue from 1981. It was in a bin full of cars priced 4 for $1. It was the only car in the whole bunch that I wanted, so the nice woman gave it to me for nothing. It’s got a fair amount of wear, but at least the plastic water cannons are still intact. Of the few variations, the red French-made version from 1983 is most valuable.
1981 | 1699 | Airport Rescue | yellow with red and black tampo | HK | blackwalls
How do you plan to spend your summer? How about we all take a nice, long cruise in my new flamed-out ’65 Chevy Impala? The Sunburnerz series is a Kroger exclusive, and I found mine at the friendly neighborhood Dillon’s grocery store. (Actually, it’s not the one in my own neighborhood, but one in a somewhat swankier area that has a much better toy section than mine.) According to the Kroger website, you should be able to find your own Sunburnerz Hot Wheel at one of 2,242 stores in 31 states.
The ’65 Chevy Impala first appeared in the Hot Wheels lineup in 1998 and has been produced in more than 20 variations since. I have a number of these in my own collection, including the 2009 version from the Holiday Hot Rods 3-Pack.
Y2148 | 2013 Hot Wheels Sunburnerz (Kroger Exclusive) | ’65 Chevy Impala | orange with yellow and orange flames | gold Y5s