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.