I got these cars from my friend and fellow artist, Randy Regier. If you check out Randy’s work, you’ll see right away that Randy has a great appreciation for all things vintage. His studio is a veritable treasure-trove of items from bygone days. That’s why I’m more than happy to accept anything he passes on to me.
I’ve enjoyed the Formula 5000 since I picked up a super-clean blackwall version on eBay awhile back. This casting really appeals to my appreciation for open wheel racing, which I’ve posted about before. The Formula 5000 series started in 1968 as a low-cost sub-class of Formula A racing where single seaters from different origins could compete, however, the series quickly became dominated by cars running American V8 engines. Formula 5000 racing continued worldwide until it fell victim to increasing costs and changing regulations in the 1980s.
This Larry Wood designed redline is from the casting’s debut in 1976.
This little bug had me confused when I first looked it up. The values I was seeing on the 1974 first casting made me think I might have to offer to give it back to Randy. Eventually, I realized that the black plastic base made it a Wisconsin Toy Company promotional from 1980. Still, I was surprised to find a car from 1980 with redline tires. Either way, it makes a nice addition to my collection, especially since my son is currently infatuated with the Slug Bug.
This next car is Jet Threat II, first released in 1976. I can’t see any major differences from the original Jet Threat casting which came out in 1971, but I don’t have an actual car to compare. I do like the bright paint/tampo combination of this 1978 variation and – other than missing the plastic canopy that’s supposed to cover the rear cockpit, it’s pretty clean.
And finally, a car that’s showing its age with a missing yellow wing and excessively worn tires. This represents the 1980 first casting of the Turbo Wedge, which for that year was part of the Hi-Rakers series – cars with adjustable-position rear axles. Interestingly, raising the rear of this model makes so little difference in the car’s profile that I didn’t even bother to photograph it that way.