1980 ‘Vette Van and 1981 Iron Man

In 1980, Hot Wheels introduced the Hi-Rakers, a series of models in which the back end could be raised or lowered to adjust the rake of the car. This ‘Vette Van from 1980 is an example.

1980 | 1135 | ‘Vette Van | black with white, red and yellow trim | Malaysia | blackwalls

In 1981, the casting was painted white, given new graphics and released as Iron Man in the Heroes series, though with the same Hi-Raker action.

1981 | 3301 | Iron Man | white with black, red and yellow trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls

Other Hot Wheels Hi-Rakers are the 3-Window ’34, ’40s Woodie, Dodge D-50, Split Window ’63 and Turbo Wedge.


1978 Jaguar XJS

The Jaguar XJ-S was a luxury grand tourer made by the British carmaker from 1975 to 1996. Though it has some nice lines and interesting features, it is hardly a design icon like its predecessor, the beautiful E-Type. The XJ-S was initially powered by the formidable V12, with a straight-six option available by 1983.

This is the first release of the Hot Wheels Jaguar XJS, which came out in 1978. The Hot Wheels XJS was produced up until 1987 in about 12 different variations, including the gold chrome version from 1979.

1978 | 2012 | Jaguar XJS | gray with yellow, red & black trim, | Hong Kong | blackwalls

Nylint Aerial Hook-N-Ladder

With the recent 3.5+” of rain, we’ve had a little water finding new places to creep into our basement. One of the few things that got a little soggy, was the Nylint fire truck that I’ve had since the late 1970s, still in its original box. While I’m airing it out, I thought this would be a good time to photograph it.

The Nylint Corporation was formed in 1937 by Bernard Klint in Rockford, Illinois. Initially a manufacturer of kitchen utensils, Nylint prospered during WWII by shifting manufacturing to anti-aircraft magazines and torpedo components. After the war, Nylint took advantage of their modern metal-stamping facilities to create pressed-steel toys. One of Nylint’s first toys, called the “Amazing Car,” was based on the real Chrysler Airflow and featured a wind up motor. During the 1950s, Nylint began to make toys modeled after heavy construction equipment. Over the years, Nylint created a mix of trucks, some based on real vehicles and others of a more stylized nature. But in the late 1970s, Nylint began to make realistic versions of trucks using actual corporate logos which were geared for the collectible market. Nylon continued to make pressed-metal toys until the company’s demise in 2001.

1977 Z-Whiz

This is the first release of the Hot Wheels Z-Whiz which came out in 1977 – or is it? It seems there is an identical version which was released in the 1978 Super Streeters series. Without the packaging, I guess it’s impossible to know for sure. There are redline versions of the grey 1977 model too, and there is an ulra-rare white version that goes for big bucks. In addition, Z-Whiz was produced up until 1984 in several other colors including the gold chrome variation from 1979.

1977 | 9639 | Z-Whiz | gray with orange, yellow and blue trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls

2008 Hot Wheels Top 40 Set ’68 Chevy Nova

I remember seeing the Hot Wheels Top 40 Set at Toys “R” Us way back when, but I wasn’t willing to pay the full retail price for 40 cars when all I really wanted was the ’68 Nova. Now it looks like the sets are going for around $100 online. I found this loose version on eBay for quite a bit less. I think the redlines look especially sharp against the silver, gray and black paint and trim.

N4608 | 2008 Hot Wheels Top 40 Set | ’68 Chevy Nova | metalflake silver with gray & black trim | RLBW

Here’s a link to my Hot Wheels ’68 Nova page.

1980 Stutz Blackhawk


The original Stutz Motor Company made its American luxury cars from 1911 until 1935. In 1968, the company was revived and produced the Stutz Blackhawk from 1971 through 1978. The Blackhawk of the 1970s had a custom-build Italian body that was installed over a GM platform and engine. The first Blackhawk was purchased by Elvis Presley in 1970 for $26,500. Other famous owners included Evel Knievel and Muhammad Ali.

My Hot Wheels Stutz Blackhawk is from 1980, the year of its first casting. I found it on eBay while hunting for other blackwalls. The Hot Wheels version was produced up until 1999 in about 15 different variations. I’m not sure this is the paint job Elvis would have wanted on his car, but I think it makes a nice addition to my collection.

1980 | 1126 | Stutz Blackhawk | gray with blue, yellow and white trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls