Zamac 2014 Chevrolet SS

I recently found the Zamac version of the 2014 Hot Wheels Chevrolet SS – one that I wasn’t lucky enough to find in stores when it first came out – at the Village Flea Market. The casting represents a GM-manufactured, Brazilian Impala/Opel hybrid called the Opala. I have the dark blue version from 2014, as well as the 2012 first release and a sweet 2013 variation with racing graphics.

IMG_8221IMG_8227BFG77 | 2014 HW Workshop #199 | Chevrolet SS (Opala) | zamac with blue, light blue and black trim | 5SP | 1:64

I do not have the Treasure Hunt version that came out in 2014, and I just noticed hobbyDB is showing a pearl yellow version that is exclusive to 2016 multipacks. Now you know what I’ll be looking for next.

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Lesney Matchbox Major Pack 7

In the box of cars I acquired from RR, I found this lonely Lesney Matchbox trailer. I knew right away I had to find a mate for it, after all, how much fun is a trailer without something to tow it behind?

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A little research told me what I needed to find, and eBay offered a few possibilities. I settled on this cab from a lot of 3. The gray plastic wheels match the trailer, the well-worn condition fits with most of my other Lesney-era toys, and I really like the other two models in the lot (which you will see in a future post).

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The Major Pack #7 first came out in 1960 with the Thames Trader cab towing the Jennings Cattle Truck. There are some variations in the trailer casting and the color of the plastic ramp (missing from mine) and some versions have black plastic wheels. Personally I think my reunited pair is greater than the sum of its parts.

IMG_8121 IMG_81221960 | Major Pack M7 | #7 Thames Trader cab & Jennings Cattle Truck | red cab with tan trailer | gray wheels

2016 HW Art Cars ’65 Chevy Impala

On top of each of the elaborately-decorated 2016 Hot Wheels Art Cars, you will find a letter of the alphabet. If you collect all of the cars in the series, you can line them up side-by-side to spell a secret message. I was thinking the message was “HW Art Cars” but with 10 cars in the series, that doesn’t work out quite right. Well, I don’t plan to collect all 10 cars so I may never know what it spells, but I do like the intricate Maori tattoo-like pattern on this ’65 Chevy Impala.

IMG_8223IMG_8226DHR84 | 2016 HW Art Cars | ’65 Chevy Impala | white with black trim | gold chrome and black OH5

Update: I also picked up the red version. I recently read in the Hot Wheels Newsletter that there is a hard to spot wheel variation: “Both have pr5 wheels the common version is all chrome rainbow wheels and the short run has a rainbow lip.” I think mine is the rainbow lip.

img_9198 img_9215DHX64 | 2016 HW Art Cars | ’65 Chevy Impala | red with black trim | chrome and black PR5 (rainbow lip?)

I have a number of Hot Wheels ’65 Impalas in my collection, some of which you can see here, here and here.

One Man’s Junk …

My artist friend, Randy Regier, is moving to Kansas City. Randy’s meticulously crafted sculptures are toys inspired by the expectations of his youth. For this reason, his studio is a storehouse of old stuff – toys, books, advertising materials and mid-century appliances – to use as inspiration or materials for his work. So when Randy invited a few of us to come over and pick through a few boxes of things that he elected not to take with him on the move, I jumped at the chance.

Among other odds and ends, I brought home a box of old children’s textbooks, some vintage slot cars, and a box of mostly loose diecast cars. The diecast cars included some nice Majorette and Corgi models (that I will show in future posts) and an assortment of “off-brand” models. A few of these are unidentifiable brands. I don’t go out of my way to collect these kinds of cars, but you have to admit, some of these have a certain charm.

Even though they spelled Firebird as two words (Fire Bird) and the design on the hood is a little crooked, this is a pretty nice litte casting of the classic Pontiac. It even has opening doors.

IMG_8086 IMG_8087IMG_8251Fire Bird | black | made in Hong Kong

The ’63 Corvette is a beautiful car, but this casting seems a little lumpy.

IMG_8076 IMG_8077’63 Corvette | red | made in Hong Kong

Another lumpy example, this one a ’71 Mustang Fastback.

IMG_8078IMG_8079’71 Mustang Fastback | orange | made in Hong Kong

The photos don’t really show the glittery sheen of the paint on this model, which I think is supposed to be a Ferrari 308.

IMG_8070 IMG_8072Ferrari | silver | made in China

I like the interesting choice of colors and decoration on this Chevy Stepside Pick-up.

IMG_8080 IMG_8081Chevrolet Stepside Pick-up | salmon with Cosmos graphics

The next two are a pair of fun Formula One cars, though I wonder if the paint colors and sponsor decals are historically accurate.

IMG_8092IMG_8093Martini Racing F1 | blue | made in Hong Kong

IMG_8090 IMG_8091Ligier Gitanes F1 | silver | made in Hong Kong

This dump truck (maybe a Hino?) would be fun in the sandbox.

IMG_8229IMG_8083IMG_8230Dump Truck | light blue | made in Hong Kong

And finally, a rather badly proportioned version of KITT, the car from the popular ’80s TV show Knight Rider.

IMG_8088IMG_8089Knight 2000 | black | 1982 Universal Studios | Made in Macao

hobbyDB

For several years, the South Texas Diecast website was my go-to for information on Hot Wheels. The site was home to the most complete online listing of Hot Wheels variations -compiled over 16 years by Diecast Hall of Famer, Robert Graves, Jr. – from the first redlines to the latest releases. In November of 2015, partly to ensure his database would live on, Graves decided to merge the STDC site into hobbyDB.

hobbyDB is more than diecast. The wiki-like site catalogs over 152,000 collectible items in over 30,000 subjects and claims nearly 10,000 users. With detailed descriptions of each item, not only is it a great source of information for the collector, users can also take advantage of the system to keep track of their own collections, create a wishlist, or buy and sell items as well.

Access to this amazing database is “free forever”, but hobbyDB relies on thousands of collectors to help keep the listings up-to-date and accurate. If you are a collector and you are interested in helping out, click this link for more information on becoming a hobbyDB curator.

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