A few weeks ago during the holiday break, I stopped at an estate sale to see what could be found. I’ve been to some strange places in the search for cars, but this place was among the weirdest. It was a hoarder’s delight – a compound of shacks strung together in a veritable maze full of foul-smelling junk. Books, tools, records and 8-track tapes, lots of Elvis and John Wayne memorabilia. Part of it had obviously been a house at one time, but I cannot imagine living there. Among all of this, I found a single Hot Wheels toy. This Fire Eater, still sealed in what was left of its filthy original package.
Had the package been more complete, I would have probably left it sealed. But the poor condition (and mostly the lingering smell) convinced me to open it up. The first-release Fire Eater from 1977 looks much the same as this, with the exception of redline tires. The back of this package was dated 1983.
It’s pretty cool to have a car that’s in such shiny and clean condition, especially when I have another (that I used to think was in pretty good shape) to compare it to.
Interestingly, the chrome plastic base does show some oxidation. This is also a good opportunity to show that the blackwalls Fire Eater has a base variation. Although both versions are made in Malaysia, it can be found either with holes in the base or without.