First released in 1984, the Hot Wheels Turbo Heater was designed by Larry Wood and is based on the 1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo. The real-life Dodge Daytona was a front-wheel-drive hatchback produced by Chrysler from 1984 to 1993. Available engines for 1984 were the 93hp 2.2 L Chrysler K engine or the turbocharged 142hp version. The ’84 Daytona Turbo was included in Car and Driver‘s 10Best list. The Chrysler Laser, essentially an upscale rebadge of the Daytona, was produced from 1984 to 1986.
There are only about 5 variations of this Hot Wheels casting over two years (including the 1986 release which was called Highway Heat). This well-worn metalflake blue blackwall example of Turbo Heater from 1985 – it could also be found that year with gold Hot Ones – was found in the 25-cent tub at the Wichita Flea Market and is the first of this casting that I’ve added to my collection.