My brother Joe is doing some salvage work these days, and when I saw him at my family reunion in June, he brought me a bag of cars he had found in a house he was tasked with cleaning out.
This Hot Wheels Dumpin’ A was coated with grime and had what appeared to be a chunk of modeling clay stuck in the back. I used a popsicle stick to remove most of the clay, then dissolved the rest with vegetable oil. After going over the rest of the car with a damp Q-tip, I had myself a pretty sharp car!
This Dumpin’ A from 1980, with its orange paint and yellow plastic dumper, is the opposite brother to the first casting from 1979, which is yellow with an orange dumper.
1980 Hot Wheels | Dumpin’ A | orange with yellow dumper, yellow, orange and red trim | HK | bw
After looking over the rest of the cars in the bunch, I realized none of them would clean up well. So I decided to photograph them just as is. I often wonder about the history of the cars I acquire. How many previous owners did they have? Were any of them ever a child’s favorite toy? I’ve lived a pretty good life and have a hard time imagining the circumstances that would cause a family to leave a home with belongings still in it. I suspect these cars have some interesting stories they could tell.
1991 Hot Wheels | ’57 T-Bird | red with green, blue and pink trim, gray plastic base | MY | bw
1991 Hot Wheels | Bronco 4-Wheeler | white with black stripes, missing camper shell (Ecolab Pest Control promo) | MY | bw
1994 Hot Wheels | Back Burner | red with grey plastic engine (McDonald’s giveaway) | plastic 5-spoke
1999 Hot Wheels | Trail Runner | lime green (McDonald’s giveaway) | 5SP
2002 Hot Wheels | 40 Somethin’ | yellow with white and black trim | MY | PR5
1965 Lesney/Matchbox | #68 Mercedes Coach | orange, missing top half
1965 Lesney/Matchbox | #69 Hatra Tractor Shovel | orange with yellow wheels, black tires, missing top and shovel
1983 Matchbox | #11 Ford IMSA Mustang | black with yellow and green flames
1983 Matchbox | #7 Volkswagen Ruff Rabbit 4×4 | yellow with black rabbits
Majorette #228/291 Depanneuse | orange with black, blue and silver trim, missing black plastic tow hooks | 1:62 | Made in France
1981 Ertl | Dukes of Hazard General Lee | orange with blue and white trim, missing back wheel
Tootsietoy | La France Fire Truck | red | Chicago, USA
Tootsietoy | Crane | green, missing plastic crane cab and boom
Unknown | S8003 | Race Car | red with black, orange and white trim, plastic base