Since I picked up the Malibu Gran Prix on eBay recently, I’ve been finding open-wheel race cars left and right. These two blackwall Hot Wheels Thunderstreak variations are from a different lot of three cars that I nabbed on eBay.
This casting began as Formula Fever in 1983, then was renamed Thunderstreak for the 1985 Real Riders series. The original tool had a fairly small wing which was part of the car’s metal base. This blue and yellow Kraco version from 1989 could be found both with and without STP on the sides. Though the metal base is pretty tarnished, this model is in otherwise fairly good shape.
Hot Wheels | 1989 | 3915 | Thunderstreak | blue and yellow with Kraco blue, yellow, white and red trim, “STP” | MY | BW
In 1992, Thunderstreak was retooled for the Pro Circuit series, now sporting a larger tail wing which is attached to the upper body of the car rather than the base. The Aquafresh promo from 1994 could be found with either “WaterPik” or “Aquafresh” on the tail.
Hot Wheels | 1994 | 9545 | Thunderstreak | turquoise with red, white and blue Aquafresh trim, “Aquafresh” on tail wing | MY | BW
This Hot Wheels casting suffers from an identity crisis. The El Ray Special was first released in the 1974 Flying Colors series, and in a short run of about a year and a half, it was seen in 4 different enamel paint colors. By mid- to late-1975, the nose of the car was retooled and Formula P.A.C.K. began to take the El Ray Special’s place in the Streak Machines 6-Pack. Formula Pack then went on to be a part of the Flying Colors series from 1976 through 1978. In 1982, the casting was reissued as Malibu Gran Prix, made in both Hong Kong and Malaysia. In 1984 it wore Real Riders and in 1985 it was a Kellogg’s Cereal promotion, but a yellow version could also be found in ’84-’85 that was called Lightning Gold.
Are you still with me? It’s a little worn, but I love the paint and tampo combination on this eBay find, the Hong Kong made Malibu Gran Prix from 1982. This is the first version of this multiple-personality casting that I’ve added to my collection.
1982 Hot Wheels | 9037 | Malibu Gran Prix | black with red, yellow and blue trim | HK | BW
This orange Hot Wheels Recycling Truck, which I landed recently on eBay, is from 1992, the casting’s first year. Of the dozen or so variations up until 2001, this is the only one that wore blackwalls, although it could also be found in 1992 with 7-spoke wheels. The Tomart’s book also lists three variations in the plastic container: large hole, small hole and no hole. With no other model to compare to, I’m assuming my version has the large hole.
1992 Hot Wheels | 2073 | Recycling Truck | orange with pink, blue and yellow trim, hole in container | MY | BW
Though I like my blackwall Recycling Truck, I couldn’t help but notice this casting’s version in the 2001 Final Run Series, which is a striking white with red, black and orange decoration, with a gold chrome base and Real Riders. Who knew a trash truck could look so good?
The Hot Wheels Porsche 959 was first released in 1988 and has about 40 variations up until 2015. This white model with Ultra Hot wheels is from the Park N’ Plates series of 1989. Interestingly, there are 7 different versions of the Park ‘N Plates release, all made in Malaysia, either with blackwalls or Ultra Hots and varying combinations of blue or clear glass and blue, black or tan interior. My recent eBay find has some wear to the paint and tampo but for some reason the chrome is almost completely worn off of the wheels.
1989 Hot Wheels Park ‘n Plates | 2038 | Porsche 959 | white with blue and red trim, blue interior, blue tinted windows | MY | UH
I scanned this image of a Park ‘N Plates package from my copy of the Tomart’s Price Guide to Hot Wheels. The series featured interlocking plastic storage containers with snap on license plates. The ’89 series made use of 11 different castings, including the ’57 Chevy and Nissan 300ZX, some with different variations of each. The Park ‘N Plates series continued in 1990 and 1991, and made a return for 1998, 2003 and 2004.
If the Hot Wheels Classic Cobra was a wildly popular casting, then the ’65 Mustang Convertible was even more so. How about more than 90 variations between its first release in 1984 and 2014? This dark red with yellow trim variation, another recent eBay find, is from 1991. The casting features a nice opening hood and it looks sharp in whitewall tires, but the trick with these is finding them with an intact plastic windshield.
1991 Hot Wheels | 0420 | ’65 Mustang Convertible | dark red with yellow trim, tan interior | MY | ww
I haven’t bought much on eBay lately, so after spending a little time on the site recently, I would say the prices of Blackwall-era Hot Wheels are on the rise. A few years ago, I could find really clean blackwalls for just a few dollars. These days, for anything in reasonably good shape, the bidding can climb into the tens of dollars pretty quickly.
Just in case you are starting to question my financial commitment to this hobby, you might be glad to know that I was still able to find something to bid on. In fact, I was fortunate to land four separate items from the same seller – to save money on combined shipping, of course.
The Hot Wheels Classic Cobra debuted in the 1983 Hot Ones series and has been a wildly popular model ever since. I count over 70 variations from that first year up until as recently as 2015! This red version with yellow stripes and “Cobra” on the hood is from 1986. It was also found that year in the Real Riders series sporting Goodyear white letter tires. I am happy that the plastic parts and the opening hood are all in good shape.
1986 Hot Wheels | 2535 | Classic Cobra | red with yellow, black and white trim, black interior | BW
The Shelby Cobra, which brought together American automotive designer Carroll Shelby, British car manufacturer AC, and Ford, was born in 1962 out of the American carmaker’s desire to have a car to compete with the Corvette. The Hot Wheels version is modeled after the 1966 427 Cobra, which had wider fenders and a larger radiator opening than its predecessor.
Vintage Stock, which carries mostly records, movies, video games and comic books has two locations in Wichita, at Town East Square mall and at Town West Square mall. The chain was founded as Book Barn in 1980 in Joplin Missouri and now has 40 locations in 5 states. I’d been in the store before and noticed that they had a few action figures, but I had never really thought to look for diecast cars. Well, the other day I found an end-cap full of Hot Wheels, Matchbox and other assorted models.
This chrome Hot Wheels Fire Eater from 1995 is a little late for my “vintage” collection, but I thought it would make a nice companion to my other mint blackwall Fire Eater from 1983. I also have a thing for chrome and gold chrome cars, which probably goes back to the Club Kit Heavy Chevy from my youth.
Since the blister was already mostly separated from the card, I decided to take the model out of the package so it could be displayed with my other loose Hot Wheels.
Hot Wheels | 1995 Silver Series | 322 | Fire Eater | chrome with red insert, yellow and black trim, blue tint windows | MY | BW
The Silver Series was new for 1995 and also included Rodzilla, Propper Chopper and School Bus castings. Silver Series II from 1996 included the CAT Dump Truck, ’40s Woodie, ’57 Chevy and the Oscar Myer Wienermobile.