2017 Johnny Lightning 1969 Chevy Impala Project in Progress and Friends

I’ve always enjoyed the Johnny Lightning Project In Progress series because they remind me of some of the cars from my childhood. My Dad usually bought his cars new (or at least in good shape), but my older brothers were a different story. It was fairly common to see cars with missing trim, primered fenders, and mismatched wheels and tires parked in our driveway or in the street next to our yard.

In fact, the 1969 Impala I drove in high school might have been a good parts car for this 2017 Project in Progress 1969 Impala Convertible.

Johnny Lightning | JLSF005 | 2017 Street Freaks R3, Project in Progress Set A | 1969 Chevy Impala Convertible | Garnet Red, Glacier Blue and primer gray with white top and collector’s card

These next two date back to the mid-2000s RC2 era of Johnny Lightning. As you can see, JL has kept the look of the packaging from that time period.

Johnny Lightning | 2006 Street Freaks Project in Progress #14 | 1967 Chevy Nova | black with primer, collector’s card

Johnny Lightning | 2005 Street Freaks Project in Progress #10 | 1969 Chevy Nova SS | primer with black hood, collector’s card


Johnny Lightning Blacked Out 1968 Chevy Nova SS

Back in about 1991, I painted the grill and insides of the wheels on my ’73 Nova black. I thought it looked pretty cool at first, but it didn’t take long for the black paint to start flaking off of the chrome wheels. Here’s a photo taken while the paint was still fresh (and yes, those are zebra-striped seat covers on the front buckets.)

The point is, I’ve been a fan of the blacked-out look for some time, so I was happy when I found this Johnny Lightning Blacked Out 1968 Nova from the 2017 Street Freaks R3. This Set A variation wears gloss black paint and black wheels with chrome rings. The Nova in Blacked Out Set B – which I’m still on the lookout for –  is an even more attractive flat black with redline tires.

Johnny Lightning | JLSF005 | 2017 Street Freaks R3, Blacked Out Set A | 1968 Chevy Nova SS | Tuxedo black with collector’s card

I think this is the first JL third generation Nova that I’ve found since the 40 Years 1970 Nova came out in 2009. This is also the first JL 1968 Nova in my collection, although the casting appears to be identical to the 1969 and 1970.

2017 M2 Machines Model-Kit 1967 Foose Cherry Nova

I’ve always thought these M2 Machines Model-Kits were pretty cool, but this is the first one I’ve added to my collection. I have three other versions of the Foose Cherry Nova (Foose R1, Foose R2 and Foose SCF06) and, as it says on the package, this kit is a unique variation. The kit comes with two sets of wheels and rims, a phillips head screwdriver and an M2 Machines diecast Auto-Lift.

2017 M2 Machines | Model-Kit R14 | 1967 Chevrolet “Foose Cherry Nova” | gloss black with red stripes | 1:64

2017 Auto-Drivers R44 1958 Chevrolet Impala

M2 Machines Auto-Drivers release 44 continues their recent practice of partnering with well-know automotive aftermarket industry brands in the decoration of both the packaging and the model. This MSD 1958 Impala makes a nice companion to the Weiand 1967 Nova from R43 that I picked up awhile back.

M2 Machines | 2017 Auto-Drivers R44 | 1958 Chevrolet Impala | gloss black with bright red top, MSD graphics

MSD is headquartered in El Paso, Texas, where it has been designing, testing and assembling a range of ignition system products since 1970.

If you’d like to see more of my M2 ’58 Impalas, you can follow a link trail starting with this Auto-Vault version from 2017.

Johnny Lightning 2016 Zingers! 1963 Chevy Nova Orange Rush

Sometimes patience pays off. Or, in this case, waiting so long to find something that you forget that it’s out there. I found the Ice Age version of the Johnny Lightning 2016 Zingers! 1963 Chevy Nova way back in November of 2016. Almost a year later, I was surprised to find this Orange Rush Nova at Toys R Us.

2016 Zingers | 1963 Chevy Nova Orange Rush | orange with white trim

A New Look For the New Year

I decided to start 2018 with a fresh, new look for this site. First, I designed myself a new logo. I tried to create a unique mark that taps into the spirit of those vintage toys that we all love.

Next, I updated to a new WordPress theme. I was long overdue to make my site work better on phones and tablets, and this theme should do the trick.

Finally, I’ve been working behind the scenes to make the site faster. When I first started this blog, I wanted to show large, sharp photos that were color-accurate. After awhile I realized that uploading full resolution photos right off my camera was overkill. So I started sizing my images to 1600×1200 – still large enough to view on a desktop, but a little quicker to load. Then, it was a matter of going back through all of the old posts and resizing those photos. I’m glad to say that process is complete.

So whether you’re on a laptop or a phone, have a look around, browse around through the archives and click on a few photos to see them full size. I hope you enjoy the new, improved site – and please comment to let me know what you think. Thanks.

Happy 2018!

I predict that 2018 – the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels – is going to be a great year. It’s off to a spectacular start. After all, the first 2018 Hot Wheel I brought home is this HW Flames ’68 Chevy Nova, a really sweet version of one of my favorite castings.

FJW62 | 2018 HW Flames 3/10 | 1968 Chevy Nova | Metalflake purple with yellow and red trim | Yellow DD8 | Alternate tool (no hood scoop)

There is also a Super Treasure Hunt version that is Spectraflame dark blue and has Double 6-Dot wheels. Am I being too optimistic about the year if I expect to find one of those?

Here’s a link to a page that shows all of my Hot Wheels ’68 Novas.