Back in January, when my friend, Chris, sent me a link to a Facebook Marketplace listing of a bunch of nice, blackwall-era Hot Wheels, this metalflake red Corvette Stingray from 1983 was the first model that caught my eye. I had found a rough one of these last year and I said then that I would keep my eyes out for a cleaner example. Well, here it is.
I still have the 1976 first-release Hot Wheels Corvette Stingray from my childhood and it is a favorite casting of mine. The Corvette Stingray has been produced in about 70 different variations and I have relatively few in my collection, including the shiny model from the 1979 Golden Machines 6-Pack, the orange 1980 version, the white variation from 1985 with a fun racing livery, and the laser-engraved plastic model from the 1992 Gleam Team series.
Hot Wheels | 1983 | 9241 | Corvette Stingray | metalflake red with white, orange and yellow trim | HK | gho
The Fairmont was a compact car produced by Ford in North America for the model years 1978-1983. Available as a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan and 5-door station wagon, the base model Fairmont had a 2.3 L inline 4-cylinder and a 3-speed manual transmission (upgraded to a 4-speed in 1979). In 1980, a turbocharged version of the engine was offered, bumping the horsepower rating from 88 up to 120. The Fairmont actually did have NHRA Pro Stock success when, in 1978, Bob Glidden’s Cleveland V8-powered Fairmont went undefeated in five nationals, bringing him his third national championship.
The Hot Wheels Front Runnin’ Fairmont was first released in 1982 and can be found in about 5 different variations up to the blue version from the 1995 Sto&Go Gas Station. (The 1986 release is called Race Ace, and in 2013 the casting was retooled for the Flying Customs series and renamed ’81 Ford Fairmont.) In my collection, I already have a nice red version from 1982, but this model – which was one of 10 Hot Wheels my friend, Chris, found for me on the Facebook Marketplace in St. Louis – is actually the metalflake red variant.
Hot Wheels | 1982 | 3257 | Front Runnin’ Fairmont | metalflake red with yellow, white, orange and black trim | HK | gho
The American Motors Corporation Gremlin was a two-door, subcompact car made from 1970 to 1978, competing with the likes of the Chevrolet Vega, the Ford Pinto and the popular Japanese and European imports of the time. With its wide stance, aerodynamically efficient tail, and a standard 3.3 L inline 6-cylinder engine, the Gremlin had a better reputation for performance than the other American subcompacts. Due to its low price and strength, the Gremlin was often modified for competition in a variety of venues.
Hence, the Hot Wheels Greased Gremlin – a super-modified racing version of the AMC Gremlin. It was introduced in 1979 and the original only appeared three times up to 1987, the last being a very valuable Mexico casting that wears white-hub Real Riders. In 2008 it was retooled for the 40 Years of Hot Wheels set and has been produced in about 10 more variations since.
This clean 1982 variation is one of 10 Hot Wheels that my friend, Chris, found for me on the Facebook Marketplace out of St. Louis. In my collection I also have another, fairly beat-up example of this 1982 Greased Gremlin, as well as a clean example of the Hong Kong cast 1979 first-release. Both the 1979 and 1982 variations have the same paint and tampo, the only difference being the country of origin.
Hot Wheels | 1982 | 2502 | Greased Gremlin | red with blue, yellow and white trim | MY | bw
The Hot Wheels Mirada Stocker, based on the mid-sized sporty luxury car which was only produced by Dodge from 1980-1983, was first released in 1981. It can be found in about 8 different variations up to 1985. This red model from 1983 is one of 10 Hot Wheels that my buddy, Chris, found for me on the Facebook Marketplace in St. Louis.
The only other Mirada Stocker in my collection is a nice metallic gold variation from 1983.
Hot Wheels | 1982 | 1700 | Mirada Stocker | red with black, yellow and white trim | HK | gho
The Hot Wheels Turismo, first cast in 1981, was supposed to be a DeLorean. But when the licensing deal with DMC fell through, designer Larry Wood tweaked the car just enough that it could be released as a concept model. There are about 10 variations that were produced up to 1985.
This super nice, red Turismo with black interior from 1982 is one of 10 Hot Wheels that my friend, Chris, found for me on the Facebook Marketplace in St. Louis. I already have an example of this variation in my collection, but as you can see by clicking here, this one is in considerably better shape.
In my collection I also have a fairly clean example of the 1981 first release, as well as the yellow Turismo variation from 1983.
Hot Wheels | 1982 | 1694 | Turismo | red with white, yellow and black trim, black interior | MY | bw
The Hot Wheels Rock Buster was first released in the 1976 Flying Colors series and can be found in about 9 different variations up to 1983. This green model from 1980 is one of the 10 Hot Wheels that my buddy, Chris, found for me on the Facebook Marketplace in St. Louis. These rear-engine dune buggies are perfect for heavy sandbox play, and are often found well-worn, with a bent or broken roll cage – much like the other example of this variation that I have in my collection. But this one is pretty clean and sturdy.
In my collection I also have an example of the yellow version from 1977 with fairly clean paint and tampo, but a caved-in roll cage.
Hot Wheels | 1980 | 9088 | Rock Buster | green with red, white and blue trim | MY | bw
There are only 5 variations of the original Hot Wheels Bubble Gunner, which was first released in 1979. (It was retooled for the 2011 Hot Ones series and has since appeared in three additional variations.) This futuristic racer with a blown engine and dome-shaped cockpit was designed by Larry Wood. This Hong Kong-cast light green version is from 1980 and is one of 10 cars that my friend, Chris, found for me on the St. Louis area Facebook Marketplace.
The other Bubble Gunner in my collection is the magenta first-casting from 1979. Both of mine have an engine which is intact but slightly out of alignment due to a broken front plastic tab, which causes the front of the motor to raise up a bit higher than the rear.
Hot Wheels | 1980 | 2511 | Bubble Gunner | light green with blue, yellow and white trim | HK | bw