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.
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.