On a warm September day, I was cruising the neighborhood on my bike when I came across a garage sale. I started looking through a box of cars and right away found some interesting items. Rather than stand in the hot sun and pick through them all, I asked how much for the whole box. $3 was a good price, so I took them home and sorted them out in the comfort of my cool house. (My son was quick to point out that the cars were in a diaper box – something I had neglected to notice in the excitement of the moment.)
I picked out a few keepers and donated the rest to the neighborhood kindergarten for the Teacher’s Treasures box. Word is that the kids went a little crazy over all of the cars. Here are my keepers:
The Hot Wheels army half-track first appeared as Gun Bucket in the 1976 Flying Colors series. This black blackwall version is from the 1985 Action Command release as Tank Gunner. The guns are stressed but still intact, and the model is in otherwise good shape.
1985 | 9347 | Action Command | Tank Gunner | olive with brown, green and tan camouflage | MY | black BW
The Hot Wheels Crack-Ups, which debuted in 1985, were a series that had moving parts which, on impact, would change from clean to damaged. Bangster is from 1986 and shows the heavy playwear typical of cars from this series.
1986 | 7582 | Crack-Ups | Bangster | lime green with orange, red and yellow graphics | MY | BW
The success of the Crack-Ups inspired Flip Outs in 1986. These cars were fitted with a mechanism on the base that would cause the car to flip over on impact. Some had a side-hit flipper and others, like this Nissan 2000SX called Flippin’ Frenzy, had a rear-hit flipper, pictured below.
1986 | Flip Outs | Flippin’ Frenzy | yellow with purple, red and white graphics | HK | BW
The Hot Wheels ’65 Mustang Convertible with an opening hood first appeared in 1984. This flourescent-colored variation from 1990 – missing the windshield – has been shipped to my friend, Hannah, who collects the Ford ponies.
1990 | 4980 | Freeway Frenzy Set | ’65 Mustang Convertible | fluorescent orange with blue and white wave graphics, pink interior | MY | blue hub TW | $10
The Hot Wheels Split Window ’63 Corvette was a Hi-Rakers model from its first release in 1980 until 1984. It was retooled in 1987 to give it a standard base, and again in 1995. There are almost as many name changes as there are paint/wheel variations. This black, purple and yellow version is a 1991 McDonald’s promo with a plastic base.
1991 | McDonald’s promo | Split Window ’63 | black with purple and yellow graphics, gray plastic base | MY | bw | $4
The Hot Wheels ’82 Supra first came out in 1983 and has only five variations. This dark red model with blackwalls from 1993 is from a Sto ‘n Go playset.
1996 | 3925 | Sto ‘n Go set | ’82 Supra | dark red | China | bw | $5
I’m stretching my “vintage” collection well into the 90’s with variations of blackwall-era cars already in my collection. The Hot Wheels Bronco 4-Wheeler is a classic originally released in 1981. This red version with striking black and white graphics is from 1998.
1998 | Bronco 4-Wheeler | red with black and white Alaska Trek graphics, white plastic shell, black plastic motorcycle | Thailand | ctd | $2
Aeroflash goes all the way back to 1975, when it was released as Large Charge. It also appeared in 1985 as Silver Bullet, which is the name cast into the metal base of this green, black and red version from 1998.
1998 | 1781 | Aeroflash | green with black and red 3 graphics | MY | 3sp
This well-loved, metallic red sedan is the first release of the Matchbox Jaguar XJ-6 which appeared from 1987 through 1989. It’s a fairly heavy car with nice opening doors.
1987 | #41 | Jaguar XJ6 | metallic red, opening doors | 8-dot rims | made in Macau | $1
The Matchbox Ford Escort Cabriolet is a fun model that first came along in 1985. This particular version is from the Laser Wheels series of the late 80s.
1989 | Ford Escort Cabriolet | metallic blue with white stripes and red 3 | laser wheels | made in Macau | $4
There are over 150 variations of the Matchbox 1921 Ford Model T Van. Unfortunately, this spooky model from the 2005 Haunted Castle 5-pack is missing a front wheel.
2005 | Haunted Castle 5-pack | 1921 Ford Model T Van | dark blue with black roof, WOOA vampire graphics | black wood 12-spoke | made in China
This 1:43 scale Yatming Chevrolet Pick-up features a pull-back motor and opening doors. I shipped this one off to my friend Brad, who collects Jeeps, pick-ups and off-road vehicles.
No. 8317 Chevrolet Pick-up | red with gold, white and black “Chevy Sports Off-Roader” graphics, opening doors, pull-back motor | 1:43 | Made in Thailand
Finally, I’ve always loved the WWII-era F4U Corsair, so I kept this 1:130 scale fighter, which was made by Zylmex and sold under the Runway24 brand.
Zylmex | Runway24 | RW150 USMC F4U Corsair USN | 1:130