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Hot Wheels® Celebrates Five Decades with Custom Car Contest and “Legends Tour"

Hot Wheels® is hitting the pavement—combing the United States for custom cars worthy of being die-cast in 1/64 scale.

Cars lined up for the judges in the Walmart parking lot at the Kansas City event

Cars lined up for the judges in the Walmart parking lot at the Kansas City event

Few toy brands have maintained the passionate fan base that Hot Wheels has commanded over the decades, attracting both children and enthusiastic adult collectors alike with their imaginative and visionary designs. Many Hot Wheels enthusiasts have been collecting the toy cars since their launch in 1968—and now custom car owners have the chance to have their vehicle immortalized as a legendary Hot Wheels vehicle.

The first sixteen cars launched by Hot Wheels—known as “The Original Sweet 16”—included a custom Corvette, Mustang, and Firebird, and reflected the rich car culture of the late 1960s. Five decades later, Hot Wheels continues to value impeccable standards of design and performance—and is searching for cars that reflect their passion for ingenuity and creativity.

K&N’s custom-built Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang race car posing with the 1/64 Hot Wheels die-

K&N’s custom-built Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang race car posing with the 1/64 Hot Wheels die-cast

K&N® has enjoyed a long partnership with Hot Wheels, and in 2014, K&N’s custom-built Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang race car—which would later win the regional NASA American Iron Western States Championship in 2017—was die-cast in 1/64 scale and coveted by Hot Wheels collectors and K&N fans everywhere. A 1/50 scale Chase Custom 70 Plymouth Barracuda, complete with K&N graphics, also continues to be a popular Hot Wheels collectors’ item.

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour launched from Hot Wheels Headquarters in Los Angeles, and will be making stops at fourteen Walmart stores across the U.S.—including New York, Washington D.C., Kansas City, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle, and Phoenix. Each location will have its own suggested theme reflective of its automotive history—Detroit, for example, will have an “American Muscle” theme—though custom vehicles from all genres will be welcome to enter the contests held at each location.

K&N’s 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang race car Hot Wheels die-cast

K&N’s 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang race car immortalized as a Hot Wheels die-cast

At each event, judges—consisting of members of the Hot Wheels design team, automotive influencers, and Walmart Store Managers—will vote for the car that will be crowned part of the new “Sweet 16”, and the winners from each stop will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the finals at the 2018 SEMA auto show. The judging criteria includes authenticity (“Hot Wheels-ness”, as they call it), originality (they’ve manufactured tens of thousands of cars over the years!), and garage spirit (built—not bought).

At the kick-off event on April 28 at Hot Wheels Headquarters, a custom 1948 Ford F5 owned by Mitch Allread took the honor of being the first car inducted into the new “Sweet 16”. On May 5 in Kansas City, a powder-blue 1938 Dodge school bus, owned by Randy Roeber, was selected as the city’s finalist. Both will be competing for the ultimate prize at SEMA.

1938 Dodge school bus owned by Randy Roeber

This 1938 Dodge school bus owned by Randy Roeber won in Kansas City

For the first time in Hot Wheels long history, fans will be part of the vehicle selection process, and the grand prize winner will have their custom car made into a 1:64 scale die-cast car available for Hot Wheels fans to purchase globally.

The next Hot Wheels Legends Tour stop will be in New York/New Jersey on May 19, 2018, at the Walmart Supercenter in Teterboro.


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