If you love your car, what could be cooler than having your real car immortalized as a Hot Wheels toy? This scenario gets even cooler if you built your own car. The prize of a 1:64 scale toy enshrining your project must be the ultimate validation for a hot rod builder. Well, five hot rod builders are vying for the grand prize of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour which would let them live that dream.
Can you get your car turned into a Hot Wheels car?
According to The Drive, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour is now in its fourth year and is down to its top five contestants for North America. The finalist cars are all completely different and extremely creative builds.
Since the contestants must be custom cars, the builds vary wildly. The top five cars are a 1991 Porsche 911 Baja, a 1968 Mercedes Benz 250S, 1969 Daytona Charger Superbird, 2003 Nissan 350Z, and a custom-built racer named Lulu.
How many cars were entered in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour?
Over 10,000 cars were entered in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour. The team at Hot Wheels has had the arduous duty of sifting through all of these cars in an effort to find the one most worthy of immortality. The contestants have come from over 14 countries and five continents.
The contestants had to submit a 2-minuet or shorter video walkaround of their hot rods. They also had to make something called a “beauty segment” starring the over-the-top hot rods. All cars are judged on five criteria; design, authenticity, garage spirit, performance/fun, and the story behind their build.
Hot Wheels Legends Tour finalists
The first and potential favorite is this 1991 Porsche 911 Baja car belonging to TJ Russel. Russel’s 911 has already won the Mobil 1 fan’s choice award, earning Russel a year supply of Mobil 1 and a rad trophy. The Safari-style Porsche 911s have made a serious jump in popularity. Needless to say, Russel picked a good time to submit his desert-ripping German.
Most closely connected to the Porsche is the other lightweight custom racer that goes by the name of Lulu. Paul Kalenian built this aluminum-bodied racer to be a re-imagined version of land speed record-holder Mickey Thompson’s 1963 Harvey Aluminum race car. His polished steed is street legal and has a rear-mounted turbocharged four-cylinder producing 325 horsepower.
The killer customs continue
The Scraptona is one of the coolest cars we have ever seen. This junkyard beast is a Dodge Daytona Charger Superbird made from various bits and bobs from a Michigan junkyard. Call Richard Petty and tell him someone found his 740-HP ride home.
Next up is Ashley Robinson’s Exo-Nissan 350Z salvaged from the wreckage of a factory 2003 350Z. This car is barely even a car at this point; it’s more of a sci-fi creation than anything else. This former Nissan features forged engine parts, twin turbochargers, and enough grit to run the devil out of Hell.
Lastly, we arrive at Kevin Clarke’s 1968 Mercedes-Benz 250S, nicknamed “High Class.” Clarke, and his friend Coleby, purchased the car together as a team build project. A week after buying the car, Clarke’s friend died. He has dedicated this build to his pal and has made one incredibly cool and subversive gasser.
When does Hot Wheels announce the winner of the Legends Tour?
The final global judging happens on Nov 13, but these American builds will be tough to beat. The coolest part of all of this is how many people get involved in future generations’ interest in cars and custom car culture.
I think my vote is split between the Dayton Charger and the Porsche 911, but honestly, the Charger is the most Hot Wheels-esque car I’ve ever seen, so that’s where my money is going. Let’s see how it all shakes out in a couple of weeks.
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