Hot Wheels has announced the winner of the 2021 Legends Tour: it is a 1969 Volvo P1800 gasser owned by UK-based Lee Johnstone. Built from a bare shell, the V8-powered hot rod will be added to the toy manufacturer’s catalog by the end of 2022 with a 1/64 scale model.
Designers and key figures from the automotive industry chose the P1800 after looking at participants from 11 countries on five continents. The list of finalists also included a 1991 Porsche 911 that was converted into a Baja race car, a 1969 Dodge Charger fitted with extra-wide tires and powered by a Richard Petty V8 engine rated at 740 horsepower, and a Mercedes-Benz Benz 250S from 1968 called High Class. it rides on a frame taken from a 1984 Chevrolet S-10. Each build involved substantial skill and originality, but Johnstone’s hot rod stood out above the rest.
“The Volvo Gasser is a beautiful expression of authenticity, creativity and most importantly garage spirit,” said Ted Wu, vice president and global head of design for vehicles at Mattel. Wu was one of the panelists who chose the P1800.
Johnstone explained that his P1800 was little more than a rusty shell that was too far gone to repair when he bought it. Rather than scrap it, he decided to rebuild it into a gasser powered by a 454-cubic-inch V8 plucked from the Chevrolet parts box and supercharged to develop about 600 horsepower. Equipped with dual four-barrel carburetors, and nicknamed “Ain’t no Saint,” it reportedly runs a quarter-mile in 10.01 seconds at a speed of 133 mph. Johnstone regularly races the P1800 in the UK with the help of his three daughters and his wife, Sue.
Hot Wheels is scheduled to release the P1800 at the end of 2022, Autoblog learned from a spokesperson. Turning a car into a toy is a surprisingly lengthy and painstaking process that involves collecting countless photos, turning them into sketches (and, if necessary, adjusting some proportions to better fit the 1/64 scale), creating a digital Making a 3D model with a software called Freeform, and printing test cars.