Hot Wheels zigzags across America in search of the country’s wildest custom cars. The 2021 edition of his Legends Tour is largely digital due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but the new format has not stifled the creativity of the enthusiastic community. The toy maker has released images of some of the cars that could become a Hot Wheels model.
Judges selected 10 cars from hundreds of entries received in May 2021, although only five are featured in our gallery as Hot Wheels wants to maintain an element of excitement. One is a 1962 Ford Falcon with a wide-body kit, gray paint with contrasting black stripes, and a side-mounted exhaust that hints at something powerful under the hood. Another is a 1964 Chevrolet Nova station wagon that is far less subtle than the Falcon; a supercharger the size of a hand luggage sticks right through the hood and the roof panel is chopped.
Wilder Yet is a 1965 Ford Econoline nicknamed Grass Hopper. It also gets a gigantic supercharger, but the V8 engine has been moved to the cargo bed. It exudes through a pair of long, chrome-plated exhaust tips. The horsepower and torque figures have not been released, but the mid-mounted motor makes enough of both to mount a dragster-esque chute at the rear. Chromed rims and flames complete the design.
The next Hot Wheels chosen is a 1966 Novetta, a homebuilt low-slung coupé with a fiberglass body that pays homage to cars like the Alfa Romeo TZ2 and Ferrari 250 GTO. Almost every part is custom made, including the radiator, suspension system, frame and dashboard. Even the gear knob is made by hand.
Finally, the judges were beaten by the Lulu, another home-brewed build that took 1,500 hours and roughly $ 35,000 to create. Built largely of aluminum, it’s powered by a General Motors four-cylinder crate engine tuned to develop 325 horsepower, which is a healthy amount in a two-seat roadster that weighs just 1,530 pounds.
Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite build at an event that will be live-streamed on social media on May 20, 2021. It starts at 5 p.m. in California, which is 8 p.m. in New York City. The winning car will compete for the chance to become an approximately 1/64 scale Hot Wheels model to be sold worldwide. Last year’s winner, who joined the Hot Wheels lineup for 2021, was a heavily modified 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.