by Doug Breithaupt
Ferrari 330 P4
|No small-scale toy car manufacturer is doing more vintage racers than Hot
Wheels. Recently, we looked at their offerings from the 1950's and now we
move to the 1960's.
All of the racing cars shown here are recent additions from Hot Wheels. Early in their history, Hot Wheels did other race cars from the 1960's including the Ford J-Car and Mk IV racers, Lola, McLaren and Chaparral Can Am cars, Ferrari 312P and several Indy cars. None of these qualify as vintage racers as they were produced when those cars were contemporary race cars.
The Ford GT40 and Ferrari 330 P4 make for a wonderful rivals contrast. These were the two cars that battled at Le Mans in the late 1960's. The colors are reasonable authentic and even the wheels look good. The Chaparral 2 is a car that was better-known on U.S. tracks but certainly matched-up with the Ford and Ferrari at Daytona and Sebring. The color and numbers are correct for this car.
The Mini Cooper is a delightful model with the unusual feature of removable body-work. While the original Mini Coopers began in the 1960's, they continue to race to this day. The Cat-a-pult is a custom version of the famous Cheetah race car. The Cheetah was much like a small version of Shelby's Cobra. I wonder if Mattel intended to do the Cheetah but had to alter the casting for licensing reasons.
In their collector's series, Hot Wheels have offered two outstanding vintage racers. The Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe was a Le Mans winner as was the Porsche 917. Both are very detailed and in correct racing colors. The Porsche 917 is technically from 1970 but close enough to qualify for our story.
The Shadow MkIIa is also a bit more '70's than '60's but if we accept the 917, than the Shadow gets in too. Again, the colors and numbers are correct. Hot Wheels seem to do the first model of these vintage racers in colors that best match the actual car and then follow with other colors that are far more toy-like. That's fine as long as I can have one example in near race-trim. My wish list for future '60's vintage racers would include a Jaguar lightweight 'E' type, Ferrari 250LM, Triumph TR-6, '68-'70 Corvette Stingray and Porsche 904. How 'bout it?
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
Shadow Mk IIa