by Doug Breithaupt
|Metrorail - 2000
1957 AMC Metropolitan
The 'Met' is still much loved by collectors world-wide and other than a rare Tootsietoy version, Hot Wheels have the only model of this 1950's compact. of course, the HW Met is clearly carrying quite a bit more horsepower than the original.
|At-A-Tude - 1998|
1953 Studebaker Starliner Coupe
When Raymond Lowey designed the 1953 Studebaker Starliner Coupe, he created a '50's classic. As the Silver and Golden Hawk and then the Hawk GT it lasted over 10 years. The HW version represents a real vehicle seen at Bonneville and elsewhere.
|Jaded - 2001
1954 Henry J
Henry J. Kaiser wanted a low-budget car to go along with his Kaiser models. The Henry J was even sold by Sears, badged as an Allstate. The drag strip version by Hot Wheels is still easy to recognize as a Henry J and it represents the only example of this car ever seen in small-scale
|MG Rover - 2001|
1955 Morris Minor
The Morris Minor Traveler is a cult classic in the UK. Why HW decided to call it a MG Rover is a mystery to me. Like the other drag racers shown here, this Morris is packing a mega-motor. Too bad no stock versions in 1:64 scale have been done. This little woody deserves to be seen in more realistic form.
|Watta Drag - 1998
1959 BMW Isetta
BMW produced the Isetta under license. The whole front of the car and steering wheel swing out to allow for two passengers. The HW version has eliminated one of the Isetta's biggest attractions, fuel economy. At the same time, the driver of this drag racer will be the first to know of any impending collision.
|Fiat 500 C - 1999|
1955 Fiat 500 (Topolino)
Topolino is the nickname given to the Fiat 500 which is Italian for 'Micky Mouse'. The HW version would be better named 'Mighty Mouse'. Along with the Citroen 2CV and VW Beetle, the Fiat 500 is one of Europe's best loved mini cars. In drag racing form it takes on the appearance of a midget hot rod. Note that the windshield is chromed solid.
|VW Bus - 1996
1955 VW Microbus dragster
The story of the VW Bus was recently covered in detail. HW's original casting became an instant classic and it is one of the most curious modern models from Mattel. Like the Isetta, the driver sits up front. I have no idea if this was inspired by a real VW drag Bus but who cares.