hot wheels has unveiled a 1:64-scale die-cast of the 2021 hot wheels legends tour-winning 1969 volvo p1800 gasser, built by lee johnstone of the united kingdom. the model debuted at classic car club manhattan earlier this week, on the eve of the annual new york auto show.
johnstone, 71, is a motor mechanic by trade and was the first international legends tour winner. his p1800 gasser emerged victorious from a 25-stop international hot wheels legends tour spanning five continents. he and his daughter, victoria upham, were on hand for the global unveiling and were truly astonished at the treatment given by hot wheels to their family passion project.
the gasser, monikered ain't no saint, was officially inducted into the hot wheels garage of legends, a collection of the brand’s most iconic and celebrated designs existing both in 1:64 and life-size scale that was also on display at the clubhouse on manhattan's west side. ain't no saint joins previous champions including the inaugural 2018-winning 2jetz from new jersey (whose owner, luis rodriguez, drove the street-legal jet-powered vehicle straight through the lincoln tunnel to cccm), the 2019 winner, the nash, and the 2020-winning 1970 pontiac firebird as the next permanent fixture in hot wheels history.
in addition to the legendary cars that have been turned into hot wheels legends die-casts, the epic hudson river-fronted venue was decorated to showcase examples of how hot wheels has influenced popular culture far beyond cars and toys. a replica gucci-owned custom cadillac seville and a super73 hot wheels-branded e-bike to an iwc watch and a working rc car of the tesla pickup that apparently does 30 mph were all on display.
perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the unveiling event was a presentation by members of the hot wheels design team. the designers walked attendees through the entire 18-month process of bringing an idea to a blister pack on a shelf.
fifty-four years after hot wheels launched its "original 16" vehicles in 1968, the process of transforming life-size cars into 1:64-scale has changed dramatically. beginning with cad scanning, the hot wheels team digitizes every aspect of every vehicle, before additional rounds of 3-d modeling and printing help designers determine the vehicle’s final shape.
once approved, the final design must also undergo a rigorous series of hot wheels track tests to ensure it performs as well on those iconic orange tracks as it looks.
ted wu, vice president and global head of design for vehicles at mattel, announced the 2021 legends tour winner one week prior to the start of the 2022 hot wheels legends tour presented by mobil 1.
“the legends tour began in 2018 as a way to celebrate and engage the car builder community around the world,” said wu. “lee johnstone’s 1969 volvo p1800 proved to be a truly awe-inspiring gasser interpretation that captivated the entire hot wheels team. as the first international legends tour winner, we can’t wait to share his dream with hot wheels fans in more than 150 countries around the world.”
the 2022 tour kicks off with virtual live streams in new zealand and australia on april 14 and april 21, respectively, followed by the first north american live event in miami on april 30.
in collaboration with mobil 1, walmart and dickies, the 2022 legends tour will culminate in november with a live streamed global grand finale event to crown a historic fifth champion.
as in the past, all fan car submissions throughout the tour will be judged on the basis of creativity, authenticity, and garage spirit. anyone can compete in the hot wheels legends tour.
see all the hot wheels legends tour die-cast cars at walmart