Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Summer of '69 Hot Wheels....The Final Chapter...

Well, as the year winds down, so does my series on the new Hot Wheels for 1969. In this edition we will look at the final eight cars, which probably include the most popular cars from that year. So hang on, here we go!

First, we have the Mercedes-Benz 280SL. Some of these have a black roof, but mine doesn't. Still, it's a fun car.

Who doesn't like a Rolls? This is the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. This car usually came in gray enamel (about twice as common as any other color), but I like the spectra-flame green. By the way, the mass of this car makes it pretty darn fast...

You might not know the name "Shelby Turbine," but you probably do know "Mario Andretti." This car is based on his turbine powered vehicle. 

One car that is surely in the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame is the Spittin' Image. This car strikes just the right balance between fantasy and muscle. It's also fairly heavy, which makes for a fast runner!

The Torero is reminds me a little bit of an Opal. This is one of the fantasy cars released that year. Purple is one of the more sought after colors for this car.

The Turbofire is another fantasy car. Red is a very common color for it, and it never caught on like some of the other cars, so the value is pretty reasonable.

Here we have another Hall of Famer. The car takes the Splittin' Image idea and reverses it. Instead of two cockpits and one engine, we get one cockpit and two engines! In the '90s, Hot Wheels built a real car based on this one... Very cool.

Finally, we have the Volkswagen Beach Bomb. This car would be worth tens of thousands of dollars (no kidding!) if it didn't have the side pods and the surf boards were sticking out of the back window. Alas, my example ain't that one. Still, it books in the triple digits, which isn't bad for a one inch long toy that originally retailed for under a buck...

So there you have it! By the way, I actually saw the most valuable Hot Wheel; the pink Rear Loader Beach Bomb, in person. It was at a toy show in Arlington. The car would later sell for over $125,000.00. I didn't pay that much for my house. Just sayin'...

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hanging Out at Santa's Place!

The year was 1967. It was June. I was but a lad of four when I found myself at the North Pole! With SANTA! How cool is that???

Ok, so this North Pole is a bit farther south; Colorado, to be exact. My family took a trip to Pikes Peak that year and my folks and grandparents decided to take me to The North Pole- Santa's Workshop for the day! Here is what our friends at Wikipedia have to say about the place:

Santa's Workshop is an amusement park that opened on June 16, 1956 in Cascade, Colorado, just west of Colorado Springs at the base of Pikes Peak. Modeled after the Santa's Workshop in Lake Placid, New York, the park features a charming North Pole village complete with specialty shops for boys, girls, Christmas ornaments, and candy. The village is also home to Santa's Workshop itself, where children can meet with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus year round. Many of the park's staff get into the holiday spirit as well, and children will find Santa's elves hard at work in admissions and the many shops around the premises.

Here is a little photographic evidence that I was actually there!

My mom, dad and myself in front of the large entrance sign. I like the painted illustrations of the attractions....If only we could get a closer look...

There! That's better! 

Apparently, my mom was a hit with the baby goats...or maybe it's that bottle...

I'm not sure what an Indian tee-pee has to do with Santa, but there it is! My grandfather and grandmother pose with my dad and myself. I like the Thunderbird symbol (not related to the car...)

My grandmother is tapping deeply into her Cherokee ancestory at this point. Actually, I seem to remember that she did archery in college, so this wasn't a stretch. Her stance seems good. 

This is a bonus "not in the park" picture. That's me discussing weighty issues with Chip...or Dale....I can never tell them apart in real life.

So there you have it! I wish I had more pictures, but these are enough to bring back some memories. By the way, it seems that when we visited, the park was exactly 10 years old. The cool thing is that you can STILL visit this park! It's nice to see that it's still going strong!

Merry Christmas!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Summer of '69- Hot Wheels Style...Part Two!

Well, here we are with our second batch of 1969 Hot Wheels! As I said in the last Hot Wheels post, there were 24 new cars that year (as opposed to just 16 the previous year) so I'm breaking them into three sets of eight.'s part two!

The Custom Continental Mark III is a good looking car with a lot of weight to it. I like the orange spectra-flame on this example!

The Custom Police Cruiser is actually a Plymouth Fury. Unlike most of the cars, it only came with the enamel black and white paint scheme. It was the first car with a "tampo" (printed design). The only variation you will find is it had both a red and a clear dome light. There is no difference in value.

The Ford Mark IV was based on a Gran Prix racer. It is one of the few cars of this time that was issued in both spectra-flame paint (many colors) and enamel (red only). This is the enamel version.

The Indy Eagle was based on Dan Gurney's Indy car. The Indy cars are cool, but their light weight makes them easy race fodder for the heavier cars. This car also came in gold chrome that is worth almost ten times more than the regular cars.

The Lola GT70 is another Gran Prix car that came in all shades of spectra-flame and one enamel color...British racing green. This is the green example.

The Lotus Turbine is a rather boxy looking Indy car. I once built a pinewood derby version for my daughter to race! The boxiness helped my carving skills!

The Maserati Mistral is a very sporty looking car! Although a lot of people don't remember this Hot Wheel, it's one of my favorites!

The McLaren M6A was released in all of the spectra-flame colors, but the real car was painted in orange enamel. For some reason, Hot Wheels never made it in that color.

One for the road, so to speak (or at least "the orange plastic track") The Lola GT70 with its hood open is a good example of the detail that went into the engine castings. 

So there you have it! The last of the 24 is coming next time, and it features the two most popular Hot Wheels from that year!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!