All of that is well and good, but what if the item is just beat to death? And what if you can really make it look new again? And what if the value really isn't affected all that much? Well, in my world, you go for it!
Such is the case with this Hot Wheels Torino Stocker from 1975 that I found years ago in the car bin at Good Will. You see, many years ago, Good Will would throw all of their die cast cars into a cardboard box, and you could dig through them and purchase anything for fifty cents each. Unfortunately, someone decided that they could make more money by putting the box in the auction case, where it would go for many times what it was actually worth. Now, you won't find die cast at all at Good Will. In my mind, greed did them in.
Anyway, as I was saying before I interrupted myself, I grabbed this Hot Wheels out of the box...
|Beat to death Torino Stocker|
However, upon closer inspection, one notices that nothing is actually broken, the "glass" is actually just really dirty on the inside, and the wheels are, of course, redlines. So, I stuck it in a drawer and literally forgot about it for about twenty years.
I dug it out recently and decided that it needed a second chance. I found a guy on eBay that sells replacement decals for many Hot Wheels (Vince at scredlines) so I ordered some. Now it was time to paint!
The 1975 redlines had enamel paint, so regular "rattle can" paint would do. There are two ways to repaint a car. You can do a "frame on" paint job, or you can drill the posts out on the bottom of the car and take it apart. You then glue it back together. I decided I didn't want to drill the car, since that can cause its own problems. Therefore, I started without the drill!
First I rubbed the car down with paint thinner (being very careful to not touch the plastic parts). After I wiped everything down, I went over it with sandpaper to get any remaining rough spots off. In the end, about two thirds of the paint was removed, and the rest was smoothed out.
Next, I masked everything off with regular masking tape. Even though the car is small, it took a couple of hours. There are a lot of tiny places to cover (or make sure you don't cover). The hobby knife is your friend here, since it allows you to trim the tape to exactly the right shape.
Next, came the paint. I always do a very light "dust coat" to start out. This gives the other coats something to stick to. The last of about three regular coats is the thickest, to give it a good shine.
|Before....almost no chrome on the base...|
|After! A newly chromed base...and grill...and bumpers...and wheels!|
However, Vince was more than nice when I contacted him and soon I had replacements in hand. The trick was to put the whole side on as one decal and then work out any wrinkles with a paper towel. It's a slow process, but patience will give you great results! Then you hit it with decal sealer (I used Testors brand) and there ya go!
|And at home in the redline case!|
Until next time, keep searching for treasure!