Monday, August 8, 2022

Franken-Hot Wheels

 In my collecting of Redline Hot Wheels vehicles, I occasionally run across "less than presentable" examples. What to do with these "well loved" cars is, actually a matter of huge debate.

You see, some collectors say you should never, ever restore or even clean up a car. Why? Well, they will say things like, "It's only original once! You should respect its history!" Now, unless that history includes being played with by Elvis or something, I don't think that argument holds water. 

I think the truth of the matter is that some folks have been known to sell restoratiins as original cars and people have been taken advantage of. Now this argument I can support, up to a point. No one should cheat someone out of their hard earned cash with a fake car. Those people are, in a word, slimy.

Still, it pains me to see cars that with a little (or a lot) of TLC could be nice show pieces again. So, therefore, I confess. I restore. I do NOT, however sell them at all, so I can sleep well at night.

So do you wanna see one of my most difficult restos? Huh? Do ya? Do ya?

Well, if you're still reading, I'm going to guess the answer is something like, "Sure. Why not?" So here we go!

These are two 1968 Custom Firebirds. They both have problems, however...

Obviously, the one on the left has no hood or windshield. The paint is in pretty rough condition too. By the way, it was made in Hong Kong.

The one on the right has fewer obvious issues. In fact, other than some pretty bad "toning" (darkening) on the hood, it looks pretty good! But there's a big boo-boo there! The right part of the grille is...GONE! Yep, it broke right off. That's a big problem because it's actually part of the base of the car. To fix it, you need to replace the base. And that's a U.S. produced base...

But I have two cars. No problem? Right? Just combine them!

Hold on! There's another issue! Remember that they were made in two different countries. They don't just switch out. They don't fit. Ohhhhhhh nooooooo!

But let's do it anyway! Here we go!

The bottoms of the cars are clearly different...

Ok, let's do some cutting!  Off comes the nose and on it goes (with the help of metallic epoxy) to the other base!

Let's strip the paint and put it back together to test the fit. Perfect! Now we take in back apart, paint with the trusty air brush and....

Boom! There ya go! How does that nose look?

Like this! You can tell it's been mended, but I think it looks pretty nice anyway!

So there you have it! A totally restored car because...well...why not? It was fun and it looks good, so I'm happy!

Until next time, keep searching for (and even restoring) treasure!


  1. Sweet! Much nicer than the Frankendolls I use to cobble together a a kid.

    1. Thanks!
      But I'm sure those dolls were something to see!!!

  2. Stu, I’m impressed! I also just looked at your next post and think that you and Dan need to go in business together.



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