Mattel is making it a 1/64 scale toy model that will be on sale at Walmart stores.
Sammy Hagar used to sing about them. Burt Reynolds drove one in Smokey and the bandit. And on Saturday, Mattel Toys decided one of them was good enough to be inducted into the Hot Wheels Hall of Fame. The source of all that scuttlebut was the 1970 Pontiac Trans-Am, the GM model that embodied the muscle car in the United States in the 70s and 80s and will now be immortalized as a die-cast toy that could fit in a matchbox.
Pontiac Trans-Am Beat 12 finalists
The induction ceremony took place on Jay Leno’s Garage YouTube channel, with more than 120,000 viewers watching the two-hour proceedings. A panel of celebrities including rapper Snoop Dog and NASCAR legend Tony Stewart had to choose between 13 finalists such as a 1970 Ford Mustang, a 1958 Chevy Apache and a 1976 Volkswagen Brasilia.
However, it wasn’t just a factory version of the car that won the Hot Wheels title. The one in the running was built by California-based car enthusiast Riley Stair at his parents’ home. He created a Trans-Am monster with a custom-built 400-cubic-inch LS V8 engine with enough power to rev up to 10,000 rpm.
From Rust Bucket to Hot Wheels Hall Of Famer
When Stair first fell on the vehicle, it was little more than a bucket of rust with bodily damage. it took him two years to rebuild, replace and upgrade everything except the bodywork.
The reconstruction work was enough to impress Leno. “It’s probably the best built car I’ve seen today,” he said. “I like the kind of idea of an exoskeleton with the hood open where I can see what’s under the car… It’s built from the ground up.”
1/64 scale model replica sold at Wal Mart
The winner is not only inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends, but will also be reproduced as a 1/64 scale toy model to be added to Hot Wheels inventory, which will be available at Walmart ( which co-sponsored the Hot Wheels campaign) and other retailers in early 2021.
The engine on display might be one more detail for the makers of Hot Wheels, but when finished the toy will be reminiscent of the glory days of the muscle car; at least for fans who might not be able to afford more modern incarnations created by Trans-Am Depot.
Sources: Action Figure Insider, Jay Leno’s Garage
NEXT: In Memoriam: The Pontiac Trans Am and What Could Have Been
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