Yes I can get caught up in the moment. On one hand, the frenzy of excitement for the Nissan 180SX last year was hard to ignore, and maybe that swayed me too much. On the other hand, I could be caught up in the moment again looking at how cool the Escort RS1600 really is.
I chose the 180SX as my Best New Model of 2015 last year, and put the Escort second. I guess I will stand by it. But now that I am a little removed from the frenzy, I still love the 180SX, and am thrilled with the choice of casting, as well as the flawless execution. But the Escort. I think the Escort is just a tad better.
Sure, some of you can say execution could have been better, because the Escort is sporting a dreaded chrome interior. And I will give you that, even though chrome interiors don’t bother me in the least, especially since they allow for chrome bumpers. Other than that both models were put together flawlessly.
And, to be honest, both are kind of out-of-left-field selections for Hot Wheels. The 180SX doesn’t get made five years ago, but a change in the car culture landscape took care of that. And yes, the Escort gets a massive push from the Fast & Furious franchise, but they had to think the Escort was cool to select it for the movie in the first place.
The Escort is a rally car from the UK, and one that looks comfortable alongside a classic Lotus, as well as a classic Datsun, or a classic Fiat, or Alfa, or BMW, or you-name-it.
And that is why the Ford has taken the top spot with me. The 180SX jumps into a crowded pool, full of Skylines and Celicas and Z’s, and then works to make room for an RX3. The Escort? Give me a BMW 2002 and E30 M3, raise me the Escort, and then the upcoming BMW CSL, then an Alfa Junior, and you have the next big Hot Wheels scene. Maybe an Abarth next? Think Euro. Think rally. Oh, it gets exciting. And isn’t even including the Porsches.
And this new Escort just gets me even more excited. Nothing beats the First Editions in their stock decos, but this version with vintage-looking Castrol livery is great. And the white 5-spokes are a great touch.
Ultimately, the 180SX and Escort are great indicators of why being a collector of both Mattel brands is so fun right now. All you have to do is look at my desk. Cadillac Wagons alongside Subaru Police Cars alongside Jeep Willys alongside Porsche 356As alongside Chevy Chevelles alongside Porsche 993s alongside IROC Camaros alongside Acura Integras alongside Ford Escorts. Win.