What is with the Gasser hype? All of a sudden Instagram is full of Hot Wheels Gassers, and prices are surging on eBay. Literally in the last couple of months, certain versions of the HW Mercury Comet Cyclone Gasser have gone from $5 models to a $50 models. Crazy to be sure. At least I can’t be blamed for this one.
But who cares why it is happening. I just love that it is. Gassers are cool, even for those who maybe aren’t necessarily into the whole drag scene. It might speak more to diecast collecting’s ability to bring all kinds of car cultures together. You don’t have to just be into JDM or Muscle when the cars you can buy start at $1.
But there are correlations. The j-tin scene isn’t really about stock Nissan Cedrics. For some sure, but for many it is about the modified versions of said classic cars. You just have to attend JCCS to see what the majority of cars look like. And look at the RWB Porsches? Thems are WIIIIIIIDE! It could be argued that the modified Porsches were influenced by the over-the-top stylings of 70’s racers, just as today’s bosozoku style came from the Super Silhouettes. Take a stock car, and make it crazy.
Isn’t that essentially what a Gasser is? Sure, there is A LOT more that goes into why folks love a good Gasser, but the links are definitely there.
But why am I talking about Gassers? This post isn’t about Gassers. But these modified dragsters have opened the door for current collectors to many other American racers, particularly other drag racers.
And that has led to a renewed interest in the Drag Strip Demons.
From around 2008 to 2011, Hot Wheels went high end on vintage racers. The Drag Strip Demons, Vintage Racing, and HW Racing lines featured premium Real Riders in mostly real licensed liveries. And some classics to be sure. The most popular model to come from that line, at least today, is John Morton’s BRE Datsun 510, but there are quite a few others.
These lines featured some existing tools, but many brand new, and highly accurate new castings. The Drag Strip Demons in particular had a whole lot of new castings, from funny cars to A/FX. Sadly, none of these lines did particularly well retail-wise, and all were cancelled after a year or two. The Drag Strip Demons in particular were notorious pegwarmers.
That is changing. We know what has happened to the two Vintage Racing lines. The 510 is highly sought-after, as are models like the E30 BMW, Greenwood Corvette, and AMC Javelin. And now the Drag Strip Demons are catching up.
The Gasser craze has bled into the DSD. The Nova casting, seen only twice in the line and never again, has been on collector’s radars. And so has the ’65 Dodge Coronet. It is a crazy looking car. A short wheel base, long trunk, and reverse rake. Like a Gasser, right?
The Coronet is an A/FX car. FX means Factory Experimental (A is engine size), which means these crazy looking racers came from the factory. And yes they raced on the Drag Strip.
Hot Wheels was particularly accurate on this model, in both casting and deco. Search “a/fx Coronet” on Google and you will see the real cars these models replicate. And you can’t help but smile. These cars are super cool.
Maybe it takes some buzz from others to appreciate a model, but I am happy the Gasser hype is happening. One way or the other, I am glad these cars are getting noticed, and I am enjoying pursuing some cool cars I passed on earlier. Don’t get angry. Go out and get them if you want them. I am.
And I have a soft spot for the Coronet. Enough that I dedicated a while Lamley YouTube video to it.
And after opening them of course I needed to take pics. Now get me to the nearest drag strip…