Model: Hot Wheels Zender Fact 4
Release: Hot Wheels Mainline (models in this feature 1991 & 1996)
eBay link: Hot Wheels Zender Fact 4
Why I am featuring it: This was one of those Hot Wheels castings that passed me by during my early days of collecting, but I’m glad I stumbled on these as the Zender Fact 4 is such an odd but seriously cool subject.
The Fact 4 was unveiled in 1989 by German tuning company Zender. Known mainly for producing some very of the era bodykits and aero parts in the 80s, Zender made the Fact 4 as a showcase for what the company was capable of, and made strong use of carbon fibre in the construction process. Powered by an 450bhp, twin turbo Audi V8, an 1110kg curb weight and with a claimed 190mph top speed, the Fact 4 would have been a rather capable supercar if Zender committed to full scale production. As it was the Fact 4 and a subsequent roadster version remained strictly prototypes.
The Hot Wheels car is a little slab sided but it’s such a unique subject and has so much 80s chic I don’t even care. It’s great. The versions I have are a 1991 mainline in silver and a 1996 mainline in white. I found them when a Facebook seller cleared out a selection of old stock and due to space issues and a house move they’ve remained carded ever since. But that’s no bad thing as it means they’re sitting on the rather retro cardbacks. They remind me of my early days of collecting in my childhood, wide eyed at the pegs in Woolworths and the local toy store. And it’s fun to look back on the card art and even some of the promotions that were running back then. The 1991 card in particular is brilliantly retro, advertising the Hot Wheels Speed Points Club. I mean look at that merchandise!
A quick look at collectors sites shows me the Fact 4 sadly didn’t age well in the Hot Wheels mainline, and by the time the casting was pulled in 2009 the colourways had become garish and ugly. These plain, early versions are therefore in my opinion the best ones to go for. Closer to the real thing and not as offensive to the retinas!
I don’t think this is one that’ll be returning to the mainline anytime soon sadly, but I’m glad it was done. And I’m thinking once I can get my hands on an example of the brilliant Boulevard Vector W8 then a perfect 80s supercar side by side post might be needed. But for now I’ll be collecting cardbacks to get my hands on that jacket and compact TV…