Model: Hot Wheels Volkswagen SP2
Line: 2019 Mainline 119/250 (VW Mini Collection 10/10)
Ebay link: Hot Wheels Volkswagen SP2
Why I am featuring it: Hot Wheels have always done a sterling service to air cooled Volkswagen enthusiasts. The Beetle and T1 and T2 vans have been present in various forms for a while in a multitude of Hot Wheels lines. The Type 181. The Variant “Squareback”. I could go on. Even the VW Brasilia has featured.
One car that I’ve always thought has been a constant looker since it joined the raft in 2010 is the Volkswagen SP2.
In the 1970s the Brazilian car market was closed to imports, and Volkswagen needed a new sportscar to replace the retired Karmann Ghia and to break the market monopoly held by independent local makers like Puma. Based on the Variant, the SP2 (“SP” standing for “Sao Paolo”) was the result. Produced from 1972 to 1976, the SP2 was sold almost exclusively for the Brazilian market, although 155 somehow made their way to Nigeria. Power came from a 1700cc flat-four boxer engine producing 75bhp.
For a sports car, performance was more on the “leisurely” side. 0-60mph took 16 seconds, and playing on the “SP” in the name, Brazilians gave the car the nickname “Sem Potência”; Portugese for “without power”. Despite this, the stylish looks and attractive interior kept interest alive, and over 10,000 were sold.
The SP2 is not hugely well known outside of Brazil or outside the groups of Volkswagen enthusiasts, but is now one of the most sought after classic VWs. Outside of Latin America, examples are hard to find. Although I did stumble across this example at the VWNW show at Tatton Park near Manchester, last year.
Out of all the Hot Wheels examples, I think this is the best colourway. It’s almost a factory colour mixed with those wonderfully 70s colour stripes. And I’m normally not a fan of the brightly coloured interiors, but the orange works so well here. It’s a very cool car, one of the more leftfield but eye catching Mainlines of recent years. And it’s presence in the mainline is one of reasons I admire the Hot Wheels team. They may not always put a car out there that you’ve all heard of, but they put cars out there that are interesting, and cars that real car geeks like me can get excited about. And the hobby is all the better for it.
And if you fancy having your feed even more clogged with diecast (some rather obscure!) I’ve just recently joined the boat and got an Instagram account so feel free to visit me at alex_the_hoarder.