[Guest Post] Lockdown racers: Creating custom Indy Cars to reconnect with my childhood love of Hot Wheels, by Greg Bryce

[Thanks Greg for sending in this guest post!]

During the stay-at-home order, I have been passing time by modifying Hot Wheels and other 1/64 cars to have realistic colors and liveries.

Like a lot of our fellow hobbyists, my memories of Hot Wheels go far back into early childhood. Since I grew up near Indianapolis, some of my first ones are playing with race cars and wanting them to have numbers on them ‘just like the real cars’.

This was at a time when I was playing with Hot Wheels and Sizzlers. Fortunately, Sizzlers fed my appetite for speed and we had fun watching them go around the Sizzlers Big “O” black oval track similar to Indy.

I liked the Sizzlers March and also played with the Ferrari 512S. My Dad modified the Ferrari 512S to add a ’66’ on to the side. I also remember playing with the McLaren M6A because it looked real and had the correct orange color.

Sizzlers

Later, the Hot Wheels Trans-Am ‘Hot Bird’ was probably the most popular. Even though it was a road car, it looked real to us and everyone always wanted to pick it when we played Hot Wheels.

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The accurate marking of the screaming chicken on the hood and the Smokey and the Bandit factor made it THE car to have. Then I received the gold 6-pack set that had a 240Z, Jaguar 512, Corvette, Ferrari also a gold Trans-Am! Then it was THE car to have!

Fast forward to today….

The catalyst for re-painting/decorating cars was the 2019 Indy 500. I really loved the Will Power 5G livery, but a 1/64 model was not produced for it so during the past winter, I decided to try and make one. I took apart a Greenlight 2018 Will Power winning car, stripped the paint, painted it and applied the 5G decals. I was happy with the results!

Since then I have done about 25 cars. Mostly I have been creating cars that really interest me and try to get them as close to the real thing as possible but in 1/64 scale. Some of my favorites that I have done include the 1973 Team Gulf McLarens of Peter Revson and Johnny Rutherford.

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I have also created the 1972 Sunoco car of Mark Donohue and the 1975 Eagle of Bobby Unser.

Custom Sunoco Mark DonohueCustom Bobby Unser Eagle

Also, I thought it would be interesting to update a classic Redline Hot Wheels McLaren M6A with accurate decals and do the same for the Indy Eagle. (Don’t worry, I didn’t destroy a collector-condition Redline – the donor cars were very rough.)

Custom McLaren M6A

Custom Indy Eagle

My latest car is the 1978 Arco Graphite car of Bobby Unser.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Hot Wheels during this time, I have enjoyed discovering a new twist on the hobby.

[find Hot Wheels Indy Cars on eBay]

Custom Akin Racing Coke Porsche 962 based on the Hot Wheels casting
Graham Heeps

4 thoughts on “[Guest Post] Lockdown racers: Creating custom Indy Cars to reconnect with my childhood love of Hot Wheels, by Greg Bryce

  1. Many years ago in the late 90’s I got a set of hw formula cars off the epay. It was about a half dozen cars with fairly detailed suspension and rubber tires. They were in a series of pro racing formula cars. I bought them for almost nothing and so ripped them out of their cards which I do anyway. I look off and on, and I still have never seen those again. They were the same quality as later GL offerings. Anyways, that started me collecting some formula type cars and I got many like the ones pictured here. I also went back and got many older mainline type hw formula cars and have a decent collection. The custom paint does make them stand out much better.

    1. I know just the cars you mean, I have a few of those Pro Racing Indy cars myself. They were fantastic and you’re right, you don’t see them for sale very often. Sounds like you have a great collection!

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