Lamley Daily: Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary Custom Camaro

Model: Custom Camaro

Line: Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary line, release 2, version B

Buy the Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary Custom Camaro on eBay

Why it’s in my collection: As a previous GM service tech and avid Camaro lover, I’ll admit this casting caught me by surprise. I’m always looking for new Camaros and this is a car I hadn’t noticed before, but the unique 50th anniversary gold foil-accented card and Custom Deep Metallic Blue paint immediately caught my eye….and I’m glad it did!

According to information on the card, this particular casting is one of the “Lost Topper” cars: a casting that was created decades ago but was never implemented into the Topper line. The casting gives off awesome vintage HOT ROD Magazine vibes. The higher stance, reminiscent of the 70-80’s street freaks running air shocks, is complimented perfectly by chrome side pipes, white letter Johnny Lightning tires, and gray painted Centerline style wheels. Even though it’s not slammed or lowered like most everything we see today, it looks exactly how an vintage era custom car should look.

The Camaro’s body lines are extenuated well and it has a fantastic vintage look to it. The front end features the RS-style hidden headlights and black-lined grille, topped-off by the classic Chevy bowtie logo. The opening cowl hood in accented nicely with two white stripes that flow along the length of the car. Once the hood is popped you’ll find an orange engine block topped with dual air cleaners: the details may be simple but they work well with the look of the car. The rear decklid and fenders have been extended for a more custom look, and the rear fascia houses a set of detailed taillights and gas cap. The rear bumper appears to have been shaved and tucked as well. The car has several nice “Custom Camaro” and “Camaro” tampos on it, which in my opinion is a nice touch.

Although Hot Wheels’ first gen Camaros seem to dominate the market, Johnny Lightning’s Custom Camaro is a solid contender and deserves some time in the F-body collector’s spotlight.

Click the Youtube link below to see the unboxing and turntable footage of this rockin’ JL Custom Camaro 🏁

4 Replies to “Lamley Daily: Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary Custom Camaro”

  1. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the article on the Johnny Lightning 50th anniversary custom Camaro. This particular casting definitely does have a retro look-complete with sidepipes! However I must confess some disappointment of the package art in relation to the casting. The art is great, the casting is great, but they don’t seem to work together. If I’m not mistaken, the car art on the package is the Custom Dragster from the original Topper line. Even though the Custom Camaro is a cool casting, the Custom Dragster would be a better match for the art. Guess I’m used to the great package art & castings from the Playing Mantis line in the mid-90’s. Some of you may remember the 35th Anniversary Topper Cars (5), that JL offered to their club members. The carboard “stone art” was great, which also included a vintage style JL patch, and the candy paint on the Toppers was unrivaled ! I personally think this is one of the most underrated & underappreciated sets that JL ever came out with. I just wish a little more attention to detail could have taken place with this set – especially being there 50th anniversary. With all that said, it’s still a nice casting with cool cardboard art! Thanks again for the great article!

    1. Thanks! I noticed the card art featuring the dragsters too — but I just chalked it up to them using “retro” art in any way they could, ha. I like the card art overall, but definitely agree the dragsters could have been switched out for a more appropriately matching muscle car art. The shiny lighting bolt distracted me in the store, so I guess it worked one way or another!

  2. This is actually a “Racer’s Edge” Chase car. Only 20% of the run have “Racer’s Edge” plastic wheels instead of rubber tires, so it’s actually 1 of 743!

    1. Great catch on that!! I will be the first to admit I’m not super versed in all the various JL chase vehicles offered, and you opened my eyes to this one! This would be my first JL chase of any kind — I’ve found $THs, Matchbox Sapphires, M2 chases, Green Machines, Ultra Reds…but never a JL chase. Thanks for point that out!

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