Model: 1967 Oldsmobile 442
Line: Hot Wheels 2011 Garage Series, second colorway
eBay link: Hot Wheels Garage Olds 442
I’ve been in this collecting game since 1995. Hot wheels has done THOUSANDS of different releases in their 53 year existence. I have cars from all eras of the brand, from the “Original 16” to the newest Car Culture line. While my tastes for the brand vary quite a bit, and there are many releases that I consider to be favorites, only a handful are ever “perfect” in my eyes.
The casting design was originally shown to RLC members either in late 2010 or early 2011. What I remember thinking from the digital renderings was that I could tell Hot Wheels designer Brendon Vetuskey designed it for wide rear wheels. This excited me due to having a love for the cars that would come with the fatty rears. ’70 Chevelle, ’69 Dodge Charger, ’71 Plymouth GTX, ’69 GTO, ’67 Chevelle SS. These were all castings that hold special places in my heart because they had that street drag attitude to them. They scream muscle. The casting had a seemingly larger size to it as well, just like those cars mentioned. Seeing another car of that era getting a similar treatment, I was excited.
The first release in red came out, and while I liked it, I was mildly disappointed. With how the brand’s wheels can differ in size and width from the “basic” wheels to the real riders, the “Larry Wood 5” (in-house referred to as “5 Spoke Classic”) wheels used on the first release didn’t seem to quite fit to me. While I liked how it looked from the side, and it looks great, the front wheels had a wider outer-tract width than the rears, and it just bothered me. It’s not by much, but it’s immediately noticeable to me. Using basic wheels, this isn’t an issue (though we’ve yet to get a basic release that comes with wide rear wheels from the factory, but that’s another story). So I knew from the get-go that this casting was going to have to use specific RR designs to really suit it right.
A few months later, the yellow one comes out. I realize it’s sporting the slotted real riders instead of the LW5s used on the red one. It has a bit more deco, differentiating it from the red one by more than just paint color and wheels. Now, the slotted RRs, for the medium diameter wheel, it’s a good bit narrower than the LW5, and is one of the narrowest RRs they use. With the wide large-diameter wheel on the rear, it looked like the tract width was almost even from front to rear. From online pictures alone, I felt that they released it right on this second go-round.
It took a couple years until I got one for myself, as this was a late-series release and Hot Wheels was notorious for doing shorter runs for late-series mixes. Heck, I never even found the red one at retail. But once I had this yellow one in hand, I confirmed that my suspicions were correct. The wheels are absolutely PERFECT for this casting. It’s almost like they were made specifically for it, even through they’d been around for a while by that point. The yellow paint popped. The rear taillights were still painted (something that gradually and sadly went away at the $3.50 price point within a couple years). The dark gold off-center racing stripe over the hood, roof and trunk along with the lower stripe on the sides differentiate it nicely from the “plain” red one, while not being out of place. The “tires” featured a red line on them, giving it a real ’60s feel. The stance is exactly what I was looking for with this car.
In the end, this specific release had absolutely everything I was looking for. It truly is, for me, a perfect Hot Wheels release.