Model: Hot Wheels ’76 Chevette
Release: 2013 Flying Customs
Ebay link: Hot Wheels Chevette
In 2013, Hot Wheels’ throwback line was suffering, hard. On now the third year of a rather troublesome “start weak, finish strong” mentality of release schedule, it was decided to cut the Flying Customs line short. And I mean CUT it. From what I recall, the original intent was to have 8 to 10 mixes of 5 cars each; after the 4th mix, the line was cut to one final mix of 8 cars. We lost a lot of potential in those final 4-6 mixes (not to mention a car that was supposed to be in the third mix but that’s another story…) based on the preliminary list that the team provided on the HWC boards, but they did their best to make that final mix one hell of a banger: Texas Drive ‘Em, ’69 Camaro Hardtop, Nissan Skyline 2000 GTR (new metal base), ’70 Olds 442 4×4 (new casting, sort of), ’78 Corvette Funny Car, ’81 Ford Fairmont (Front Runnin’ Fairmont retool), Jeep CJ7 (retool), and this ’76 Chevette new tool.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A Chevette?! How on earth does that work in the Hot Wheels world??”
Well, quite simple, really. Designer Brendon Vetuskey did Brendon Vetuskey things and completely “Hot Wheels”-ized it. See, this wasn’t designed as your every day Chevette. It’s tubbed. Has a massive hood scoop. Has a roll cage and wheelie bar added. It was designed as your weekend warrior drag car. And it’s AWESOME.
Graphics designer Steve Vandervate did his thing and made it shine, utilizing metallic purple with flames and a purely ’70s swoosh to make this one really stand out. At the time, Van would show RLC members sneak peeks of upcoming retail premium cars as he got the FEPs in in a Saturday showcase. This Chevette popped up in one of those sneaks, and I personally lost it. Love at first sight, if you will. If I recall correctly, it was the last one to be sneaked, after the decision was made to kill the line off. I was quite happy Van, Brendon and team decided to keep this one in that final send-off mix.
Well, some RLC members did their thing of violating RLC terms conditions and leaked the pics outside of the site. Eventually a non-RLC member made mention of it on the normal HWC boards after seeing it on Facebook and once again debate of leaked pictures came up. Some people who hadn’t seen the pics yet even questioned the decision to do a Chevette. Eventually issues with members leaking things they weren’t supposed to leak brought our beloved Saturday Sneaks Showcase to a close after another year.
We’ve only had one more releases beyond this one, used in Cool Classics in the last mix that was pushed to early 2015. Here’s hoping we get a Car Culture, Boulevard or even a Team Transport release in the future!
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3 Replies to “Lamley Daily: Hot Wheels Flying ’76 Chevy Chevette”
Chevettes, along with Ford Pintos, were the epitome of stuffing the largest most powerful V8 engines into the lightest contemporary cars available in the early to mid ‘80s. Old school hot rodding before turbochargers, tunes, and ever more complexity. A properly built car like this would smoke most modern performance cars in a matchup drag race. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be something you’d want to cruise for long in on a Saturday night.
I do wonder how well this final mix sold in the USA as I recall thousands of them ended up on the pegs of our UK Poundland stores some years back.
Thing was this mix wasn’t sold at the major retailers. That was the problem in the end, they weren’t buying the line because of back-stock they still had. They never showed at Walmart and Target, or even Toys R Us at the time. I bought a couple cases online for myself, and I believe they were showing up at some secondary markets in some chains in the southern and mid-west states.