Move over minivan, there’s a new favorite ride to school in town
Model: Hot Wheels Haulin’ Class
Line: Track Stars
Where to get one: https://ebay.us/7cW7dJ
Why it should be in your collection: Hot Wheels has been cranking out badass school buses since basically the beginning of time, and Haulin’ Class is their latest take on those giant yellow people movers — and it ROCKS.
Haulin’ Class is a Master Class in everything Hot Wheels does well. It’s a hot-rodded version of an everyday vehicle (taken to the extreme of course) AND it’s designed to excel on orange track playsets . As collectors we can sometimes forget that most Hot Wheels are first and foremost toys — but some toys are so good that they transcend the toy box. I’d like to think Haulin’ Class is one of those toys. It’s an incredible revision of the classic school bus design that can easily make the leap from fantasy track ripper to a front-and-center showpiece in your favorite Carney case.
From a design standpoint, Haulin’ Class an interesting mash-up of school bus and semi truck. It’s comprised of two major parts: the cab and the trailer. The cab has an almost pickup truck-like profile to it, but you can definitely tell the base vehicle is a modified school bus.
Starting from the front, the extra wide grille and slightly swept hood reveals that it was probably based on a real-life International 3000 series bus (reference pic below).
While the signature International grille is there, the tilt front end has been modified Hot Wheels style. Front fenders? Gone. Hood? Chopped. Bumper? Shaved and tucked. The stock diesel engine was yeeted in favor of something with a *bit* more pep — a hellacious blown big block V8 engine with eight giant chromed exhaust pipes.
The roof of the cab is classic keep-cool white and is made of metal, as is the chassis. The body of the bus is plastic and the sides are adorned with black flames and bold STOP signs on each side. An “El Segundo, CA” line of text is on both the cab and trailer too. A set of white-wall tires covering big steelies help complete the utilitarian look.
The trailer part of Haulin’ Class is one part bus, one part race car hauler. The sides have outlines of those small, sliding, rectangular bus windows American school kids know all too well (myself included), as well as even bigger STOP signs than the ones found on the cab.
There is a short roof panel on the trailer that raises and lowers to help aid in aerodynamics (bonus moving part, nice! ) and lifting it helps fit longer or larger vehicles. You know, for when you need to be at school at 8am, the track at 7pm, and the launchpad at midnight.
The back of the trailer has the classic school bus rear bumper and large tail light setup, but that’s where the “bus” part of the trailer stops. The rest is pure haulin’ — but Hot Wheels still managed to slide in some cool “school” Easter eggs.
The bed of the trailer has some books, writing utensils, and a few quintessential school fruits molded into it. The coolest part is that the seemingly unassuming hash-marks on the bed are actually part of a ruler! That’s right — the bed has notches on it that allow you to measure things up to three inches long. I know a mini ruler isn’t the most Earth-shattering thing in the world, but it’s just another way Hot Wheels designers add an extra level of detail when they didn’t have to…and I for one appreciate their efforts!
I know a lot of Hot Wheels collectors often steer away from “fantasy castings”, but I really hope Haulin’ Class helps educate the masses on how rad Hot Wheels modern original designs can be 🏁
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