Remember when you were younger and played with your collection of Hot Wheels? If you were like me, the Chevy Camaro was always the star of playtime. The vehicle was unique when compared to the other toys, providing striking designs and concepts that were rarely seen in real-life cars. Well, the car brand and the toy brand slightly teased us several years ago by producing a Hot Wheels-inspired Chevy Camaro concept, which included everything a former child could possibly ask for in such a ride.
Now, we’re learning that the two companies are teaming up to honor “50 years of partnership, performance innovation, and design.” The unbelievable (mostly because we never believed it’d actually be produced) 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is set to hit dealership lots in the first quarter of 2018. Before long, drivers can be cruising around town in a vehicle they only dreamed of owning when they were a child.
Whether you’re a Chevy enthusiasts or Hot Wheels enthusiast, we’re convinced that you’ll get a kick out of the upcoming vehicle. If you’re preparing a trip to a Chevy dealer, you might want to hold off until this particular variation of the nameplate actually starts to hit dealership lots…
The brand actually first unveiled their Hot Wheels-inspired Camaro back in 2012. More than four decades after the unique toy 1967 Camaro hit store shelves, Chevy decided to honor the beloved “model” by designing a legitimate concept.
“Forty-four years after its gleaming Spectraflame paint job, side-exit “zoomy” exhausts and red-line wheels launched playtime fantasies for millions of children of all ages, Chevrolet Performance has paid homage to the original Hot Wheels “Custom Camaro” toy with a full-scale tribute,” the brand said at the time.
While the brand had difficulties transforming the toy into a legitimate vehicle that was an estimated 64-times larger, the company still managed to produce a striking and desirable racer. The concept was equipped with the notable LS3 E-ROD Connect and Cruise crate powertrain system, and this unit was accompanied by an LS3 engine and a 4L65-E four-speed automatic transmission. They also adorned the concept car in a striking Kinetic Blue paint, which certainly added an air of elegance to the ride.
“A literal interpretation of the toy car would have been too cartoony – it just wouldn’t look right on a full-size car,” said Chevrolet’s Design Manager, Dave Ross. “The stance and wheels of the concept vehicle are different, as well as some of the proportions the toy has, but the body lines and styling cues are all the same.”
Engineers even managed to produce a similar hood, and they honored the toy brand by including a number of Hot Wheels badges and emblems. The interior was highlighted by an opulent white leather upholstery (with blue stitching), as well as a silver instrumental panel and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Well, the reception to the concept vehicle was seemingly too much to ignore. The brand announced earlier this year that they were teaming up with the toy brand to produce the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, which will be available in 2018. The special edition of the nameplate will cost an extra $4,995, and it will be teamed with the already-impressive 2LT or 2SS coupe trims.
“In the 1960s Hot Wheels and Camaro challenged vehicle design by elevating the speed, power, and performance of both die-cast and pony cars alike. For 50 years, both brands have developed high-performance cars that embody the challenger spirit,” said Chris Down, the senior vice president and Global Brand GM of Hot Wheels. “We’re thrilled that fans can now experience the essence of Hot Wheels in this special edition Camaro.”
While this revelation is rather surprising, there’s no denying that it’s been a long time coming. After all, the Custom Camaro was the first toy car that Hot Wheels released back in 1968 (along with the other 15 “original” toys). In fact, the vehicle was available in an incredible 20 different color offerings, including the unique Creamy Pink (which is particularly rare) and the striking “gold.” If you’ve ever come across Hot Wheels at an antique store, you’ve surely seen these toys lying in a bucket.
Specifically, the vehicle will be adorned with Satin Graphite stripes and Silver Ice Metallic exterior accents. The orange brake calipers and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels will truly emphasize the “Hot Wheels” aspect of the ride, providing the striking, alluring colors that have consistently impressed both children and adults.
“Camaro and Hot Wheels have pushed the boundaries of design and performance for 50 years. The 1967 Camaro offered a distinctive design with available hidden headlamps and a front sub-frame that enhanced responsiveness and refinement. In 1968, Hot Wheels elevated the performance of toy vehicles with wide wheels and low-friction axles, designing them to be the fastest toy cars on and off the track.”
The inside of the vehicle will include Jet Black leather-appointed seats, accented by orange inserts and stitching. Of course, the brand also topped the vehicle off with a number of Hot Wheels-centric inclusions, including fender badges on the exterior and steering wheels.
“The Chevrolet Performance design studio is full of designers who were inspired by Hot Wheels,” said Tom Peters, director of Exterior Design for Chevrolet Performance Cars. “The Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition captures that passion, turning childhood fantasy into reality.”
As a Hot Wheels fan, I’ve always heard of the legends of the original toy Camaro. While I never thought the toy company and Chevy would ultimately produce a real-life version of the miniature car, my (and I’m sure plenty of enthusiasts’) dreams are now coming true. Best of all, Chevy cleverly designed the vehicle so that it emphasized the notable features of the toy, including the striking colors and unique design. Ultimately, if you’re one who tends to enjoy nostalgia, you may want to consider opting for this car.