Hot Wheels has selected the five cars that will represent the United States and Canada in the grand finale of the 2021 Legends Tour. One of these five wild, one-of-a-kind custom builds could get the honor of being immortalized as a 1/64-scale model that will be sold globally.
Working closely with noted designers and other prominent figures in the automotive scene, Hot Wheels has spent the past few months traveling around the globe in search of the most unique cars. We’ve seen it all: a 1965 Ford Econoline nicknamed Grass Hopper and powered by a mid-mounted V8, a chopped 1929 Ford Model A whose roof panel comes from a Nissan Quest minivan, and a one-of-a-kind 2007 Chevrolet Corvette are just some of the highlights. Selecting five cars from such an illustrious group was easier said than done.
One of the finalists is a 1991 Porsche 911 that has been built into a Baja 1000-legal rally car. Owned by TJ Russel of Sun Valley, California, it features a custom-built suspension, all-wheel-drive, and composite body panels. Next is Lulu, a one-off roadster built by Santa Fe-based Paul Kalenian in merely seven months. It’s built with aluminum, and it uses a 325-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Muscle car fans won’t be disappointed: Hot Wheels also selected Scraptona, a 1969 Dodge Charger fitted with extra-wide tires and powered by a Richard Petty Racing NASCAR V8 engine tuned to 740 horsepower. It’s owned by Christopher Palmer of Macomb, Michigan. If you’re more into Japanese cars, one of the contenders is a 2003 Nissan 350Z whose rear body panels have been replaced by an assortment of tubes. Owned by Ashley Robinson of San Mateo, California, it’s powered by a twin-turbocharged engine that sounds massively powerful.
Last but not least is a 1968 Mercedes-Benz 250S named High Class owned by Kevin Clarke of Penticton, Canada. It boasts a supercharged V8 engine, a rear axle from a Ford Explorer, and it rides on a 1994 Chevrolet S-10 frame. It’s much higher than Stuttgart ever anticipated.
These five cars will move on to the grand finale taking place on November 13. They’ll square off against the winners of the international semifinal round, which is scheduled for November 4. While the United States is often hailed as the mecca of the custom car world, thanks in part to our relatively loose approach to registering a one-off car, we shouldn’t underestimate what folks overseas are capable of building. One of the cars headed to the international semi-final round is a Volvo P1800-based gasser powered by a 600-horsepower V8.
The winner will be added to the Hot Wheels catalog of scale models and sold around the globe. In 2020, the team selected a 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am heavily modified with a front-mid-mounted V8 engine and punched-out wheel arches.