Featuring 1:64 scale diecast vehicles of all makes and models.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Future Is Here!

Inspired, perhaps, by the motion picture Back To The Future, the DeLorean DMC-12 became bigger than life and is an instantly recognizable vehicle wherever it goes. It was the brainchild of former Chevrolet chief executive, John Z. DeLorean.

Produced between January 1981 and December 1982, nearly 9200 DeLoreans were made. They were notable for many things, not the least of which was it's unpainted stainless steel body panels and those gull-wing doors. It estimated that around 6500 DeLoreans still exist.

In December 2009, Mattel released it's version of this venerable sports car as part of it's Hot Wheels 2010 line of diecast 1:64 scale toy cars. As seen above, they were able to capture the essence of this car - the distinct lines of this beautiful silver automobile and the first edition even emulated it's stainless steel exterior. The original car's "turbine" wheels were matched by using Hot Wheels' chromed 10-Spoke wheels.

The front of the Hot Wheels version is quite a close copy of the original machine, right down to it's DeLorean Motor Company initials in the middle of the grille. It's low stance is all there, and the first version's silver paint is highly reminiscent of what you would have seen in your rearview mirror had a DeLorean been tailing you back in 1981.

Mattle was able to include a lot of detail in a 3 inch long car including it's uniquely-shaped gull-wing doors, the side trim and the louvres surrounding the rear side window.

For a December 1981 credit card promotion, three gold-plated DeLoreans were factory made and are authentic color variations for the car. Had not the company faltered after the arrest of it's creator, John DeLorean on drug trafficking charges, several other colors were planned. These have been described as black, yellow and red.

So far, as of the end of April 2010, Mattel has released just two miniature versions of this classic car; one in metalflake silver to simulate the original car's stainless steel body and a metalflake gold one to match the three gold-plated counterparts. It is yet to be seen whether or not Hot Wheels will choose the other colors of black, red or yellow or perhaps come up with new colors such as blue, green, purple or the classic Hot Wheels rarity color of pink.

One thing the Hot Wheels version has which is a nice touch is the rear hatch that opens. When raised up, you can see the spare tire area and the space behind the two seats. It was a nice idea to add this moving feature.

So, that has been a little look at my current favorite Hot Wheels, the DeLorean DMC-12. When it came out in 1981, the original vehicle made quite an impression on me as a 20-year-old young man. If I could have afforded one, I would have bought one - they were that distinctive looking for the cars being produced at the time. John Z. DeLorean died in 2005, but his company has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes and there are new/old models being assembled from the remaining parts made back in the early 1980's. They are about 80% new old stock parts and 20% new manufacture. Of course, they look just as distinctive, but have several new improvements built in. They are truly a car of it's time!

Now, it only remains for Hot Wheels to release a special version with their "turbine" style real rider wheels and the plain metal exterior. I'm thinking it would look something like the above custom. Of course I'll buy several just because I love the car so much! You'll probably have noticed that the Diecast Destination banner has this car as it's main subject, such is it's popularity with this author.