Hot Wheels is a brand of die-cast toy cars introduced in 1953 by Lesney Products. Later it was bought by American toy maker Mattel in 1968. It was the primary competitor of Matchbox until 1997, when Mattel bought Tyco Toys, then-owner of Matchbox.
The original Hot Wheels were made by Elliot Handler. Hot Wheels were conceived to be more like “hot rod” (i.e.customized/modified or even caricaturized or fantasy cars, often with big rear tires, superchargers, flame paint-jobs, outlandish proportions, etc.) cars, as compared to Matchbox cars which were more like small-scale models of production cars. There were sixteen castings released on May 18, 1968, eleven of them designed by Harry Bentley Bradley. The first one produced was a dark blue “Custom Camaro“. Bradley was from the car industry and had designed the body for the (full-sized) Dodge Deora concept car and the Custom Fleetside, (based on his own customized 1968 Chevrolet C-10 Fleetside).
In 1968, the first production line of Hot Wheels Cars is known as The Original Sweet 16, which is the first of the Red Line Series, meaning the tires have a red pin stripe on their sides. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Wheels.
From 1968-2000 Mattel has made countless series of die cast metal cars especially the ones used in the the popular TV show Dukes of Hazard ( General Lee Doge Charger)and the Movies Smokey and the Bandit (Pontiac Transam)starring the late Burt Renyolds.
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