When the mini-Chevrolet Camaro debuted in the very first batch of Hot Wheels cars more than 40 years ago, Nixon-era kids everywhere imagined bringing one to life. Today, they finally got their wish, as Chevrolet introduced a life-size tribute to that first Hot Wheels Camaro at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Inspired by the “Custom Camaro” – the dazzling Spectraflame® 1:64-scale toy that debuted in 1968 – the project was a collaborative effort between General Motors Design studio in Michigan and the Hot Wheels Design studio in California. Each studio sketched its own ideas of a life-size Hot Wheels Camaro, compared notes and refined their visions until the concept hit the right note for each group of designers.
It may be the faithful real-life interpretation of the original Spectraflame green paint job that will most excite fans. The Camaro Hot Wheels Concept features a brilliant, chrome-style finish consisting of a tinted top coat over a shiny base.
Creating the Spectraflame look on Hot Wheels models involved polishing die-cast metal and then applying a metallic lacquer. Getting the same reflective finish on the Camaro Hot Wheels Concept was slightly more labor-intensive. First, a primer coat was applied, and was then sprayed with a liquid-metal solution to create a mirror-smooth, silver-chrome base coat. Afterward, green tint was applied in several layers until the just-right color affect was achieved.
The Hot Wheels Spectraflame look had never been tried on a real-life car before, so everything from drying time to the air pressure of the spray guns had to be perfectly controlled.
Other unique features on the Camaro Hot Wheels Concept include satin black ground effects and wheels, a ZL1 grille with Hot Wheels badging, a Hot Wheels badge on the decklid and Euro-style taillamps with new inner smoked lens, among others.
The 1968 Custom Camaro is one of the most valuable Hot Wheels toys among collectors, and Hot Wheels will offer a special collector’s edition 1:64-scale model based on the full-size concept – the eighteenth 1:64-scale Hot Wheels Camaro model produced in the past 44 years.