AutoMatters & More: 2020 Hot Wheels Legends Tour Finale from Jay Leno’s Garage

Judges in Jay Leno’s garage
Judges in Jay Leno’s garage

(Courtesy)

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour is an annual competition to find one very special fan-made custom automobile to make into a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels die-cast toy. The tour made stops in Europe, Latin America, Asia and North America. The stop winners, plus one additional wild card winner chosen by the fans in the Mobil 1 Fan Favorite contest, then competed in the finale — streamed live from Jay Leno’s Garage.

The finale was co-hosted by Jay Leno and Jarod DeAnda. Judging the competition were Jay Leno, Ted Wu (Vice President, Global Head of Design for Vehicle, Mattel), entertainer Snoop Dogg, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, professional stunt driver Bri (Brionna) Lynch and Bryan Benedict (Senior Design Manager, Die-Cast Vehicles at Hot Wheels). Making guest appearances were 007 stunt driver Ben Collins, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and team owner Tony Stewart, and child actor and Hot Wheels collector Paxton Booth.

1970 Pontiac Trans Am
1970 Pontiac Trans Am
(Courtesy)

The judges faced a difficult task, as these finalists were the best of the best. Shown at the event were: 1959 Hulk Camino, 1969 “Discovette,” 2020 “Scorp*ion,” 1970 Pontiac Trans Am, 1976 Hillman Imp, 1958 Chevy Apache, 1976 Volkswagen Brasilia “La Bracala,” 1954 Chevy “Bombs Away,” 1970 Ford Mustang “Ruffian,” 1978 Mini Cooper V8, 2007 Porsche Cayman S and Morris Minor “Mercenary.”

The judging was based on three criteria: Authenticity — does it look like a Hot Wheel? Creativity — does is stand out from the rest? Garage Spirit — built, not bought.

So, which one is your favorite? Mine is the 1958 Chevy Apache — and I’m not even a truck person!

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Mattel’s Bryan Benedict said this about the Trans Am: “Coming into this I didn’t think that was going to be my number one choice. You know, it’s just all white … but what it lacks in deco, it makes up for in stance and detailing, and that cage and shifting that motor back. … It’s a dramatic statement in a different way than the Apache (his #2 pick) is.”

Bri’s #1 pick is also the Trans Am: “I would aspire to build something like that. I’m really into TIG welding. I love TIG welding, so just admiring the craftsmanship for the fabrication of this car. … There are so many little details.”

Schedule
Hot Wheels Legends Tour finale schedule

Jay Leno’s #1 choice is the “Hulk Camino,” “because it’s for Hot Wheels. It wouldn’t be a car I would drive but I think it’s the ultimate Hot Wheels car. … (It was) very clever the way he did the roof. I haven’t seen a ’59 Chevy used that way ever, integrating that taillight. I love the fact that it still is a ‘quote’ El Camino pickup truck. You know you might get a little Barbie’s luggage bag back there. … To me, in terms of being a Hot Wheels, it’s the most outrageous and the most Hot Wheels-looking car here.”

Snoop Dogg’s #1 choice was, again, the 1970 Pontiac Trans Am: “That white-on-white is alright with me!”

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias’ #1 pick is the “Hulk Camino.” “That car just screams Hot Wheels to me. It’s like, it not something I’m going to see at a Starbucks but I would love to be able to see it on a mantle or be able to see it in a toy box. It looks like a toy. It looks like something you want to have fun with.”

Judging graphic

And the winner of the 2020 Hot Wheels Legends Tour is — drum roll please — the 1970 Pontiac Trans Am of Riley Stair, who said: “To have my car immortalized as a Hot Wheels die-cast for car lovers of all ages to enjoy means the world to me. To think that my car in a 1:64 scale could make a lasting impression for a young kid who loves cars, as Hot Wheels have for so many of us, is a dream come true. I can’t wait to see my nephew Noah pushing my car around the living room!”

Ted Wu explained the Trans Am this way: “With more vehicle entries this year than ever before, we know we found a special build that embodies the Hot Wheels challenger spirit with the 1970 Pontiac Trans Am. You see the vehicle and instantly know it is meant to be a Hot Wheels with the unique frame, engine, and purpose-driven build.”

To see additional photos, visit www.drivetribe.com, click on the magnifying glass, select “POSTS” and enter “AutoMatters & More #668” in their search bar. Please send your comments to AutoMatters@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2020 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #668r1


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