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September 6, 2008

My Favorite Redline: Custom Camaro

Randy Harris @ 8:07 pm
HotWheels 1968 Custom Camaro HK Antifreeze Redline

HotWheels 1968 Custom Camaro HK Antifreeze Redline

I was 8 years old when Mattel Hotwheels turned the world of die-cast “toy cars” on it’s head. Where I had once been happy to push my Matchbox cars around in the sand-box, or fill the pipe or log carrier trucks and pretend I was doing construction work — now there was a new twist to playing with those little cars — speed! Not only had Mattel designed the fastest little cars on the block, they also had style…. the paint jobs and custom features made all the other 1:64 scale die-cast cars look like your father’s station wagon.

1968 Hotwheels Redline Custom Camaro, Hong Kong version, Antifreeze Spectraflame with Black painted roof.

1968 Hotwheels Redline Custom Camaro, Hong Kong version, Antifreeze Spectraflame with Black painted roof.

The Matchbox “BP” tow-truck was relegated to sitting in pit row while the California Custom hot rods raced down that slick orange track. My favorite was always the anti-freeze green Custom Camaro.

1968 Hotwheels Custom Camaro, on the track!

1968 Hotwheels Custom Camaro, on the track!

The Custom Camaro was one of the original 16 Hotwheels. First released in 1968, the car was a “better than original” miniature version of the real thing. You’d have to customize a real ’68 Camaro to add the “power bulges” (as Mattel called the raised vents on the hood), and the four small exhaust pipes that ran out behind the front wheels were as close to running open headers as you could get.

Coming at ya!.. the 1968 Hothweels custom Camaro!

Coming at ya!.. the 1968 Hothweels custom Camaro!

The anti-freeze Spectraflame paint let you know even from 10 feet away that it was a Hotwheels. Sure, Matchbox tried to put out a few colors that were similar, but Mattel’s process of applying the translucent paint over polished “zamac”, (and in rare cases over polished chrome), was a look you couldn’t get even wih a $10,000 paint job on a “real car”.

1968 Custom Camaro, (chassis view)

1968 Custom Camaro, (chassis view)

1968 Hotwheels Custom Camaro, (rear view)

1968 Hotwheels Custom Camaro, (rear view)

Over the years I’ve tried to collected as many of the ’68 Camaro variations and castings that have been released. When the HotWheels Classics (Series 1) came out and the anti-freeze Custom Camaro with redlines was again in production, it was a blast from the past — like just about everything these day, the new ones weren’t made as good as the originals, (the Classics have thick axles and no nylon bushings or spring wire suspension so they don’t roll as fast or sit as nice as the true redline era cars — but the look is there. Yeah, it’s 40 years later, but I couldn’t wait to get one home and run it down the orange track — for old times sake.

So… what’s your favorite Redline?





13 Comments »

  1. Hi! I’m new to the whole blogging world, and recently set up a wordpress site to share my love of Hot Wheels with other collectors. I have been collecting Hotwheels since the mid seventies, but recently trimmed down my collection to a more manageable size, keeping only my most favorite cars. I only have a handful of redlines -my most favorite being my blue Ferarri 312P. My dream is to obtain a red enamel one someday -I remember this one from my childhood and was quite fond of it then too!
    When I sold some of my collection on eBay, I decided to build displays to help showcase the cars. I enjoyed making the displays so much, I kept making more and more as a hobby. If interested, check out my site and let me know what you think.
    Thanks ~ Jim

    Comment by carlson442 — November 29, 2008 @ 10:41 pm

  2. Nice displays. I do like the one with the “downhill racing” effect.

    Comment by Randy Harris — November 30, 2008 @ 1:56 am

  3. WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THIS TOY ?

    Comment by emily — September 5, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  4. A Hotwheels 1967-1968 Custom Camaro redline can range anywhere from $2.00 to $10,000.00, (two to ten-thousand dollars), depending on condition, color, and features. Color is a large predictor in price of Hotwheels since the company does not sell equal amounts of all models in all colors. Where a blue U.S. casting, custom caramo might not bring more than $1000.00 ever, even in it’s original package, a purple variation which has a black roof made in Hong Kong the same year could be worth $10,000 if both the car and the blister card package were flawless.

    The custom camaro pictured in the article is probably worth $75-$100 because of condition. If it was in mint condition it would be worth about $250-$350. The book value for the car if MOMC, (mint on mint card), same year, original package, undamaged blister, etc.. is over $1000.

    If you have cars you want to price, we’d need to know the year, color, condition and any markings on car, (casting marks on chassis and any special markings like stripes, decals, wording, etc painted on body).

    Comment by Randy Harris — September 5, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  5. I have the 1968 redline custom camaro blue one mint condition outside of the case? Im going to sell it so I need a good price?
    Can you help me out?

    Comment by Stuart Weis — September 15, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

  6. Blue is the least valuable color for Custom Camaro.

    Comment by Randy Harris — September 15, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

  7. I have a custom camaro antifreeze/black just like yours in the package card unpunched. any idea on a price? also do you know where i could get some plastic card keepers for the 68 hot wheels?

    Comment by Ken — September 22, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  8. The Ultimate Redline Guide, (Second Edition, Copyright 2005), lists the Hong Kong, Antifreeze w/black roof Custom Camaro at $950.00, (MOC), but the guide is a few couple years old now, so chances are it will bring more now.

    As for the car keepers for old blister packs, you might want to check out http://forums.hotwheelscollectors.com and ask around. Also, they have some (hard) acrylic cases at ProTech Products, (http://www.protechproductsinc.com), but I don’t see the soft clamshell ones that look like the newer regular line size Kar Keepers.

    Comment by Randy Harris — September 22, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  9. I still have this Camaro Hotwheel!!!

    Comment by Lou — March 8, 2010 @ 9:45 am

  10. I used to love the custom Camaro hotweels! Do they still sell those??

    Comment by custom f100 — November 11, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

  11. The 1967 Camaro casting used for the Custom Camaro is my favorite Hotwheels. Over the decades there have been some variations to the mold, (and of course the redlines are gone — and more of the car is plastic for many releases), but the “Hotwheels Classics” and “Neo-Classics” releases of the Custom Camaro have been fairly awesome. Ultra-Hots based on the casting are incredible in scale and detail to the ’67 camaro.

    Comment by Randy Harris — November 11, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  12. I have a camaro and corvette redline… I would like to sell my collection, (Houston, TX).

    Comment by chuy — January 23, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  13. From 1968-1980, I had all the hotwheels and Matchbox cars with all or most of the color variations. I wrapped them in tissue paper and stored them in bushel baskets to keep them mint. Never thinking they would be valuable, I sold them at a yard sale in the early 80’s. I bet I could retire on those cards now.

    Comment by lurch — February 10, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

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