“Retro” is always “in” and has a way of bringing old items back to life. Such is the case for this version of the Hot Wheels casting, Turismo. The Turismo seen below has been around for the last 33 years and has been relatively untouched by collectors. That all changed a couple weeks ago when it was revealed that the ’81 DMC DeLorean from the 2015 HW Race / Track Aces Series would feature the retro graphics from this 3-decade-old release of the Turismo. The Turismo castings featuring this vintage paint scheme suddenly became desirable and all the ones listed for a couple dollars were immediately snatched up on secondary market sites. I was fortunate to find the one shown below at a vintage toy store here in Phoenix for $5.
While I know you’re craving a side-by-side comparison at this point, you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s article for the DeLorean. The Turismo is the star today. The “Turismo” you say? Thats a goofy name…well, according to the Hot Wheels Wiki…
During the 70’s and 80’s, Bob Rosas was the Manager of Product Development (Boy Toys) at Mattel and Larry Wood was the principal car designer at Mattel. In 1978 they took interest in the DeLorean car, which was getting significant media attention at the time. Joel Rubenstein, Product Legal at Mattel, received a verbal okay from DeLorean Motor Company to produce a Hot Wheels car based on the prototype DeLorean car. Working from photos of the prototype, the molds were quickly developed and samples created. For reasons that are still unclear (though a deal with Matchbox has been recently uncovered), DMC decided against allowing Mattel to manufacture the die-cast version of the car. To recoup the costs associated with the design and tooling, Bob convinced Mattel to modify the existing tooling to alter the appearance of the car just enough that it wasn’t exactly a DeLorean any more. The version was re-named “Turismo” and sold in 1981. The gallery photos (courtesy Bob Rosas) of the silver car show one of the few surviving prototypes made from the unmodified tooling.
That is quite the origin story! An unlicensed version of the DeLorean was released and 33 years later, the licensed version of the DeLorean wearing the same graphics was released. Kudos to those at Hot Wheels who made this happen! As for the Turismo casting, it was last released in 1985.
RELEASE DETAILS: Red Enamel Body (metal). Blue-Tinted Windows. Black Interior/Rear Deck. Blackwall Wheels (BW). Unpainted Metal Base. Made in Malaysia. Toy# 1694. Released in 1982 as part of the Hot Wheels mainline.
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