12 years ago, we were graced with Hot Wheels “Highway 35 World Race” to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Hot Wheels. Highway 35 or World Race consisted of a full-length movie and a line of Hot Wheels vehicles. The were 5 teams of drivers featuring 7 vehicles/drivers per team, totaling 35 vehicles all together. Each team had a strength which equated to what their team name was. The 5 teams were: Wave Rippers, Street Breed, Roadbeasts, Dune Ratz & Scorchers. While this line is capable of a story of its own, we will look at it periodically as Diecast Motorsports keeps the articles about your favorite vehicles coming.
Main character Vert Wheeler and his Deora II are faced with stiff competition in Taro Kitano and his team of Scorchers. Taro is the leader of the Scorchers and driver of the ’70 Plymouth Road Runner shown here. So needless to say, this car has a lot of screen time in this flick. But it wasn’t necessarily the screen time that caught my eye with this car.
The ’70 Plymouth Roadrunner features matte black paint complete with “Fusion Graphics”. These fusion graphics are some of the best decals in all of diecast and have since been discontinued by Hot Wheels. Why? I’m not sure. But they are sure better than the decals currently being used in the Pop Culture line. This line was also a pioneer for another Hot Wheels feature that have since disappeared–Co-Mold Wheels. Another, “I’m not sure why they were discontinued”, but they were widely popular! Even a few mainline cars ended up having co-mold wheels on them. Today it is believed that the Real Rider 5-Spoke Wheels are direct descendants of these wheels, though these are “rubber” Real Riders wheels while Co-Molds were all plastic (which were great for the track!).
Most can be obtained fairly cheap on the secondary market for around the retail price of $3. However, the Dodger Charger R/T & Muscle Tone were in later releases and are a little harder to find and typically sell for around $10. Also, there are two variations on the ’70 Plymouth Road Runner. There is a “CHASE” version that came in a special video 2-Pack that had a ZAMAC roof, gloss body and Gold-Chrome Wheels. There is also a limited ZAMAC version that came as part of a set sold exclusively on hotwheelscollectors.com.
The “rat-rod” Scorchers were definitely a cool team to collect and I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere down the line they gain a tiny cult following. But for now, they are relatively easy to find and collect.
RELEASE DETAILS: Matte Black Body (metal). Yellow-Tinted Windows. Black Interior. Red-Rimmed, Gray Co-Mold 5-Spoke (CM5) Wheels. Chrome Base (plastic). Made in Thailand. Toy# B0902. Released in 2003 as part of the Highway 35 World Race line.