The 1931 Duesenberg Model J was a classic car in real life and as a Hot Wheels casting. Better known in the Hot Wheels world as the ’31 Doozie, this Hot Wheels classic saw its demise as part of the infamous Final Run Series.
Ask just about any collector and they will tell you they despise the Final Run Series. Originally started in 1999, the Final Run Series was a way to retire Hot Wheels castings that were on their final leg–whether it had been from the tooling needing to be replaced or the casting’s unpopular nature. These castings were given one last”glorified” release in a Final Run paint scheme and Real Rider tires. Even the packaging was special and noted that after this “Last Production Run! All Tools [were] Destroyed.” At this point, most collectors were happy that these otherwise #Discontinued Castings we given the royal treatment.
In 2001, the series popped up once again as a Toys R Us exclusive. The cars came in an exclusive clamshell made of plastic and only 7 of the 12 had the premium wheels. These cars were priced around $5 each and a lot of these cars sat on the pegs because the majority of them were undesirable castings in the first place. In 2002, the series was cancelled leaving only 3 of the 12 cars for that year released.
Surprisingly enough, collectors clamored for the rest of the series to be released.We were told by Amy Boylan (“HWC Amy” of HotWheelsCollectors.com) that she had managed to get the remaining 9 cars from 2002, released as part of the 2003 mainline (hence why some of the Rig Wreckers from 2003 still have the 2002 Final Run tampo on them). Collectors were initially excited as these castings were now going to be available at the $1 mainline price-point.
While desirable at the time, collector interest eventually grew faint as the castings weren’t given the same level of detail and lost the premium wheels exclusive to the series previous runs. That, mixed with collector favorites being lost, led to the series ending in 2005 at the request of the collectors.
Since the packaging of Final Runs stated that the tooling was to be destroyed and that this was the last time these castings would be released, the Hot Wheels brand held itself to be legally responsible to never produce these castings again. So while some castings weren’t missed, some beauties like this ’31 Duesenberg Model J will never be produced again.
Originally designed by the great Larry Wood, and first released in 1977, the ’31 Doozie you see below was the last rendition of this classic car. This classic features so many great details from its removable top revealing double windshields to its real trunk in the back to even its metal body & metal base. At least the car maintained these features over its 26-year-run. When it came down to its final release, then Hot Wheels graphic designer Miq Willmott did an excellent job in giving this car the Gothic Funeral it deserved. R.I.P. 1977-2003.
RELEASE DETAILS: Metalflake Steel Blue Body (metal). Yellow-Tinted Windows. Gray Interior. Black Fenders (plastic). Gold-Chrome 5-Spoke (5SP) Wheels. Gold Base (Metal). Made in Malaysia. Toy# 57173. Released in 2003 as #8 of 12 in the 2003 Final Run Series.