Maelstrom, for all intents and purposes, is a Dutch word meaning mill-stream — with mill meaning, “to grind”. This Hot Wheels car was designed especially for track as a streamline-grinder of sorts. From its origin as a concept to its first appearance in the 2001 First Editions, Maelstrom had a small group of followers that admired its classic Hot Wheels design. One of its biggest followers, who goes by the name Maelstrom (Maelstrom610 on Wiki), contributed the following to the Hot Wheels Wiki on November 29, 2008:
The origins of Maelstrom started when, at the time Director of Hot Wheels Design Nathan Proch, gave Fraser [Campbell] a design brief to create the ultimate vehicle for the European Hot Wheels market. Hailing from the UK, this was Fraser’s first vehicle attempt for the Hot Wheels basic 1/64 scale car line. His first concept was to have the engines up front and the cockpit over the rear wheels. There was a concern however that it resembled the existing Twin Mill and Twin Mill II castings so a change was needed. Wanting to keep elements of “big engines, big power, and big attitude”, Fraser continued to “swirl” the layout of his design around. His forward cockpit and mid-engine design made it into production as 2001 First Edition #12 called Maelstrom.
The release of Maelstrom shown below is from the 2002 #Target Exclusive Hot Wheels Originals line. Sold at the $4 price point, the Hot Wheels Originals were not popular among collectors due to the line’s makeup of #Unlicensed Hot Wheels designs. In recent years, the line has garnered more attention since a lot of the vehicles in the line never looked better than when they had the premium wheels and paint worn in the line. This holds true for the Maelstrom release. Armed with elegant black and chrome paint, along with a simple red- and blue-chrome design, Maelstrom displays a simple elegance not often found in #Unlicensed Hot Wheels as they often tend to be laden with children-friendly colors and graphics. Cap that off with it wearing exotic Pro-Circuit 5-Spoke (PC5) Wheels with a redline that shines like a ruby, this Maelstrom is truly one to behold!
This Target Exclusive “Originals” series Maelstrom has UNIQUE wheels. This is the ONLY TIME these exact wheels (PC5RL) have ever been issued.
There is another car that has PC5’s with a red RIM, but this is the only Redline Tire PC5 wheel car.