The 1981 Hot Wheels: Dixie Challenger with the confederate flag on its roof is still selling for high dollar stemming from last June’s Confederate Flag controversy — surprising to see since that was almost a year ago. While that release of the Dixie Challenger is 35 years old now, it was mass-produced in several releases causing there to be more of a supply of that car than the Dixie Challenger we have for you today. The original casting of the Dixie Challenger was released from 1981 to 1986. Its rebirth as a Hot Wheels casting came in 2008 as a tribute to that original 1981 release.
Included in the 2008 40 Years of Hot Wheels set (representing the year 1981), this Dixie Challenger wears the original graphics of that first release but features a chrome paint job versus the orange enamel the 1981 release had. This motif was carried on throughout the 40 Years of Hot Wheels set as the other 39 cars in the set all represented the year in which they were originally released, wearing those same graphics but in a different paint color from their original releases. Another noteworthy quality of this set is that a lot of the vehicles feature a high-quality level of paint and feature metal bodies combined with metal bases. The chrome of this Dixie Challenger is flawless and the metal/metal combo gives it a nice heavy “quality” feeling.
In the Hot Wheels world, when a casting resurfaces after a prolonged period, it is known as a recast and/or a retool. While retooling also implies a change to the casting, in this case it just refers to the fact that a new tool had to be created in order to cast this new Dixie Challenger. As far as I can tell, this casting is a mirror image of the original 1981 release. The Hot Wheels Dixie Challenger was last released in 2014 as part of the Demolition Derby 5-Pack. While that’s still a fairly recently release, time will tell if its the last release of the casting as it wore an abstract confederate flag and had to be pulled from some retail outlets. With the flag still being a controversy here in the United States, this casting may officially be scrapped…or suffice to say, at the very least, it won’t be wearing anything that resembles a confederate flag again.