Quick! Get into the #Deora II and lets take a trip back to the early days of the Red Line Club (RLC) over at HotWheelsCollectors.com (HWC). HWC was launched on July 29, 2001 by Mattel/Hot Wheels as a place to have collectors share everything Hot Wheels and as a place to sell limited edition Hot Wheels directly to the collector. Creating a membership known as the “Red Line Club” in 2002, Hot Wheels gave collectors that were part of the Red Line Club priority in buying limited edition #HWC Series vehicles. The 2002 Series was known as Series 1.
The first #HWC Series 1 online sale occurred on April 11, 2002. Through a bevy of server crashes, the Volkswagen Drag Bus offered that day sold 10,000 units in about an hour and a half! Five sales later, on June 25, 2002, the Deora II shown below was sold. A new spectraflame process was in development so the Deora II received a Yellow/Chrome VUM applied to its metal body. VUM was a process in which a colorized chrome surface (kind of like a foil) was applied to both, plastic- and metal-bodied Hot Wheels vehicles.
In addition to this high-end #Spectraflame Paint on the horizon, a “neo-classic” red line wheel was being developed specifically for the RLC. Eventually, the first car featuring neo-classic red line wheels was sold on September 4, 2002. So with the absence of this new wheel for the first several months, all RLC releases featured #Real Riders — tires made of a synthetic plastic that have a rubbery look and feel. Until the Deora II was released, all prior releases had Deep-Dish Real Riders with a red-line tampo on them, since it was the RED LINE CLUB after all. So it did seem a little strange when the Deora II was released with yellow-line Real Riders. The explanation that was given at the time was that it was done so the yellow stripe on the tires could match the body. Seems reasonable enough and looking back at it, we’ve seen other examples over the years where precedent was overruled for the interest of better overall design.
HWC DAVE, an administrator at HWC at the time, jokingly created artwork with the name of the Red Line Club changed to the Yellow Line Club. He tried to garner support for this release as it had his name on it, literally. If you read the license plate on this Deora II, you’ll see that it reads “HW DAVE”. While HWC DAVE is lone gone from HWC, we salute you in your 1-car, Yellow Line Club.