Today is the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 and Hot Wheels has as big as a presence as they have ever had as they are one of the official sponsors of the event. From distributing an official car for the event (included with the $25 program purchase) to racing Hot Wheels off the pagoda, down two stories to the Indy 500 finish line, Hot Wheels is definitely applying this year’s “Make it Epic” slogan to the race.
While the promotional car from this year’s event will be featured here eventually, we bring you one of the most popular Hot Wheels #Indy Cars of all time: the Hot Wheels 500. Originally released as the No Fear Race Car in 1994, it received a name change for this 1995 Race Team Series release since the car no longer wore the licensed “NO FEAR” graphics. It wore the “Hot Wheels 500” moniker until it was retired as part of the 2001 Final Run Series. The 1995 Race Team Series release (shown below) had several wheel variations and came in two shades of blue.
The #1995 Hot Wheels were a benchmark for the Hot Wheels brand and its mainline. While most people are quick to point out that it was the first year of the segment series and more specifically, the Treasure Hunts series, it was also the first year of an official #Hot Wheels Race Team series. Known as Race Team Series and commonly referred to as Hot Wheels #Race Team Series I, this segment series of 4 cars from 4 different styles of racing started a new breed of collectors — ones that crave that signature Hot Wheels logo on a “race team” blue body dubbed, the #Hot Wheels Race Team. And, as if the folks at Hot Wheels knew Race Team Series I would be a success, Race Team Series II followed in 1996, and was followed by many reiterations of the series to this day.