Anyone remember when Volkswagens were all the rage in the mid-2000s? It seemed as though anything #VW flew off the shelves. Of course there was the #Volkswagen Drag Bus selling out repeatedly at HotWheelsCollectors.com (HWC), but there was also a huge following in the VW Beetle, VW Karman Ghia, VW Fastback and especially the Beach Bomb Too — which even proceeded to have three casting modifications after its initial release in 2002. Well, those were the days… as this decade of Hot Wheels collecting clearly belongs to the #JDM crowd as those are the new hot commodity.
With that said, this new #Mark Jones Designed, #Volkswagen Käfer Racer is something that would have been hoarded back then, but luckily, it should be a lot easier to pick up as a #2017 New Model. That is not to say that collectors haven’t taken a liking to it, as it seems as though this one will be well received over the next several years… it just won’t cause the mass hysteria it likely would have caused circa 2006. In October, Mark’s autograph sheet at the 30th Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Convention featured this casting as the “Thunder Beetle”.
Immediately upon learning, and seeing the first images of the Volkswagen Käfer Racer, I had to know if this was a real car. While “Käfer” means “Beetle” in German, it isn’t based on a real Beetle LeMans car but that is not to say that something similar hasn’t been done in the racing world or by a Volkswagen enthusiast. What is really cool, is that the Hot Wheels social media team put together an exclusive, all-access video with Mark, in which he explains his inspiration for the Käfer Racer (see below).
In the video Mark explains that the idea behind this one was to design “the ultimate, crazy racing VW”….one that Volkswagen would approve of, of course! He continues to state that this is his concept “if VW for some reason decided to take a #Beetle to LeMans … this is what it might look like”. In the end, we got a brand-new Beetle that looks incredibly wicked. Surely, this racing inspired Beetle will be featured for years to come and you can probably start counting down the days until you see this one with a metal base in one of the many premium lines. For now, this one resides as a #2017 New Model in the #HW Speed Graphics Series. We do know that we will see at least one more variant released in 2017 as its due out in a black colorway of this #MOMO paint scheme which will also be part of the HW Speed Graphics.
UPDATED 04/07/2017 — Black colorway added.