Considering the fact that the Candy Striper Gasser sells for close to $500 and other versions of the #’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser sell for a good chunk of change, its practically a steal if you can find even a basic level version of the casting for $1. So when a new version of the casting hits retail as part of a basic line, hunting it will be an event in itself. Less than a month ago, the #Car Meet 5-Pack started showing up, and collectors had already started to hone in on that cherry 1-spot up from the bottom. That is not to say the other cars in this 5-Pack won’t be sought after, as the #Subaru Impreza WRX has a niche following of its own, but the gasser will bring out all the profiteers who are looking to make a profit off this release — even for a buck or two.
Target here in the U.S. has seemed to get a jump on the other retailers in terms of the latest case of Hot Wheels 5-Packs. The #Car Meet 5-Pack started showing up right at the end of April. I knew my best chances to obtain this 5-Pack were to hunt it before other “less informed” collectors in my area got wind of its release. Low and behold, last Thursday evening, she was hanging at my local Target, front and center.
My initial thought was, “very cool, a mainline version of the #Car Culture / Cars & Donuts series”, as these are essentially the basic line counterparts since both themes are car show centric.
Since this #’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser is a #5-Pack Exclusive, it is worth noting that this is the first time this casting has been produced at the Hot Wheels plant in Indonesia. Since the Hot Wheels 5-Packs switched to the Indonesia plant last year, we have seen some better quality as the tampos appear to be more durable than the ones from the Malaysia plant.
Speaking of the tampos, the graphics on the #Car Meet 5-Pack #’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser are definitely gasser-esque as they feature fictional “Hot Wheels Drag Strip” logos on the sides accompanied by the #55 — a number that is often chosen to adorn this casting. The name “VETUSKEY” graces the rear quarter panels as this casting is a #Brendon Vetuskey Design. To cap it off, the car also features a classic #Chevrolet logo and “Bel Air” & “427” insignia.
I have to admit that after we saw the HW Flames mainline releases (along with a Target Red Edition) last year, I thought that #’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser would be destined for premium use only. However, with this #Car Meet 5-Pack release, it appears we could see this casting in basic lines for the foreseeable future. The same can’t be said for the equally-as-popular #Datsun Bluebird 510 as that casting last appeared in a basic line in 2012.
While the #’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser remains popular, and secondary prices on the premium releases continue to rise, you can bet these types of basic-level releases will be snatched up rather quickly. The good thing about this being a #5-Pack Exclusive is that 5-Packs have a longer production life than mainline cars so after the initial hoarding stops after a couple months, you should be able to find these rather easily. Until then, happy hunting what will most likely be the best 5-Pack of the year!