Lately, in various Hot Wheels collector circles around the web, I’ve noticed collectors have been mentioning their top 5 HWC/RLC releases of all-time. Its no easy feat as HotWheelsCollectors.com has been selling cars since the Red Line Club was formed in 2002. The site and the club have had a fair share of issues over the years, but one thing has remained constant: HOT FREAKIN’ CARS! So suffice to say, as an RLC member since year one, establishing a Top 5 at this point is ludicrous. How can one only pick 5???
I am not going to go that route today. That would require some deep thinking and pretty sound logic. Plus, I am not going to go all “flavor of the day” on you and tell you that this [insert the latest release here] is the best ever. Instead, I am going to share with you one car that I know is in my top 5 — for sure. As you can tell by reading the title of this article, I am talking about the #HWC Series 11 #Real Riders: #Texas Drive ‘Em.
Back in 2012, the #Texas Drive ‘Em was the belle of the ball when it came to #HWC Series 11. It was, by far, the most sought after release. Nowadays, the #’66 Chevy Super Nova and #’85 Camaro IROC-Z have passed it up in value, but that doesn’t take away from what made it such a hit at the time. You knew it was going to be a first-day sellout at 4,000 pieces, and a limit of 2 per account — yeah, things were a little different back then. Priced at $15.99 each, it was a no brainer for a popular casting with outrageous amounts of detail. Even HWC staffers at the time couldn’t believe the piece was being sold for under $30 given the low quantity and multiple masks that were needed at the factory to spray on all the detail.
Just look at that bed! Two different-colored dirtbikes with so much detail that it’s hard to count all the individual places that were needed to be masked. Also, as if painting the water/fuel canisters AND first-aid kit red wasn’t enough, the factory somehow managed to meet graphic designer, Steve “Van” Vandervate’s crazy request for detail, by painting the straps (on the first-aid kit) and the caps on the canisters silver.
The truck itself has the most gorgeous application of spectraflame blue paint in the history of #Spectraflame Paint. The blue — dubbed “Otto Blue” — has this ability to calm you in its depths as if you’re looking into the sea. It is so evenly applied and is a testament to the spectraflame over hand-polished chrome process versus the mirrorized-chrome process for spectraflame which would ultimately start making its way onto HWC/RLC vehicles in 2013, only to be retired after series 13 (2014/2015). One model, that does feature that inferior paint? The Candy Striper… another car that’s for sure in my top 5.
You may be saying, “the #Texas Drive ‘Em (TDE) has been done several times for HWC/RLC/Conventions, where are those models?” Right? Well, there have been great releases of the TDE released in such lines, but start comparing the level of detail that went into this #HWC Series 11 #Real Riders piece and they don’t match this level of detail.
The combination of detail, execution and the fact that I collect the Hot Wheels #Texas Drive ‘Em makes the #HWC Series 11 #Real Riders release a top 5 HWC/RLC release for me. I didn’t even mention the pearl white roof, painted black grill & front winch, OR the lettering on the tires and bottom of the tailgate — oh wait, now I did. 😉 This is one piece any collector of premium diecast should have in their collection.