The #Connect Cars were released 10 years ago. So, its only fitting that I open & showcase my prized possession from the line: the North Carolina #’70 Plymouth Superbird. This car is particularly scarce due to its limited nature as it was one of the last cars to be released in the line before it was discontinued. The Superbird has always been a popular casting and this one having a deco that closely resembles a #Race Car driven by a North Carolina icon, only helped increase its secondary market value.
In the United States, we saw a 50 States series of #Connect Cars along with a bonus, mail-in Washington DC #’07 Chevy Tahoe. International markets saw the alternative Track Legends series of Connect Cars. Connect Cars were basically the #2009 Hot Wheels take on Hot Wheels #Park’N Plates. Each car came with its own plastic cube that could be assembled with others to form a modular display case. It was a neat idea but ultimately may have been the reason for the line’s demise as the bulky packaging took up a lot of peg space at retail, and in collectors’ collections. Still, that didn’t stop us from getting a few gems.
My favorite execution from the line was the #’70 Plymouth Superbird. It represented the 12th state to enter the union: North Carolina — hence the #12 on it. This release almost certainly served as an homage to North Carolina icon, Richard Petty, who was born in the city of Level Cross in 1938. Petty — for those that don’t know — was an extremely popular NASCAR driver and his Superbird helped revolutionize the sport. You can see in the photo below, his replica #43 Superbird from the 2011 Vintage Racing line, along with the #68 Classics release with a very similar, but unlicensed deco. This North Carolina deco is a great take on that “Petty Blue” one, while maintaining the theme of honoring each state’s statehood.
Just like all of the other vehicles in the #Connect Cars / 50 States series, the #’70 Plymouth Superbird features the name of the state it represents, as well as the aforementioned number in which the state entered the union. In addition to those, Hot Wheels Graphics Designer, Steve Vandervate also included several other various nods to the Tar Heel State — in the form of sponsor logos.
North Carolina’s motto, “Esse Quam Videri” — which means “To be, rather than to seem” in Latin — adorns the roof on both sides. “First Flight” sits above the front wheels as a nod to the state’s other motto “First in Flight” which refers to the fact that Kitty Hawk was the site of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight. Below that is “Dogwood” which refers to the state’s flower. The rest of the logos refer to locations within the state including cities like, Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh, and Durham; OR particular geographical points of interest like the Outer Banks and Cape Fear. The two logos I was unable to identify the meaning behind were “RTP” which I initially thought was for Richard Petty until I learned his middle name is Lee; and the “Cardinal Cams” logo that sits behind the doors.
Overall, I really loved the Hot Wheels #Connect Cars / 50 States series. It has been a series I have debated about going back and collecting but ultimately haven’t pulled the trigger on. The Superbird is obviously a must-have if you’re going to do so. This one sits in my #’70 Plymouth Superbird casting collection — a collection that I may have to break out soon and do a #Collection Update on. Until then, I hope you enjoyed the facts in this article, and be sure to let me know if I missed anything about this release.
RTP stands for Research Triangle Park (located in Raleigh-Durham, NC). Cardinal Cams probably just references the state bird. Maybe they had some bird webcams set up back then.
RTP is the research triangle park = Raleigh Chapel Hill and Durham
The state bird is the Cardinal