Its January. The Hot Wheels Nationals Convention is just over two months away. In our annual build to the buzz surrounding that event, CEU unveiled the first souvenir car yesterday, putting the Nationals timeline in our peripheral view. The Nationals Convention hits the east coast this year as it is in Charlotte, North Carolina. 10 years ago, Nationals was in St. Louis…
It doesn’t seem like that was long ago, but as you look back you realize that was a decade ago. Hot Wheels collecting has changed. Interest from collectors in Japanese & European cars has exploded, and #Gassers have become a craze. Back then: it was the #Muscle Cars that stole the show at these conventions and this #’70 Chevelle SS was one of them.
Decked out in a brilliant metalflake steel blue paint, with orange to yellow flames stretching from the very front to just past the doors; this #’70 Chevelle SS was the #Dinner Car for an event at the #10th Annual Nationals Convention in which former Hot Wheels Designer, Howard Rees was honored. Even in 2010, Howard was long retired and despite the Red Line Club’s effort to revive many old castings from Howard’s time at Mattel, it appears none were available at the time this car was chosen.
See, Hot Wheels Nationals #Dinner Cars are usually chosen because they were designed by the designer being honored. There are a few exceptions to that, and this was one of those times. Instead, Howard chose the #’70 Chevelle SS “as a salute to his years of service designing classic Hot Wheels cars” per the back of the packaging of this release. Howard’s name and the date of the dinner event — along with the convention logo — were memorialized on this #Phil Riehlman Design, as that was customary for #Convention Vehicles at the time. Even the California license plate reads, “HREES 10”.
Being that #Muscle Cars were widely popular in the world of Hot Wheels collecting in the 2000s, the Hot Wheels #’70 Chevelle SS was among several collector-favorite designs. Collectors went crazy for the initial release of the casting in 1999. Collectors applauded the #Opening Hood upgrade it received in 2005. This release was of that premium variety that did call for that #Opening Feature.
Price-wise, this release of the #’70 Chevelle SS doesn’t come cheap. It can usually be found in the $60 to $100 range. Why? Well, collectors have always been enamored by that flamework of that metalflake steel blue paint. Its definitely one of the better releases of the casting which has had over 80 variants released over the last 20 years. Plus, being that it was an exclusive #Dinner Car at the Nationals Convention, it was limited to only 1200 pieces — making it way more limited than #Convention Vehicles these days.
Had to pick this one up at the LA convention last year. I’m a sucker for flames! 😉
Thanks for the read Brad!