Thanks to a new set of logos appearing on a couple blister cards this year, collectors have noticed a new partnership between Hot Wheels and Vaughn Gittin Jr of RTR racing. Released concurrently, the Hot Wheels Premium #Boulevard #’17 Ford GT and #Muscle Mania #’69 Ford Mustang Boss 302 from the #2020 Hot Wheels mainline are both replicas of actual cars that Vaughn has driven.
Driven the cars in what, you say?
Vaughn Gittin Jr. achieved success as a World Champion Drifter, winning his first Formula Drift title in 2010. His website proclaims his as a “Professional Fun-Haver” as he is known for putting on quite a show while having a “damn good time behind the wheel”. He is definitely the kind of guy you’d love to shred some rubber with on the track and share a beer with afterward. In addition to his drift career, Vaughn has successfully crossed-over into off-road competitions. Perhaps his biggest success is yet to come though as RTR Vehicles launched in 2019 and partners with Ford to create custom upgrades to new Mustangs, Rangers, and F-150s. The RTR story is really quite impressive — and it should be considering the vehicles they are putting out.
RTR stands for “Ready to Rock!” and the cars are certainly engineered to do so — on the inside and out! So while Hot Wheels can’t physically be upgraded from an engine standpoint short of casting a new part for visual purposes, it’s the custom nature of the aggressive styling that really has Hot Wheels collectors excited for this partnership.
The first two vehicles that Hot Wheels has released — #’17 Ford GT & #’69 Mustang Boss 302 — show that the custom nature of the vehicles Vaughn likes to drive. Since he is an ambassador for Ford, he was able to not only acquire a new Ford GT, but also get it custom sprayed in Leadfoot Gray. There is a fabulous article by fordmuscle.com that tells you more about it and also provides a couple videos that will make you salivate on multiple levels.
Also in the “Fun-Haver Garage” is the RTR-X, a custom ’69 Ford Mustang fastback with a Ford Racing Boss 302 crate engine, and a load more custom upgrades to the engine, chassis, wheels/tires, exterior and interior. You can check out the specifics listed on the RTR-X page of Vaughn’s web site. The vehicle actually translates well to the Hot Wheels #’69 Ford Mustang Boss 302 casting Jun Imai designed for Vintage Racing, hence why it was used. The clean nature of the black Mustang with matte black hood and neon green accents give this car a rather sinister look and being that this car was recreated for the Hot Wheels mainline, it carries over a good amount of detail for a replica. Obviously, the custom engine headers that protrude through the hood weren’t able to be included short of a casting retool, so those did have to be tampo’d on. The cool factor with this Hot Wheels release comes from the fact that they were able to recreate the matte black hood design as well as include the RTR logo (along with the Hot Wheels logo) on the windshield.
Its clear the custom nature of the styling & design Vaughn uses for his vehicles is very Hot Wheels appropriate. The #’17 Ford GT from #Boulevard and the #’69 Mustang Boss 302 from #Muscle Mania are pretty awesome, and collectors have responded well to them thus far. Should the partnership continue, I’m sure we will see a good helping of modern Mustangs and F-150s, or possibly even a new Bronco casting tooled up to reflect RTR design. Either way, we now have these two, totally badass designs that have Hot Wheels collectors left clamoring for more.