Randy Landrum is the Senior Pastor at Village Baptist Church in Whitehall, Ohio. He enjoys Hot Wheels cars. He enjoys collecting & customizing them. One early winter day in late 2018, he was going through some Hot Wheels he had in his kitchen and pulled out the #First Edition of the new Factory Fresh #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon in yellow. His idea was to simply detail it, but one thing led to another after he found a decal sheet from his other employer: JEGS High Performance. Randy serves at the bi-vocational pastor at the second largest mail order company of automotive equipment in the United States (JEGS), so he figured a homage to his other employer was in order.
Upon finishing the custom Hot Wheels #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon — complete with #JEGS decals — he showed it to a few people at headquarters. Word had spread when a supervisor of his asked he could give it to “Jeg Jr.” — whom, outside of the company of about 350 employees, is known as Jeg Coughlin Jr., son of the founder of JEGS High Performance, and NHRA Pro Stock Champion. Oh, and by the way, drives the real thing…
Days later, Randy received a letter from Jeg Jr. himself. The email thanked Randy for the gift and said it looked a lot like his NHRA Sportsman Challenger. He proceeded to mention that JEGS was in talks with Mattel about being a licensor on some vehicles.
Roughly a year later, Randy cross paths with Jeg Coughlin Jr. at the company’s Christmas dinner. Jeg asked him, “Remember the Challenger you made?”, Randy replied with a, “Yes?”. “We sent it to Hot Wheels and they’re going to build it!”, Jeg said excitedly.
Randy was stoked and thought that was amazing news, only to self-admittedly forget about it months later. That was, until he got an email update in July 2020 from a Hot Wheels collector group he is in. There was the #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon he had a hand in creating — and it was a SUPER #TREASURE HUNT!
QUICK LINK! Find the JEGS Challenger Super Treasure Hunt for sale on eBay.
It took Randy several weeks to find the #JEGS #’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. He recalls the feeling he had stating it was nothing short of excited. He recalled the steps that led up to the custom car he created, and considers the car making its way into an actual Hot Wheels release as a, very cool “accident”, as it is something that he will cherish for the rest of his life.
Way to go, Randy! I know a number of collectors that were glad this #2020 Hot Wheels Super Treasure Hunt happened — this collector included! Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Wow what a story, thank you Sir and Orange Track Diecast for sharing this story with the HotWheel community. This turned out to be a very pretty ride. Like most STH’s this one and many more are still shy of my collection!! Thank You O. T. D
Awesome story, one of a few customs (if not only one) to actually become a licensed Mattel made product.
Questions abound, did Mattel Design Team actually receive the first one made by Randy or just pictures?
“Jeg asked him, “Remember the Challenger you made?”, Randy replied with a, “Yes?”. “We sent it to Hot Wheels and they’re going to build it!”.
Did it ever make its way back to Jegs Jr?
Cool story and now I want to know the proverbial Paul Harvey’s “Rest of the Story”.
Sounds like it did. Randy did mention that he made 4 more customs to give to other people within the company.
That is a cool story! The chain of events that had to fall into place for that to happen is amazing. Glad it did though, that is my favorite of all the Challengers so far.
This is a great story from many standpoints, but I think it’s such a great fit for HW and Jegs to get together on this. One of those “ Gee, why didn’t I think of that?” moments!
On a similar vein, I have been collecting the HW/Mooneyes cars for awhile now, but it strikes me as rather curious that castings that have actual Moon racing gas tanks have never received ( to my knowledge) the Moon tampo!
These castings include the 55 BelAir gasser, the 29 Ford pickup truck or panel, Midnight Otto, and Passin’ Gasser. Logic would seem to dictate this.(?!?)
Castings that also would be a natural fit for Moon tampo might be 40 Ford drag truck, 55 Chevy or Nomad, 56 F-100 (although Matchbox has this one covered), either 57 Chevy, Way Too Fast, At-i-tude, and Jaded, right off the top of my head.
Some of OTD’s followers who are talented with creating tampos could have already done these and more cars, I’m not aware. Although I love VW’s, it seems that there are more appropriate vehicles for the Moon logo. I also realize that some of these cars are also metal base cars and that may have something to do with castings that are chosen, but 3 of the 4 I highlighted are plastic base cars.
Two other castings with Moon tanks are the Deuce 32 Ford roadster from 2000 and the T-Bucket.