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Hot Wheels restoration, bringing back childhood

I’ve modified Hot Wheels to race, and I’ve modified Hot Wheels to repaint them, but not until recently did I think of or have a chance to restore them. I was looking through a box of old toys to find some for Jen’s kids when I discovered some of my own childhood Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. One of them was a car I remember dearly and thought it was long gone. It was a little worse for wear and decided to try and restore it to its former glory.

If I remember correctly, I got the car from my grandma for Easter one year. I think that because I remember having at her house playing on the kitchen floor. I liked it because it had a lot of stickers on the side of it, like a race car. As the pictures show, it was a well-loved piece of machinery. Not only did it get used a ton when I was little, it sat rotting in the bottom of a toy box (although somewhat protected from the elements).

Along with the Easter Hot Rod I found a few other old cars that I had painted. I remember loving to paint my toy cars way back then too. Of course, I didn’t quite go at it as hardcore as I do today. I would just slap on a coat of acryllic paint and be done. Little did I know that 25 years later I would trying to take those coats of paint off and bring back a piece of my childhood.


The Easter Hot Rod is first on my list because it was a favorite and in the best condition. The hot rod avoided getting a new paint job way back when, but it was beat up quite a bit and the wheels don’t even spin anymore. The windshield is yellow from years of indoor play and cracked. Doing the body work and paint job to bring back some of the original shine won’t be too hard, but adding the tiny race decals and trying to fix the windows will be tough. I’m debating whether or not to replace the windows entirely or just keep the originals as a sort of “tribute” to the original car. Adding some new tires will also be tricky. The Easter Hot Rod is actually a Matchbox brand car so the tires are entirely different that the surplus of Hot Wheels tires I have already. Making a new axle and finding tires that match the body will be a challenge for sure.

But this quest is very motivating beyond simply repainting cars because I can. My race track is sort of out of commission as my finish line went haywire and the starting gate broke in a dog-related incident. Working on the track is another weekend project within itself, so all your racers will have to hold tight for now yet again this year, sorry.

I’ll do my best to document the restoration here and over at my Redline Racing Community.