To start this exercise, I employed a standard designer’s trick. Using photographs, I put a circle guide around a rear wheel of both the Hot Wheels Camaro and the production car. I then drew a tangent circle behind each version’s rear tire; the inscribed circle revealed that the rear overhang on the real thing is a bit less than one tire diameter. On the Hot Wheels car, the rear overhang is only half as much. So the wheels are indeed too big, just as Adam Barry, the real car’s senior exterior designer, pointed out is typical. (Read more about how Hot Wheels designs its cars.) The same technique reveals the real Camaro’s wheelbase is roughly 3.75 wheel diameters. On the Hot Wheels, it’s 3.4 wheel diameters, so not too far off.
This little Camaro is far from the type of caricatures created by the late famed cartoonist Dave Deal, but for the record, it’s not accurate in proportions or details. And that’s just fine: Look at the model, and you don’t need to turn it over and read the baseplate to know what it’s supposed to be.
- There are no side rearview mirrors on the little metal car
- Some indication of headlamps, perhaps a touch of paint, might be beneficial
- The toy’s black sill pieces are thicker, as are both the front and rear black pieces
For enthusiasts who dreamed of a drivable Hot Wheels of their own, 2011 was big. That year’s SEMA Show featured an antifreeze-green Hot Wheels Edition Camaro concept, pulling inspiration from the toys with special graphics, redline wheels, and a unique hood. A production Hot Wheels Edition Camaro arrived in 2013, this time with Kinetic Blue Metallic paint. Five years later, the Hot Wheels Edition has returned to the Camaro lineup, now sporting Crush (orange) paint and snazzy new badges and wheels. It’s not as wild as its toy counterpart—there’s no excessively raked windshield, oversized wheels, or blown-out fenders—but that’s primarily by design.
“There are many different ways of doing stripes and graphics,” Camaro exterior designer Barry said. “We could make flames on the side or some wild, crazy stripe pattern. But my concern early on was that unlike a toy, where you could do something really polarizing—and for $0.99, somebody will invest in it—we’re asking someone to spend $40,000 to $50,000 on one of these, and General Motors is left holding the bag if it doesn’t get sold. My goal was to do a Hot Wheels car that was definitely seen as a real performance vehicle and something that was desirable, regardless.” —Conner Golden