Hot Wheels have a great new video which helps dads to get back to their inner Hot Wheels racing days, take a look.
Back at the end of the 60s, during one of those seemingly endless school holidays, my cousin arrived from what was at that time the far off mystical land of Canada. He brought with him the very latest thing from the even more mystical land of America. He had decided it would be a good idea to give me a present that would be unique, something that none of my friends would even dream existed.
He had travelled for many hours across the Atlantic to bring me the ultimate in cool gifts, a Hot Wheels car. Yes I had what no one else in my class had ever seen, it was the stuff of rumour and conjecture and ‘I wish I had one”
It would be a few years before the Fonz would become a global phenomenon, but already I was certainly at the height of cool, I had a ‘Custom Firebird’. Even the name evoked wonder, and the Firebird sticker on the miniature Pontiac looked like nothing we had ever imagined possible.
There was no comparison between this American muscle car and my dad’s Ford Anglia, this was a car from another planet altogether. My love affair with the Firebird outlasted the usual kids 10 minute attention span and I played lovingly with it all summer long. After all when pushed across the slick lino floor in my mother’s kitchen it was a dragster.
It was capable of ‘scale speeds’ of 200 mph, which in kids speak translated to it was always traveling at 200mph. I mean, my mates had Matchbox cars, what was their ‘scale speed’? Matchbox hadn’t even bothered to tell us what their solid and heavy tin machines were capable of, they were defiantly not cool.
Then summer passed into Autumn and Bonfire night arrived, the nights had drawn in and we all retreated inside in the evenings to watch “The Man from U.N.C.L.E” or “Hogan’s Heroes” it was during one of these shows that the unimaginable happened.
As I watched TV, popping up out of nowhere in the middle of the Fairy Liquid and the Milky Bar Kid was an advert for “Hot Wheels” In a moment my exclusivity had been smashed, I was no longer the only person to hold in his grubby 9 year old hands the equivalent of the winning lottery ticket.
But this great depression only lasted a few seconds as the screen showed not only the cool Hot Wheels cars, but also a TRACK! Yes it was now possible to buy a track to race my beloved Firebird on.
Christmas arrived and after 217 hours of never pausing “can I have the Hot Wheels Track for Christmas” I opened my main present to reveal the new ultimate thrill in my life. It was a complex piece of plastic engineering that apparently required my father and my uncle to construct. I waited impatiently as they slotted all the parts together to create a wonderful version of Le Mans in my bedroom.
They had to test it, which was frustrating but I could understand that it needed to be thoroughly checked over by people who drove real cars. So I waited for the testing to be completed, and waited, and ‘just held on for one more race’ In the end I could take no more and had to go seek out a race marshal to deal with the situation. At which point my mother instructed my dad and uncle to let me play with them otherwise they would not be allowed on it again.
Sponsored by Mattel