HotWheelsCollectors.com - Series One
`67 Dodge® Charger
patiently for an orange window I Candy to arrive in the mail so I can finish the
end-of-year critique of this year's First Editions, I have been reviewing the retro-look
limited editions from HotWheelsCollectors.com. Since the last review, the last two
Spoilers re-do's have appeared. While they are well done, they are similar
to the first two I reviewed earlier, so I will wait until January and the end-of-year HWC
review to offer my thoughts on Heavy Chevy and Nitty Gritty Kitty.
Therefore, I turn my attention to the latest HWC release, the `67 Dodge Charger -
the first retro Spectraflame not to be based on a Hot Wheels model from the
Upon removing the car from the blister card and examining it thoroughly, I have to say that
I am very impressed with the finished product. Not simply a "repaint" of the First
Editions casting, this version has had tooling modifications done to just about every
component. The car stands a couple of centimeters higher off the ground, eliminating the
"lowrider" look entirely. The chassis is zinc plated metal instead of chrome plated
plastic. It has been modified between the axles, not only to hold the "torsion bar
suspension," but also to hold the body slightly higher. In addition, the bumpers are
straight on this version without any warp. The interior has an extra shim molded
underneath to raise it up to the proper visual height inside the body cavity. The
height differential between the HWC and First Editions versions is evident in the comparison
The "lowrider" Hot Wheels models of recent years tend to have a thicker chassis than other
models, which I suspect is necessary to hold the wheels and axles on place properly.
As a result, with a metal chassis this baby is a hefty Dodge, weighing in at two ounces!
This is a full ½ ounce more than the First Editions version. Although the body sits higher,
it still has a low center of gravity due to the clearance under the middle of the chassis
remaining the same. Plus, the wheels are inset more than usual, which cuts down
slightly on the suspension flexibility. The end result is a well-performing car with
a slightly stiffer suspension than the earlier HWC Spectraflame / RSWs. It has the
weight of a Heavyweights model, and rolls smoothly and forever. The stiffer
suspension also supports the extra weight of the model, which might not be the case if the
axles were at normal length.
The body detail has been made crisper as well – although interestingly, the trunk medallion
is almost non-existent, a major detail change from the original model. This must have
been deliberate for some reason, as the gas cap and side vent detail is as crisp as it has
ever been. The beautiful mirror-finish Spectraflame aqua paint matches the original
shades from 35 years ago exactly. The taillight is masked in red on the body, unlike
the red tampo version on the First Editions model. Thankfully, the "CHARGER" lettering
is tamped in silver over the red instead of a punch-out. The front grill is masked in
flat black, as was the standard for the original California Custons. The "TRACY"
California vanity plates are tamped on the front and back bumpers, although due to the smaller
than 1/64th scale of the car, the more intricate details of the plates were omitted. The
car has white accents tamped on the hood and sides. While the Spoilers-inspired
"02" targets on the doors are a detraction, they are not that much of an annoyance. Some
people have reported that the body metal on their examples has some rough edges on the fender
tops and roofline, but my version is perfect in those areas.
I'm already on record of disliking the regular version of this casting and was not pleased to
see it listed in this series. But I have to admit, the HWC version is an excellent
model, a VAST improvement over the standard version. The car is a "9" and performs as
a "10." The only thing preventing it from receiving perfect marks are the use of tampos
(especially the door targets) and some reports of rough body metal, as well as the lack of a
detailed steering wheel and functioning hood. It's amazing to me that this version looks
so good when the regular version looks so bad. I never would have believed it before its
release, but the `67 Dodge Charger actually might end up as one of the best in the series.