Been a while since I’ve gone to a local Cars & Coffee event, and while there was one happening much closer to home I decided to drive an hour to check out the one in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Compared to last year’s event it seemed smaller both in attendance of people as well as cars on display. But those that were there were excellent quality automobikes. Lots of Italian and German classics and modern wheels. Have a look at some of my favorites:
Some cool things that stood out to me. Watkins Glen International had a pop up recruiting marshals. And someone actually came up to me inviting me to volunteer there… Cool!
Last years 3 or 4 Pagani’s were not there but the TWR Jaguar street car looked fantastic. I really liked the yellow Unimog too. And the three baby seats in the middle of a Citroen station wagon looked pretty cool. Lots of Dino’s… lots of Alfa Giulia’s. Plenty of Porsches and BMWs.
After the event my buddy Bill and I decided to do a scenic drive to Bear Mountain crossing the Hudson from East to West which was surprisingly underwhelming. The Westchester side of New York is far less exciting to drive than Rockland and Orange side especially zig zagging along Seven Lakes Drive.
I try not to stray from my core Hot Wheels and Matchbox collecting hobby, and that is to focus on collecting realistic race cars… keeping them sealed in their original packaging, because often the card art is much better than the deco on each car. But I stumbled upon a mystery models set at Walmart today that fits all the criteria of my collection minus the card art because the cars are sealed in plastic baggies that also contain a sticker of the car, much like the blue card for the individual cars.
There is a lot to like in this set of Mystery cars, even when the car I wanted most was most elusive… I still have not found it (the Mystery: Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo)
But I stocked up on the rest and thanks to the good folks at HWCollectorsNews.com I can even share what each car looks like without taking mine out of the package. I even brought home one of the boxes from Walmart specifically to keep all my mystery stuff separate from the rest I put up on a wall…
The cars I was most interested in that I got:
Dodge Viper SRT-10
Ford GT LM
BMW M3 GT2
Ford Fiesta Rallycross
I’ll be on the lookout to find that Huracan GT3 that fits my collection best!
I started my Hot Wheels collection to basically keep the nostalgia of having once participated as a Motorsport marshal going… until I could return again to my racing hobby. Soon I will return, but the little die cast cars have been so much fun I cannot believe I didn’t start this sooner… Meanwhile I always wanted to link the photos of the cars in my collection to the real race cars I came across during my travels.
This week I took on a project that totally kicked my ass, mentally and physically. My friend Bill started experiencing a grinding sound and wheel vibration on the right side of the car after having new wheels installed. Since he gave me his old used tires I went on a test drive with him after COSTCO did his tire install and quickly diagnosed it as a broken wheel bearing. Fast forward to Saturday Bill and I attempted to do the replacement of his 111k mile MX5 hubs to new Timken RX8 hubs from Rock Auto.
Bills hubs however took much longer and a ton more effort because of rust and the hubs were seized to the base they bolt in to. So over the course of the next four days I kept on spraying the hubs with PB Blaster repeatedly, used up a big bottle of that, not to mention a couple of more CRC degreaser I borrowed from my dad, and pounded the shit out of them using a rented slide hammer from Auto Zone.
On Monday the left side gave way. But the right side, the actual broken bearing would not budge for two more days. Bill researched a few suggestions on the forums. I tried them all and they all failed:
Using a stubby screwdriver to pound from the inside the wheelwell around the plastic ABS cover. Nope!
Pounding the plastic ABS cover, breaking it and hitting the bearing directly. Nope!
Going to Home Depot to buy longer bolts and banging them from the inside to push the hub out. Nope! The bolts sheared immediately and went right thru the hole like thru butter… Argh!
What finally worked was banging from the inside behid the wheel studs to push the thing ever so slightly. I used a chizel on one side because the metal brake duct was very much in the way. Plus more banging with the slide hammer of course. Eventually that worked millimeter by millimeter. A few times I hammered the hub back in place from the front just to move it back and forth, and after a total of maybe 12 or 14 hours of banging over 4 days it worked. Reassembly was very quick maybe half an hour. But after all that banging every bone in my body, every muscle, every cell hurt!
The more time I spend away from participating in Motorsport the more nostalgic my Hot Wheels hobby makes me feel. So I had an idea to catalog my collection into a Motorsport spotter guide much like those famous Andy Blackmore sportscar guides I would often share before every endurance race I went to marshal. This is going to be my attempt to create something similar. For not just sports car racing but also open wheelers, moto racing, rally and historics.
Few reasons… started running out of wall space because I bought too many. My collection is straying a bit from my initial goal to collect only modern GT3 machines. Was a bit curious to see if anyone would buy them… come across someone crazier than me willing to pay more for a toy than the stores sell them for, etc.
It was an interesting experience. I listed my small 3 car Forza Motorsport series collection for $11 bux each giving myself a little wiggle room for the inevitable negotiation. Within an hour I had 3 offers for the BMW 2002… one guy offered to take the lot if I give him a deal, so I took a dollar off selling 3 for $30.
As much as I liked the card art in these they just didn’t fit with the rest of my Car Culture Real Riderz collection.
I’m thinking of selling a few more. The profit on each model won’t make anyone rich but it will offset the fuel I burned going to the store and coming back empty handed because they never seem to have Hot Wheels on the pegs anymore. Than again it’s probably because of people buying them cheap and reselling for more money like I just did. Welcome to capitalism.
The other thing I did was found someone to trade my spares for something I like. And while initially it seemed like a great idea the shipping cost killed the deal for me.
I’ll write more about this once I receive the package. But for now I’m on the hunt for more stuff I like to have on my wall, which currently features a lot of placeholders I’m looking to get rid of.
Finally had the time to pin my First Editions Hot Wheels mainline race cars I bought off eBay to their new display spot.
Since cars of this vintage don’t have unique blue cards like modern Hot Wheels displaying them as a group is a little easier because they can overlap so only the bubble with each race car is visible. Having done that though I wanted to share some pix from my new favorite HW Collectors web site of what each car looks like out of it’s packaging… I’m using this resourse both to display my cars without cracking open the packaging and as a link to educational material as the site illustrates all available options for each model… most of which I don’t have in my collection. So here we go!
This car was the reason I went looking for vintage Hot Wheels on eBay. This is the homologated street version of the amazing race car that dominated one of the best racing eras of all time. Read more about the model here: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/mercedes-clk-lm-75mm-1999-2003
The cars that battled the Mercedes and dominated in their own right were Porsche 911 GT1. I bought three different versions, with the #38 Champion livery being my favorite because it accurately represents the IMSA model that raced stateside. More info on models: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/porsche-911-gt1-98-75mm-1999
I first got to see this car in action a few years ago while volunteering for the Historic Daytona 24 hours. It was stunning. More about the model: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/cadillac-lmp-70mm-2001
I’ve only seen one of these on display at Lime Rock but it looks amazing. Don Panoz founded the American Le Mans Series and it was my favorite before it merged with Grand Am. More here: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/panoz-lmp-1-roadster-s-78mm-2001
I don’t believe I’ve even ever seen one in person, but on TV it looked amazing battling European and Japanese Le Mans cars of it’s vintage. I ordered it because it seemed cheap at $2 shipping included, it was cheap because the bubble yellowed. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/panoz-gtr-1-1998-75mm-1998
Saw one of these race at a Historic event at Daytona. The #11 white model accurately represents a Hot Wheels livery race car that really participated in American Motorsport. Not sure why the card labels it as a GT3 model though, it definitely isn’t as the road car was a 4 door sedan. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/olds-aurora-gts-1-76mm-1999
Saw this iconic Ferrari at the Daytona Historic racing series 24 hour race. Sounded fantactic. There is a Momo/Lista livery model produced that i should get my hands on. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/ferrari-333-sp-72mm-2000
Saw a variation of this model at Daytona Historics event. Looked similar to the Ferrari 333SP which also raced in the same IMSA series. Riley still makes awesome modern race cars from Grand Am Daytona Prototypes to current Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/riley-and-scott-mk-iii-2001-78mm-2001
Can-Am racer. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one though I’ve watched plenty of McLaren Can-Am cars race in New Zealand. Had to have it! More here: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/shadow-mk-lla-75mm-1999
First heard of Chaparral by reading the victory wall above the pits at Sebring. It had won the grueling 12 hour. And it’s an American brand! More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/chaparral-2-65mm-1998
Apparently the race car went thru constant development even in the same racing season. This one grew a roof in it’s 4th iteration. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/chaparral-2d-67mm-2003
At the other end of the race car spectrum, faster than the Le Mans prototypes and GT cars is IndyCar and America is obsessed with it’s Indy 500. The No Fear car represents one of my favorite IndyCar designs back when they looked like F1 cars. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/no-fear-race-car-80mm-1994-2001
The F360 model is famous for a lot of things, I find it awesome because of it’s single make series in Ferrari Challenge appearance. And later as GT3 / GTC race versions. I’m fact there is a Coca Cola livery Ferrari Challenge version I need to find. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/ferrari-360-modena-70mm-1999
This model looks a lot like the German DTM cars of that era. Love it. More: http://hwcollectorsnews.com/mercedes-c-class-70mm-19972003
This page is continuously being updated. If you spot errors please let me know. Stay tuned for more.
This year is off to a good start, looking at what Mattel has come out with for both Hot Wheels and Matchbox lines, I’m going to be busy hunting for the cool stuff.
My goal is to snatch all the GT3 race cars that will be out this year. This includes mainline and premium models. And there’s a bunch of each.
I’m especially happy that there will be at least three (3) Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars in realistic/accurate AMG livery. Two color variations in mainline (my favorite colors I should add: baby blue and bright yellow) and premium Open Track Car Culture line (in their prototype gray just the way the car was introduced).
Acura NSX GT3 is another model with multiple offerings both in premium lines.
And finally the Gulf Racing Car Culture lime where I really want to get my hands on the McLaren F1 GTR. And maybe that awesome looking Fiat 600 in iconic Gulf Racing livery.
As of today I’m already the lucky owner of both first color mainlines Cadillac ATS-V.R and Mercedes AMG GT3 models, which fit right in with my growing collection. Oh and I also grabbed a new color of the Porsche 917 LH Prototype too.
There’s so much to chase after, I hope I get lucky and snatch them all.
Extending my invitation to all of you for end of 2019:
Mark your calendars!
The Miata turns 30 next year and you’re all invited to the celebration at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on October 11-13th.
Now that we have a firm date, we’re working on all the various details including adding special things to commemorate the 30th anniversary. We will also be sharing information via Facebook, Instagram and Miata.net as in previous years. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch our latest videos. If you have any Miata friends who think they might be interested in attending, please have them sign up for the email list via the home page at our website as these emails are our primary channel for reaching out to you. In the meantime:
Lots of track time? Yes!
Parade laps? Yes!
All the top suppliers of cool Miata goodies and services all in one place? Yes!
Stay tuned for more…….
As always, the website remains the official source of information for the event, where you will also find the link to register when registration opens.
Event registration will open at 9am Pacific time on Saturday, June 15th.
We’ll also send out a reminder before registration opens to provide you with further information.
See you in October!
The Miatas at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Team
Motorsport Marshal, Miata Driver, Hot Wheels Collector