Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cool is Cool is Cool: Hot Wheels '83 Chevy Silverado, Part 2 - Modern Classics, Police Rods, and other must-haves...

This is something I have meant to do for awhile.  For the last few years I have watched ebay auctions on the '83 Silverado, wondering if it was a good idea to pull the trigger on a few models I regret not picking up earlier.  It seemed I always talked myself out of it.  But when the news arrived that the Silverado would be a Super in the 2014 Hot Wheels lineup, it was time to pounce.  We didn't need the hype surrounding the Super to push the models we wanted up even higher.

So a little ebay purchase spree I embarked, buying the Silverados that have been on the Lamley want list for some time.  And since we showcased the 2014 version earlier today, why not show the others that we just added to the collection?

We won't do a full write-up on all of these, but there are two that were the must-haves for the Lamley collection - the Modern Classics and Police Rods.

Starting with the Modern Classics.  That is where this casting, which has proven very popular, debuted.  While I don't know if the Modern Classics was fully conceptualized by Jun Imai, I do know that the line was his.  Any new tool introduced in the line, including the Silverado, was his creation.  I have said before that Jun does an amazing job of linking to car culture in his castings, whether by slight modifications, change in stance, or other details.  The Silverado is a perfect example.

It is amazing how many Silverados from this era you still see on the road.  The flat grill and boxy style, which Chevy signatures from that time, are not necessarily memorable.  But when the casting is lowered and given a wide stance, its boxiness because a huge asst.  Its height perfectly pays homage to that California car culture that worships this truck, while still keeping its original lines completely intact.  And add to that a stock deco done in Hot Wheels spectraflame red on the Modern Classics version, and you have a perfect model.  (So perfect, we ponied up for two.)

Next, the Police Rods version.  We have never featured a model from this series before on Lamley, and it is somewhat forgotten.  A few years ago Hot Wheels produced three lines - Military, Fire, and Police - and used the same castings in each line.  Some models hung on the pegs forever, and some barely appeared anywhere, mainly because big retailers refused to stock the line after poor sales.  As a result, there are a handful of models from this line that command big dollars because of their rarity.

For a Silverado collector, this makes things difficult.  The Military and Fire Rods versions are very hard to find, and expensive to acquire.  Thankfully though, the easier-to-find Police Rods version is by far the best looking of the three.  It sports a very simple police livery that seems era-appropriate, whether of not the truck was actually used as pursuit vehicle.  And yes, North Olsted is a real place in Ohio, and that is the police marker on the door.

As for the others, we are thrilled to have them too.  The 2010 Valentine's Day exclusive, Hot Ones, and Decades versions are all lookers, again with very era-appropriate decos.  We dig.

We hope to add more in the future, but we will take it slow.  We are happy with what we have...

One other note.  We are aware of the 4x4 version, and even have that truck in the collection.  It looks good jacked up, and is once again era-appropriate.  It doesn't, however, share the lowered version's propensity for pure coolness.  The upcoming RLC model might change that.

But out of fairness, here she is:


  1. A note for those that don't know, the Cop Rods, Military Rods and Fire Rods series were (originally) each retail store exclusives in 2009. Fire Rods at Toys R Us, Military Rods for Walmart, and Cop Rods for Target. Many of the liveries for Cop Rods and Fire Rods used actual shields and logos from different departments and districts (example: the Cop Rods Silverado above has North Olmsted, Ohio's police department's logo, and the Fire Rods '41 Willys has Rochester, NY's city fire department's logo). They were priced well above mainlines, usually around what Hot Ones/Flying Customs were for at retail, if not somewhat more. They moved very slowly at big box retail and as mentioned in the article, many just hung on pegs for a good long time. Online dealers also apparently received cases, and some were even sold on HWC. A few years ago, Ollie's Bargain Outlets received some Fire Rods and Military Rods cases (this is where I obtained most of the ones I have).

    The South Texas Diecast website is usually the go-to for finding year and series lists, what came out when and such. Still today, although he has the full Military Rods list, he was missing a few pics of the last few Fire Rods and was missing about half of the Cop Rods. This was a pretty good indicator that these cars were going to be rather hard to come by. The last few mixes of Cop Rods never showed at Target and whatever is out there in collectors' hands were likely bought through some online retailer or HWC. I believe it was the same deal for the last mixes of Military and Fire. The drive to figure out what happened to the "missing" Cop Rods started with the Rodger Dodger, around the time I joined HWC toward the end of 2009, with a couple pics floating around HWC and elsewhere. A pic of the Cop Rods Olds 442 also popped up after a while. Misinformation and conflicting reports from Mattel also kept where these cars ended up in the dark. No one had really seen the others until two or three years ago, as some members started posting pics of their loose ones of the "lost" cars, and then the mild frenzy was on. (To note, the Silverado is not one of those "lost" ones, as it was mentioned, it's the most common of the 3 Silverados from the series)

    All of them are now known and have been seen, though many very rarely come up for sale.

    Just some info... long winded, I know.


  2. As for the Silverado, the Hot Ones release is one of my favorites. The tampo pays homage to a release of the 1983 and 1985 Real Riders release of the Super Scraper casting, which was black and had red, orange and yellow side stripes just like the Hot Ones Silverado (the Super Scraper did not have the hood tampo).

    The 2012 Decades release is also one of my favorites (still have to get one), with the simplicity of the design. And the rear "CHEVROLET" tampo just sticks out and is like "BAM!" I love it. It would look great on that 4x4 base.

    The upcoming HWC/RLC release of the 4x4 casting is going to be great. Stock deco with the HWC flair. It likely won't draw the attention the Texas Drive 'Em from a few years ago did, or the lime green HWC Real Riders release from 2009, but it should be a hot item without question.


  3. I love the body shape and many of the paint jobs, but I just can't get behind a lowered truck--especially when it's been lowered to the point that the wheels protrude into the bed.

    Do you have any more of the 4x4 version that we could see pictures of?