Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ford makes a killer Mustang. Hot Wheels makes a killer replica...

A couple of months ago, this article by Mike Garrett on Speedhunters caught me by surprise.  Here was one of SH's foremost experts on Japanese cars singing the praises of Ford.  Wait, Ford?

Yeah the GT was cool back in the day, but if I remember correctly this company does the Mustang, which is fine, but little else.  And I should know.  I grew up on Fords.  My grandfather owned a Ford dealership, and I was raised being taught that the oval trumped the bowtie.  It might have been the constant "Ford is King" rhetoric that made me go cookoo for Japanese cars when my father broke the mold in 1981 and bought a Honda.  But that is a story for another time (and one I have told a few times here).

The point is after my Ford-deluged childhood, I haven't paid much attention.  The 90's and early 2000's, at least from what I remember, weren't good to Ford.  The Mustang was ugly, so was the Taurus, and there were cars like the later Escort, Contour, and the Probe.  Ford did start the whole "Sport Utility Vehicle" thing with the Explorer, but there wasn't much else.

So outside of the Ford GT, which I love, and the occasional Mustang, I hadn't paid much attention.  Until a few years ago, when the Mustang received a stellar makeover, the Taurus all of a sudden was a sporty-looking sedan, and there were cool cars like the Focus RS.  And now?  Ford rocks.

Mike laid it out nicely in his article, but there is more evidence in the 2016 Hot Wheels lineup.  A couple of months ago, Hot Wheels released the new Raptor.  In a few months, we will see the new GT, which will also be a Super TH, and the Focus RS is on its way.  All are (most likely) coming in the new Ford signature blue, and these are replicas of some very cool cars.

But those are out or are coming out.  Right now, let's focus on the Shelby GT350R.  Ford's sportiest pony car has gotten nothing but praise from the carnut set, being compared to the best of Europe.  It has been called a sophisticated track-worthy street car.  And even with all its performance highlights, it looks damn good.

And as part of its Ford-centric lineup, Hot Wheels did the GT350R for 2016, and NAILED IT.  With a lineup that sees the debut of the 3.0 CSL, 356A Outlaw, and a Fairlady Z, the GT350R may take the cake as best new model.

And it makes a great pair with the new Mustang released at the end of 2014.  I don't need that custom job that was released last year with the big spoiler and large rear wheels, mainly because these look way too good.  Look at these two.  Rear detailing, no large rear wheels, and built to look real.  There have been subsequent releases of the 2015 Mustang, and there will undoubtedly be more versions of the GT350R, but I don't need them.  These two stock versions are all I need.

Case in point, the Super Snake.  Hot Wheels released their replica of the Super Snake a few years ago, and I was an instant fan.  Except for the rear wheels.  Look at these two together.  Two fantastic models, with one not what it could be because of how badly it is thrown off with an out-of-proportion rear wheel.  That has been fixed to stellar results on the new Shelby.

I don't collect all Mustangs, but there are a handful that have caught my attention.  Consider this one the best of all of them...



  1. Without a doubt, two are some of the most beautiful castings made by Hot Wheels. I wonder if Ryu is responsible for either one of these castings?

  2. My oh my. This model is absolutely sublime.

  3. I recently purchased a 2011 Fiesta. This car was the first Ford sold on American Soil that had World tuned underpinning and drive train. It was built to appease the Euro audience and with slight unnoticible tweaks, American consummers as well. After about a month of driving it, if this is the hullaboo the boys on Top Gear have been on about, I am a fan. The new Mustang also was built for Euro consumers...so I can only imagine this is the Fiesta on Steroids.

    A reviewer said of the new Pony that time spent in the seat showed him how the old car (previous iteration) now felt like it was tacked together with a nail gun. Here in our little hobby, the same could be said with the less than perfect execution of the Super Snake and the other iterations of the 200t through 2011 Mustangs. Cool...but still too cartoony to be taken seriously. Or like Mattel used a nail gun to cast the car.

  4. I got the 2015 Mustang, in red, and I think it is perfect except one major thing: the chin; though I have seen worse from other Hot Wheels castings. But this Shelby just made up for the shortcomings that were on the first Mustang. It was a very, very nice surprise, and you can bet on it having a spot in my collection.

  5. I got both the Shelby and NSX from wheelcollectors. Both are very nice.

    The Shelby GT350R is far better than the 2015 GT; the added ground effects really make the vehicle look complete from any angle (not the blocky front and the dorkfish rear of the '15 GT). I also like how the R's back seat is gone and even the radio is missing details!

    As for the NSX here's the difference between the 2013 concept and the 2017 castings: The 2017 has hood vents, clearly-detailed jewel headlights and front beak, FTE2 wheels removed for blacked-out double 5-spokes, sharply-defined C-pillar scoops, turn signal/reverse lamps inside the C-shaped taillights, exhaust moved from the outsides to the center, the fangs at the end of the rear window are now part of the metal body, and finally the engine area has the detailed X-shaped turbo pipping of the real car and not a blank canvas.

    I plan to do a review on both sometime later this year once my school work and ebay selling is complete :(

    Two Lane Desktop

  6. That GT350R and New, Actual 2017 NSX will make the "2016 Best Licensed Mainline" race pico-metric close.

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  8. This is absolutely the best new casting for 2016. I have seen some GT350R that the wheels and plastic base seems lighter, maybe because of the lighting? Hoping to get one soon.

  9. The large rear wheels only happened on the 13' GT500 Super Snake. Even the base GT had better proportions.

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