Hot Wheels representatives have traveled the United States as part of the company's Hot Wheels Legends Tour to celebrate the toy cars' 50th anniversary. Along the way they looked for the next Hot Wheels model. They've found it, and now one fan will have his car immortalized.
The brand announced last Wednesday it had selected Luis Rodriguez and his 2JetZ custom hot rod as the winner in a search for a custom car worthy of the Hot Wheels treatment. Judges selected Rodriguez's car out of 3,600 entries. The 2JetZ will be made into a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels toy car to be released next year. Judges who selected the winner included Jay Leno, Hot Wheels designer Larry Wood, and noted Porsche enthusiast Magnus Walker, among others. Rodriguez's car was one of 15 finalists selected after 15 stops across the nationwide tour.
Luis Rodriquez with the Hot Wheels Legends Tour winner, 2JetZ
All finalists' cars were on display at the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas last week. Chris Down, senior vice president and general manager of the Hot Wheels brand, said the 2JetZ will be a car that both adult fans and younger enthusiasts will love and recognize.
The full-size car is meant to honor U.S. veterans and takes the shape of a fighter jet. Rodriguez built the car from scratch as a way to test his limits as a builder. He ended up with a 600-horsepower hot rod with a center seating position—attributes absolutely worthy of the Hot Wheels name.
Aside from the immortalizing his car, Hot Wheels will also induct Rodriguez's build into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends.
For those looking for another way to celebrate everyone's favorite toy car, Chevrolet dealerships may still have a few Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Editions on hand. It's already too late to get a rereleased set of the original 16 Hot Wheels, but you can find it for a healthy mark-up on eBay.