Living in Southern California definitely has its benefits.
Like complaining about the heat… in October.
And checking out the life-sized Hot Wheels Twin-Mill while cooling off with some creamsicles.
When I was a kid the Twin-Mill was my favorite Hot Wheels.
Last week I was invited to the Mattel design center for what turned out to be the unveiling of some pretty cool cars.
Camaro Chief Vehicle Engineer Al Oppenheiser was introduced and brought out his blue Hot Wheels Camaro he’s hung on to since childhood to celebrate the Hot Wheels Camaro partnership.
That gesture only solidifies his passion and commitment to the Camaro legacy.
In 2017 Chevrolet celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Camaro.
In 2018 Mattel celebrates Hot Wheels 50th anniversary.
Do ya see where this is going?
Of the original “Sweet 16” cars Hot Wheels made, the very first was a dark blue Camaro.
So after 50 years, it’s fitting that Hot Wheels finally gets a Camaro of their very own.
The 2018 Hot Wheels Camaro.
The 2018 Hot Wheels Camaro will come in any color you want…
As long as its “Crush” Orange.
Rumor has it that the color pays homage to the hallowed “Hugger Orange” found on some 69 Camaros.
You’ve gotta love a hugger orange Camaro, especially with white rally stripes.
It’s a hot rod creamsicle.
But the rally stripes on the Hot Wheels Camaro aren’t white, they’re Satin Graphite Metallic and they sparkle in the sunlight.
All Hot Wheel Camaros will be outfitted with Forged Satin Graphite Metallic wheels, Satin Graphite Metallic ground effects, Hot Wheels badges on the fenders, dark taillights and black bowties to complement the orange contrast.
The interior is black and orange, with orange knee pads on the doors and on the center console, orange seat belts, and Hot Wheels badging on the steering wheel and door sills.
The Hot Wheels package adds $4999 to 2LT and 2SS coupes and convertibles.
Then they surprised us.
And as they surprised us, my iPhone stopped recording because it overheated.
Seriously… You can watch the whole thing here.
That silly little incident reminded me to enjoy the moment.
And I did enjoy myself for awhile, until my iPhone had cooled down enough and come back on so I could take a picture of this:
The 2018 COPO Camaro in “Super Crush” orange.
And its got a Hot Wheels appearance package on it.
Now you can order your COPO to look like a real life Hot Wheels car!
How cool is that?!?
It just so happened that Wednesday was the first day registration was opened to put your name in the system for a chance to be chosen to buy one.
The only way to get your hands on one of these monsters is to hope your name will be randomly chosen by an independent third party.
If your name is chosen, the real fun begins.
The 2018 COPO Camaro comes in at just over six-figures.
And you’d better get your name in fast, because they’re only making 68 more COPO Camaros for 2018.
Chevrolet limits production to 69 units a year.
And this is 2018 COPO Numero 001
The COPO Camaro’s are not street legal.
Just don’t tell it to the guy we met on the 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour that had license plates on his.
They’re race cars from the factory designed for NHRA’s Stock Eliminator classes.
You’ve got three engine options to choose from.
Oh yeah, there’s no more 376.
It’s been replaced by a high-winding 302.
The 302 is based on the LT1 found in stock Camaro SS, but with a shorter crank and racing internals.
But it’s a purpose built, high-winding, little screamer.
COPO customers can also choose from a naturally aspirated 427 or a supercharged 350.
The blown 350 enables mid-8-second quarter-mile times at nearly 160 mph.
Look at that sweet carbon fiber cold air intake.
All three engines are backed by an SFI-approved ATI TH400 three-speed automatic transmission.
And all COPO’s come with NHRA certified roll cages, racing chassis and suspension components and Strange 9-inch rear ends.
I love the The Hot Wheels Camaro partnership and I think its a pretty cool car, I’m just not the guy who’s gonna spend five-grand for an appearance package.
For that kinda cash I want at least a little performance.
That’s when the Camaro’s Lead Designer, Adam Barry stopped me.
Adam told me in no uncertain terms that it’s not just an appearance package.
The Forged wheels are lighter and stiffer than the stock Camaro wheels, which reduce unsprung weight and aid with accelerating, braking and handling.
He then pointed out the combination of the front splitter and spoiler and told me they were wind tunnel tested, just like his hair.
But seriously, the combination reduces front end lift and improves the pitch moment to 1LE levels of aerodynamic performance.
So there – you do get some performance bang for your buck with the Hot Wheels package.
Thanks for showing me The Way of The Camaro Atom buddy!
Then there’s the problem of owning a legit COPO Camaro that I can’t legally drive on the street.
That would kill me.
I think Chevrolet should have an RPO Code to drop the COPO’s blown-350 and bulging hood into the street-legal Hot Wheels Camaro.
Maybe even make a street legal COPO Camaro with the super-charged 350 as an option.
Detune it just enough to make it street-able, add a GearVendors overdrive, the COPO’s huge Hot Wheels graphics on the rear quarter and you’ve got a full-size Hot Wheels Camaro.
Better yet, put a roots-8-71 sticking out of the hood!
Now that’s a Hot Wheels Camaro!!
Sorry… I got excited.
I’ve gotta applaud Chevrolet for giving these guys the space to build these awesome machines and then selling ’em to the public.
If you’re a car-guy, it’s a great time to be alive!
Now it’s time to celebrate.
After all the hard work the Camaro Team enjoys a commemorative creamsicles – Left to right: from Chevrolet Communications Ron Kinno and Maureen Bender, Chevrolet Performance Marketing Manager Todd Christensen, Chief Camaro Designer Adam Barry, Exterior Design Director Tom Peters, Chevrolet Performance Marketing Manager Curt Collins, and Chief Vehicle Engineer Al Oppenheiser.
Good work you guys.
And, get this, after hearing about The 55, Tom Peters and Adam Barry wanted to see it in person.
They were even kind enough to take a picture with it.
These are the guys who designed the C7 Corvette and the Sixth Generation Camaro.
I was honored to have ’em check out The 55 and I think the Hot Wheels Camaro partnership is a good thing.
I’m still hoping that maybe Hot Wheels will come out with a Hot Rod TriFive wagon that’s not a Nomad.
But I won’t hold my breath…
If you’re on the road from LA to Vegas tomorrow be on the look-out for an Autumn Bronze 55 Chevy wagon blasting thru the desert.
I’m driving The 55 out to Vegas for SEMA next week, so if you’re there hit me up and let’s party in Sin City.