40th-Anniversary Hot Wheels Rope in Big Designers From Detroit and Beyond

Car makers design 1/64 scale models

The ubiquitous Hot Wheels brand of toy cars is releasing a 40th-anniversary collection designed by real automotive car manufacturers. Designers from Chevrolet, Dodge, Honda, Lotus, Mitsubishi and Ford were invited to submit drawings for the limited edition set. The winning 1/64 scale models were selected by a panel of executives and writers from automotive publications like Car and Driver. Though most of the designs appear to be free of any rigorous DOT road-worthiness constraints, each entry had to pass the "one lap" test on Hot Wheels' own oval test track.

The Gangster Grin (shown here) was the winning entry from the Ford family. Its 1950s influence and low-slung appearance led co-workers of designer Steve Glimor, a former Hot Wheels intern, to suggest it was smiling. It's good to see that form doesn't always have to follow function.—MotoMatt Cokeley