Hot Wheels Legends Winner Announced at SEMA
Hot Wheels did it again: Another legend was brought into the spotlight during SEMA 2019, and this year they pulled out all the stops. The panel of judges included industry celebrities like Jay Leno, Richard Rawlings, comedian Adam Carolla, and racecar driver Collette Davis. Motortrend’s Editor-in-Chief, Edward Loh, and Larry Wood, Hot Wheels Designer since 1969, were also in the lineup.
The 15 finalists are judged based on three main categories: authenticity, creativity, and garage spirit. In other words, the winning car naturally looks like a Hot Wheels diecast in full-size form, was built and not bought, and is a brainchild with never before seen characteristics.
And the Winner is…
California resident Greg Salzillo rolled the dice and lucked out as this year’s Hot Wheels Legends winner.
His 1957, lovingly named “Nashole,” will be inducted into Hot Wheels Garage of Legends and enjoyed by children and adults alike as a Hot Wheels collectible diecast.
Previously featured in Rat Rod Magazine, Nashole is powered by a 300-hp small-block Chevy 305 which breathes through custom fender-exit headers. “For us to build something ourselves in a garage and to have it live on in a Hot Wheels model is amazing,” Salzillo said, nearly in tears. “I have two boys, 2 and 5, who love Hot Wheels as I did growing up.” He gets bonus bragging rights for spending under $10,000 to complete the build.
The competition was fierce and every runner up was unique in its own way. Take Effi Muniz’s “Kin Kon” for example.
Muniz built the Ford COE’s chassis from scratch, and it rests on air ride suspension. The exterior was painted custom and the interior is original patina. It’s powered by a 6.0-liter Vortec engine, and the entire build took Muniz two years to complete.
Yes, it has a HEMI
A HEMI-powered 1972 Chevy Luv made an appearance. Ron Fehring started the project 41 years ago with his brother, who sadly passed away at a young age. Over six different types of cars were put together to create what Fehring now refers to as the “Love Truck.”
The only thing unmodified is the grille, and everything else was customized by hand. This build represents the loving memory of his brother and the great times they had.
One Fast Build
This International “Harvestar” was designed and built by Calvin Lutz in Bentonville, Arkansas.
He found the cab on Craigslist and pieced it together with assorted parts from his shop. The build took him only 3 months to complete.
It Takes Two
It’s good to be square when you are a gasser-style 1971 VW Squareback. This VW was hand-built by Ron Howe and his two sons in 2016.
The named “Two Cool” appears on each side, which represents the two air-cooled engines that the car is powered by.
Built for Cruising
Believe it or not, this super low 1968 Toyota Land Cruiser was built from the ground, up from a barn find. In fact, it was so rusted out that builders Bob and Chad Colfer and Jon Lagler were forced to work with whatever was left of the Toyota.
The original engine was M.I.A., so they shoehorned a BMW V12 into the engine bay. The result isn’t too shabby if we do say so ourselves.
Want to see even more Hot Wheels Legends? Check out last year's lineup.