Hot Wheels Life-Sized Cars
The Twin Mill
The Twin Mill was the first life-sized Hot Wheels car created in 1998. It was based on a best-selling 1969 car designed by Ira Gilford in 1968. The 1:64 Twin Mill was the first in house custom designed Hot Wheels. The life-sized Twin Mill was unveild at the 2001 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show. This car looks awesome and it performs just like it looks. Yes, this is a fully functional car. Those big air scopes up front supply commodious amounts of air to the twin 502 cubic inch Chevrolet engines. Together those two massive power plants put out upwards of 1,400 horsepower.
The original life-size Twin Mill was started by Boyd Coddington of Hot Rods by Boyd. They made the frame, mounted the engines and the single B&M Torqueflite transmission. Prototype Source of Santa Barbara is credited with molding the body and light assemblies. That is as far as the car was built before finacial problems on the part of its builds derailed the project.
It took another few years before Carson Lev at Hot Wheels energized the necessary enthusiasm and contracts to have the Twin Mill finally completed by Carron Industries near Dearborn, Michigan.
When the Twin Mill Red was unleashed it travelled to the SEMA show in 2001, toured a few selected cities, was displayed at the Playboy Mansion, and finally landed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles where there is permanent Hot Wheels exhibition.
In the videos below the Twin Mill is blue not red. That is because the Twin Mill blue is a different car with a whole different story behind its life and creation.
The blue Twin Mill started life as a full size model back in the late 1970s. It was not drivable until Paule Clarke Motorsports got a hold of it. Paul and his team torn the car down and built it back up again into a fully functional Hot Wheels cool car.
Twin Mill walk around
Twin Mill engines start
Twin Mill drive by
The Bone Shaker
The Bone Shaker is another Hot Wheels car which received the honor of being built into a life-size ride. The popular Bone Shaker was designed by Larry Wood and first released in 2006 as the 1:64 scale car.
Paul Clarke Motorsports out of Los Angeles, California did the fabrication on the life-size Bone Shaker creation. The car was built from the ground up using only the exterior features as a guide. Paul and his team had to imagine just how this car would look once built to a 1:1 scale and they had to create the whole interior with features that would match the exterior theme.
Bone Shaker drive by
The Most Expensive Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels Original Sweet Sixteen from 1968Click thumbnail to view full-size
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Notable Time Line Moments
1968: Hot Wheels first year. The first 16 Hot Wheels cars role off the line.
Hot Wheels got its name from Elliot Handler's comments about Harry Bradley’s El Camino, "Those are some hot wheels."
1970: Hot Wheels sponsors its first race drivers, Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen
1987: First Hot Wheels collect convention is held in Toledo, Ohio.
1998: Hot Wheels roles its two billionth car off the line.
2001: The life-size Twin Mill is unveiled at SEMA.
2008: Hot Wheels roles its four billionth car off the assembly line and celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Hot Wheels HistoryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hot Wheels from the Beginning
In 1945 Elliot Handler, his wife Ruth along with Harold “Matt” Matson started the Mattel brand. They built picture frames out of the Handler's garage in Los Angeles, California.
Using picture frame scarps Elliot began making and selling doll house furniture.
Mattel began to grow and added a Uke-A-Doodle®, a child-size ukulele, to it's offerings. Matson sold off his share in Mattel after 1947, the year the Uke-A-Doodle® made it's appearance.
The Uke-A-Doodle® also began the shift for Mattel into toys. After the ukulele Mattel produced an extremely successful jack-in-the-box toy. And by 1955 Mattel was profitable business valued at $500,000. That same year Mattel signed a contract with The Walt Disney Company to sponsor a portion of the "Mickey Mouse Club".
Mattel rocketed into success.
In 1959 Mattel introduced a new toy called Barbie. Barbie was named after Elliot and Ruth's daughter Barbara. Later, the Ken doll would be named for their son Kenneth.
Barbie was an instant success.
Through the 1960s Mattel looked to capture the boy's attention like it had captures that of the girls with Barbie.
Elliot Handler had an idea to create small die-cast vehicles that were built with the philosophy of speed, power and performance along with cool designs.
Hot Wheels hit the scene if 1968 with the launch of just 16 cars.
Elliot and Ruth guided Mattel for over thirty years. They brought the company from a simple Los Angeles garage to a multi-billion dollar company which employs over 30,000 people around the globe.
The Mattel brand includes Hot Wheels, Barbie, Fisher-Price, American Girl and more.