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Buying Classic Hot Wheels Cars

Updated on February 3, 2010

Mattel Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels cars come in three basic genres, Classic, Modern, and Contemporary, and of course many different series. Each series comes in a variety of makes and models of cars, and depending on what you're looking for you may find a ton or you may just find a few.

There are many Hot Wheels collectors in the market, which is why it can be hard to find vintage and classic Hot Wheels, but with a little looking and searching around, you can find the last car to finish your collection.

Just remember that collecting Hot Wheel cars is a fun adventure because there are tons of different cars that mimic cars manufactured by large car companies, as well as monster cars and trucks. Hot Wheels also creates a nice line of accessories and gadgets that are great for any collection.

If you are focusing on a particular Hot Wheels series, make sure that you complete your collection. Try to find loose cars and cars still in the package. Those that are still boxed are generally going to be worth more and will probably cost more.

As for the Classic Hot Wheels cars, if you didn't know, the series extends about 10 years of the company's diecast cars. The classic series includes muscle cars, hot rods, and other vehicles such as go-karts, motorhomes, and airplanes. This series is is probably one if the largest series, so it's usually the easiest to get started on because there are so many options.

Collect Hot Wheels Cars

When collecting Hot Wheels cars, it really is a fun hobby that you can start with just a few bucks because most of the cars are pretty inexpensive. When collecting the vintage or classic hot wheels cars, you're collecting those that were manufactured before 1980.

When you are collecting the diecast cars, you want to decide if you want to stick with just the classic edition hot wheels, or if you want to collect anything that you can find. Typically, a collector starts with one series, completes that collection, and then moves towards another series. You also have your collectors who prefer only Hot Wheels in the packages versus having any loose cars.

Keep in mind that the loose cars are much easier to find and cheaper to purchase. Also, keep in mind that because so many people have played with these small diecast cars throughout the years, you'll find that the older cars are generally going to be more costly than the newer cars, so a 1960s vintage Hot Wheels cars may sell over $100 and sometimes over $300, depending on how rare the car is.

If you're just starting off your collection, you'll want to start off with a year. This way you can search by year instead of searching by a large ten year span. It will give you smaller goals to accomplish before being able to complete the entire 10 year series.

If you don't want to start your collection off with a particular year, you may want to consider starting with a particular manufacturer- Ford, Chevrolet, etc.

Caring for Hot Wheels Cars

After starting your collection, make sure that you keep up with what cars you have, any information about the car's history, and how much you paid for the toy car. You may not think it, but sometimes bigger collectors can be really picky about the history of the cars they purchase, especially if they're loose cars not in their original package. So, it's a really good idea to keep good records.

You also want to keep your cars cleaned and in good shape. You may want to purchase a display case and blister packs to protect your cars. There are some that will hold up to five cars in their original packing to keep the cardboard back from getting bent or torn.

If you have loose cars in your collection, consider cases and hard blister packs to keep each car individually packed. Some display cases will hold up to 32 or more cars in individual compartments.

No matter how you decide to store your collector's Hot Wheels, you want to make sure that they are kept out of direct sunlight and that you touch them as little as possible. You don't want to fade the paints and colors of the cars, nor do you want to scratch, mar, or spot the car's finish or the cardboard packing.

Sometimes, it's best to buy the car, check it out once, clean it off carefully, and put it in its case to sit until you're ready to sell or trade.

Buy Hot Wheels Cars

When you're buying Classic Hot Wheel cars, you want to make sure that you check out eBay, trading sites, Hot Wheels conventions, and yard sales. Sometimes yard sales and eBay are the best places to check first because you'll find that many people are selling classic and vintage toys for low prices, not  realizing what they may really have on their hands

But, before making your purchase, make sure that you know what you're buying. You want to make sure that if you're buying online, you know how much shipping is so that you know how much your total is before you pay. Also make sure that you know the exact shape of the car.

If there isn't a picture of the car or if there is only one picture, you may want to try to ask for more pictures so that you can get a better idea of the condition of the toy Hot Wheels car.

If you're buying from an individual seller, you may want to see if they will add insurance to your purchase because that way if something happens to your purchase, you will be able to get your money back.

Consider shipping via a method in which you can get a tracking number, so that you can watch the progress of the new addition to your collection.

Because there are some Hot Wheels Cars that are highly collectible, you want to take all precautions when having them shipped. You want to make sure that your classic car arrives in the exact shape it was promise.


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    • profile image

      Matt 4 years ago

      I have over 150 hotwheels from 1974 to the late 90's and a hotwheels city from 86 I want to sell all of them very cheap if interested text me at 601 575 2816 or email me at

    • profile image

      Joni 5 years ago

      I have a few hot wheel cars that ar e old I've had and wanrt to find out what they may be worth to collectors. I.E. Pink VW Beetle MFG: 1968/ and 1970 El Camino both in excellent condition. Where do I find out the worth?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 8 years ago from Georgia

      jim, yes your children throwing and crashing the cars definitely lowers their value. Ha.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      I love collecting car and any other model. Thank you for your informative hub.

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 8 years ago from ma

      So would you say that my sons crashing them into each other and my younger son throwing them around and stepping on them might lower the value a little? I am kinda into the idea that a toy should be played with. But they do look great on display too.

    • myawn profile image

      myawn 8 years ago from Florida

      I don't collect hot wheels but the information is good nice hub!