Jenni's Little Cars

Jennifer is not into little toy cars. Never has been. But when I started to be a Hot Wheels™ guy, I dragged her off to one of the local sales shows. With her becoming bored while I was buying a bunch of stuff, I suggested she should pick one that I could claim was hers. This quest kept her occupied for a while, and finally she decided on a '57 T-Bird (a car she's always been partial to) from the 1992 Gleam Team series.

In 1991, plastic-cast Hot Wheels™ were promoted in McDonald's Happy Meals for the first time, and the T-Bird (already a 13-year-old casting) was one of the selections. For the Gleam Team the following year, the body molds were re-surfaced, and the T-Bird was reissued in tinted chrome plastic.

Now, Hot Wheels™ guys know the best Hot Wheels™ are the original 1968-'72 redlines. Not trying to steal Jennifer's Thunder, but years later I was able to get an upgrade. I don't know if I stayed under my 30-dollar limit since I replaced the wheels with a reproduction set from the Redline Shop.

The Classic '57 T-Bird was only made for two years. All of them were made in the USA. A combination of tell-tale features indicate my green one was probably made in late 1969.

By 1997 I had begun customizing some of my Hot Wheels™ cars. That year, the '59 Chevy Impala was introduced. It was all low-riderey, pink with orange pinstripes and gold wheels, and I thought it needed to be toned down. So I took my Dremel to one and cut off the rear fender skirts, the roof, and the side pipes. I detailed the trim with paint and chrome foil, and had a nice sleek convertible.

Jennifer said she wanted to try something. She didn't do any cutting, but look what she did with sign shop paint!

Then she did a couple of others:

At the Redline Shop's online message board, I had become involved in a Summer Swap. About a dozen guys who restored old redline Hot Wheels™ for a hobby were assigned partners. Each would send some beat-up old car to the other, who would restore it all fresh and like new, and send it back. This usually involves polishing tarnished metal, replacing broken windshields and damaged wheels, and putting on a nice paint job and stickers.

I was matched up with a guy who called himself Rooster's Rippin' Redline Restorations, and he was good. I sent him a Ford MK IV from 1969 that I found at a thrift store, and he sent me a car called the Torero.

He got mine done promptly and sent it back, but I wanted to do something a little different. So after some delay, I got Jennifer to use her artistic talents on it. Afterward, it became one of the first cars I ever tried to photograph.

Since it had taken so long, I informed everyone that I had named it the Procrastorero.

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