The new dragster GTO from Hot Wheels
From that time at the beginning of the retro-muscle car craze in the 00's when GM showed up with an Aussie.
Here's a new Hot Wheels casting that seemed to come out of left field. Mattel is all about the JDM and RADwood era cars these days, but I'm glad they decided to throw a dead, badge-engineered Aussie muscle car into the mix. Remember in the mid-00's when Bob Lutz and GM decided to import the Holden Monaro from Australia and slapped Pontiac badges on them? All the Boomers said "that's not a GTO!" and nobody bought them. Pontiac quickly added aggressive hood nostrils, switched to the 400hp LS2 engine, installed Corvette brakes, and offered new paint colors in just its second year, but still couldn't convince prospective buyers. Everyone either flocked to the retro-futuristic S-197 Mustang or decided to hold out for the upcoming Challenger from Dodge instead, and Pontiac was dead within a few years.
This Hot Wheels car no ordinary GTO though. It's fully outfitted for the drag strip, in true orange-track fashion. Besides the dramatically flared "nostrils" on the hood, this Goat has skinny drag tires out front, plus a parachute and wheelie bar out back. Its stance is super raked to look fast standing still. The Hot Wheels Dream Team also went so far as to remove the rear exhaust and install dual side-exits behind the front tires.
Execution on the other hand, didn't exactly turn out as planned. There are nasty casting marks on all four corners of the car too. I usually try to edit those out of my photos, but this little Pontiac's errors were too bad to even attempt it. There was also an attempt to add some sort of honeycomb texture to the front grille embedded into the casting, but the tampo printed slightly off kilter. All of that detail gets lost and looks more like excess material rather than an added feature. Don't get me wrong, the grille tampo design looks amazing, but the printer missing its mark really has the opposite of the intended effect. The whole drag get-up is just too cartoon-y for my tastes, so into the kids' bucket it goes.
Much like the car this Hot Wheels represents, I don't see this being a hit with collectors. The wheel choice is boring, the tampos are misaligned, and the words "Super Duty" only belong on the side of a pickup truck. This should make for a great custom casting though; maybe I'll try to turn this back into a stock looking GTO.