WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A rare prototype Hot Wheels car, perhaps worth as much as $100,000, was recently discovered among a collection of otherwise ordinary cars.
A Custom Camaro Hot Wheels car dating to 1968 and verified as the first Hong Kong enamel white example ever found was acquired by toy historian Joel “America’s Toy Scout” Magee. The Custom Camaro is believed to be the earliest Hot Wheels casting created by Mattel, and an enamel white prototype version of the Custom Camaro would be among the very earliest Hot Wheels toys ever built — if not the earliest.
As one of the first Hot Wheels cars, the enamel white Custom Camaro is considered one of the most desirable Hot Wheels cars in the world. Magee found the rare car among a set of several other Hot Wheels cars. A Hot Wheels expert confirmed Magee’s suspicion that the enamel white Camaro was, in fact, the rarest of rare.
The Custom Camaro is one of the original 16 Hot Wheels models produced in Hong Kong and the United States by Mattel for 1968. What identifies the enamel white variant as a prototype is its paint. At that time, Hot Wheels cars were released to the public in bright, metallic colors dubbed Spectraflame.
On every new Hot Wheels prototype casting, designers coated the pre-production die-cast metal body with white enamel to check for casting imperfections. Such white enamel prototype castings were never meant to be sold. Only a few enamel prototypes were mistakenly packaged and released to retailers. Such a car is extremely rare to find at all, let alone in good condition.
Other extremely rare and desirable Redline-era Hot Wheels cars are the rear-loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb with surfboards poking out the back (also considered a prototype) and the Olds 442. Mint examples of the Hot Wheels Olds 442 model in the most desirable colors can fetch five figures. The prototype rear-loading Beach Bomb can earn $100,000 or more.
“I’ve collected toys forever and this Hot Wheels Camaro is the Holy Grail of collectibles,” Magee said. “I am beyond excited to have found it to add to my vast collection.” Magee puts the value of the rare toy car at around $100,000.
Magee is a regular on the hit TV show “Pawn Stars” and a frequent guest on local television and radio programs. Since he was a child, Magee has scoured flea markets and now the world for the rarest toys — Hot Wheels cars, Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Barbie, Transformers, Disney, Monster toys, television related toys, Godzilla and more.