Back in 1978 Hot Wheels released a 924 in 1:64th scale, as is tradition for them. It had blackwall tires, and the same 5-spoke styled plastic wheels seen on most Hot Wheels of the day. About a decade later Matchbox released a 944 Turbo. I had one, it was green, the Porsche crest was huge across the hood, and the doors opened. It was a neat car. Compared to 911s, transaxle cars have always been thin on the ground in the Die Cast world. Hot Wheels’ latest endeavor, the Legends Tour, invites custom car builders to throw their vehicles into the ring for a chance to become a unique Hot Wheels car. 15 finalists will be chosen to join the Hot Wheels stand at SEMA 2018. In Las Vegas one will ultimately be selected to become an actual Hot Wheels model.
Brian Bergeron’s 944 is not for purists. All that truly remains of the original 1987 Porsche bodywork is the pillars, and every other panel has been modified, replaced, or otherwise altered from Porsche’s original vision. The car is fitted with a 944 Turbo S transaxle, the strongest variant, a blessing because this car is no longer powered by a 140 horsepower 2.5-liter inline-four. Brian performed an LS swap, helping to give the car the grunt to back up the aggressive looks.
Purity notwithstanding, does this 944 have what it takes to be a Hot Wheels car? Hot Wheels’ more bespoke cars have a reputation for true absurdity. From cars like Twin Mill and Deora, the latter was also based on a real custom car, Hot Wheels’ exclusive Die Casts are pretty extreme things, and Brian’s 944 faces some stiff competition from the other finalists.
We wish Brian well, though. The world needs more transaxle Porsches in small scale.