After a year of fierce competition from all over the world, a new winner has been crowned for the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends tour and it’s a gasser from the U.K. Lee Johnstone from Somerset, England celebrated his win with his family by his side and his 1969 Volvo P1800 front and center.
Finished in a deep shade of Volvo green, the vintage gasser is a drag strip queen with a reputation for 10-second quarter-mile runs. Powering the Volvo is a Chevrolet 454 big block topped off by a 671 GMC supercharger and dual four-barrel carburetors that help it take flight. It sits on Mickey Thompson rubber in the front and Hoosiers in the back, and even while sitting perfectly still appears to be in motion, almost in a cartoonish way.
Johnstone plucked the “Ain’t No Saint” Volvo from certain death as a rusty, rolling shell and lovingly restored it to the Hot Wheels champion it is now. This Volvo is no cream puff, either: Johnstone’s daughters Eleanor, Sarah and Victoria have shared it for racing adventures and his wife Sue helps crew. And soon, it will be immortalized as a 1:64 Hot Wheels version.
The global winner was announced at Jay Leno’s Garage and will be inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends. Now in its fourth year, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour spans 11 countries across five continents, and this is the first time for an international winner.
“I am excited to have my car become a Hot Wheels die-cast toy and to be able to share my passion project in 1:64 scale with the world,” Johnstone said in a release. “It’s amazing to be the first U.K. winner.”
Judges for the Legends tour included Leno, motorsports ambassador Jarod DeAnda, Mattel Global Head of Design for Vehicles Ted Wu, Mattel Director of Vehicles Design Bryan Benedict, Mattel Vehicles Designer Brendon Vetuskey, automotive designer Henrik Fisker, journalist Elana Scherr, car customizer Mad Mike; and automotive content creator/drifting enthusiast Sara Choi.
“The Hot Wheels Legends Tour has truly become a global celebration of custom car creations,” said Wu. “With the addition of five new countries in the Tour, we have been able to reach and interact with millions of new fans and builders from around the world. The Volvo Gasser is a wonderful expression of authenticity, creativity and, most importantly, garage spirit. We look forward to welcoming Lee Johnstone and his 1969 Volvo P1800 into the Hot Wheels family and presenting the world with our newest Hot Wheels Legends Tour die-cast toy.”
Anyone else coveting a tiny Volvo as a gift this year?
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