Magnus Walker Gives Us The Lowdown On His Globetrotting “Lucky Charm”

The shaggy Urban Outlaw is a massive fan of mini Porsches too.

byMike Spinelli|

Back in 1968, Hot Wheels cars cost $0.98 each, almost 10 bucks in today's money. Remember, that's when the real muscle cars, on which many Hot Wheels models were based, sold for under four grand. These days, the 1:64 scale cars still cost around a buck, which puts them among the most inflation-proof products in the world. Back in the late '60s the price reflected how seriously Mattel took the toy, hiring real hot rodders and auto designers to create those early cars, which are still my favorites. Today, a Hot Wheels set is the number-one selling toy in the world, with nearly 500 million units sold every year.

It's a big year for Mattel's Hot Wheels—the brand's 50th anniversary—just as it was a big day for me whenever my neighbors had a tag sale. The neighbors' kid was older than me by enough years that his Hot Wheels cars hailed from the brand's early years. That is, from 1968 until around 1973 (when they used to have red stripes on the tires). Those early cars were inspired by real hot rods, and had those sweet candy metallic paint colors, which probably had more lead in them than an Esso gas station. Considering all the first-run Hot Wheels I bought from those tag sales are now are probably worth more than my IRA, I'd say my life choices are suspect. What's more, among Mattel's anniversary celebrations, the company launched the "Hot Wheels Legends Tour" this past April. At each of 14 stops, all over the U.S., Mattel execs will choose a winning car. Those 14 vehicles will be on display at the SEMA show this coming October, where they will pick one winner, which will be crowned "coolest custom car in the United States" and a 1:64 scale version will become the latest Hot Wheels model.

You know who else was into Hot Wheels cars? Magnus Walker. Magnus took a break from his busy bearding and Porsche-loving schedule to stop by The Drive's garage for about an hour to talk about cars, both large and tiny. Here's a preview, in which we focus on Hot Wheels. Two years ago, Magnus collaborated with Mattel on a line of Urban Outlaw Hot Wheels cars, inspired by his own Porsche collection, including his 1971 Porsche 911 "277."