Custom Camaro

Custom Camaro (Overchrome)
27 Variants  | 1 Error  | 10 Prototypes

The "overchrome" Hot Wheels Redlines are believed to have been used for 1968 commericals.

A large group of them came from a Mattel photographer who primarly shot TV commercials. Some also came from a Mattel liaison engineer. The consensus of the collector communis is that there are too few in existence to have been salesmen samples.

Mattel's advertising department had success in using TV to help sell its toys. Newspaper and other print media were also significant contributors to the Hot Wheels line's success.

Mattel wanted to show the their new toy cars in the best light upon their introduction to stores in May of 1968, and to achieve that goal the plant manager in Hong Kong was instructed to make the first batch of cars shine like "Christmas ornaments." 

To achieve the extra shine desired, the factory barrel-plated the the cars before painting. The baseplates were shined to look like bright chrome as well. The plant manager told a fellow employee it took a long time to make these cars, and with orders of huge volumes of cars from companies like Kmart, mass production needed to be fast, just that one special batch was made this way. That one batch of "over chrome cars" are higly prized and many collectors consider them to be the "jewels" of the hobby. Only around 30 are known to exist.

Of this casting/color, there are four that are known, two stapled to an early 10-car card, and two loose.

They are not early prototypes, as the castings are all from later in the production runs, and they do not appear to be catalog cars as so far not one has been identified as being used for a catalog photograph.

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