A Horror Story in 1:64 Scale

SpyDude Wednesday, 1/4/2023

WARNING: Some of you will be greatly upset by these pictures. If you are, imagine how upset I was taking them.
Dear Friends:
I was clearing out my parents' house in California, and found a box full of my old Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, along with a few Johnny Lightnings and a Corgi or two. That is the good news. The bad news is that the box had been severely damaged by heavy rainfall and flooding, and had been at some time submerged at least once. The following pictures are of the cars I found and brought back home.

The cars in the back row are in reasonably good shape, and were actually in a second box set higher above the flood waters. Many of these cars are ORIGINAL RedLines, as I purchased them as a kid back in the '70's and '80's. While many have bent axles, they are still capable of rolling.

The cars in the front rows are very badly damaged, and will need to have at the bare minimum a wheel swap to make them functional again. Several of the wheels actually fell off as I was setting up for this picture, as the axles had completely rusted through.

I do not plan on restoring these vehicles. At most, they will get washed and cleaned up from all the mud and water damage, wheels replaced, and then pinned back together. There will be no repainting - these cars earned that patina the hard way. THEY ARE NOT AND WILL NEVER BE FOR SALE.


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SpyDude 1/4/23

Yes, that is an original 1969 Hot Wheels Beach Bomb.  I purchased purchased that many, many years ago. The windshield is cracked, and it does not roll well, but it is an all-original RedLine. The surfboards are reproductions from a Deora rebuild.

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Numbskull 1/4/23

Life goes on.

  • Yup. I know they're just toys, but ......... — SpyDude
  • My storage flooded, I tossed thousands of dollars worth of fist edition books. It hurt. — Numbskull
  • Ouch. We had the same here in Arizona. Girlfriend lost a lot of precious artwork and stuff from her mom and grandparents. I lost a bunch of first-run comics and some other stuff. I definitely feel ya, and yes, it DOES hurt. — SpyDude
  • Thank god for beer. — Numbskull
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Rusty 1/4/23


Good for you!!

I've got my ol' Red Lines from 68 and 69..

Some ruff,some in great shape..

They too are not for sale..

Enjoy your collection!

I've got plenty that look like this, an ultrasonic cleaner is your friend.

  • Any recommendations? — SpyDude
  • Mines a $25 amazon cheapo. Hot water in it with the worst one you have first. run it for about 5 minutes. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • Use compressed air to blow out water after. (air compressor/air duster etc) — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • I've seen guys in the restoration groups use different solutions in US cleaner like 1 part CLR to 2 parts water, or Purple Power straight (removes chrome from plastic parts) or even IPA. I suggest testing on the worst of worst first. — Redline_Salvage_Inc
  • Thank you for the tips! — SpyDude
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dr_dodge 1/9/23

a side thought,
the ones that are real bad and crumbling could be cast into a little block of acrylic
Time capsule it, if you will.  It would stop the corrosion, and preserve the patina that they earned

  • It’s not the patina I’m worried about for the most part, it’s the wheels and axles that are corroding. I’m mainly going to wash the cars to get all the crud off them, the try to replace crumbling wheels and rusted axles. — SpyDude

Can New Jersey Drive Racing participate?

  • Participate in what? Helping me find parts and restore vehicles? Okay. I need a dozen motors, about a hundred sets of Redline wheels, and a full interior for a 1968 Hot Wheels Hot Heap. Also, if you know of someone that could print up the boats for a couple of HW SeaSider pickups, too, that would be awesome. — SpyDude
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WallyChamp73 1/11/23

My apologies, SpyDude.  I didn't read this thoroughly.  I wish I could help you. 

  • No problem - thoguht I would razz you a little, because I already knew you weren't paying attention :p — SpyDude
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SpyDude 1/15/23

So, this cruddy destroyed thing used to be a perfect 1970 Whip Creamer with original Redline wheels. As you can see, time and water damage did a number on the car, and it is the worst one I had in my collection. The bare chassis from another car, I couldn't even tell you what that one was. Both of them are in the ultrasonic cleaner tank now.For those of you who know your colors, this bad boy was originally SpectreFlame Purple, right out of the package. Sure doesn't look like it now, huh? Heres what this car looked like brand new back in 1970:

I'll keep y'all updated on how the cleaning is going. I got a feeling I'm going to burn out that ultrasonic cleaner before I'm done ......

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SpyDude 1/15/23

Twenty minutes in the tank, and I managed to get the top open. Slow going, but at least I'm getting somewhere. The left rear wheel is frozen solid, so that is definitely going to need a replacement.

Oh, and the other chassis is from a 1970 TNT Bird, also another original Redline.Ain't it pretty? That's the first water change. Using water and Dawn dish soap, scrubbing the cars after each five-minute cycle.

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SpyDude 1/15/23

Was waiting on that axle to break, and it finally did. Well, not like I wasn't going to replace it, anyway .....

  • I am amazed how the paint tried to come back, that OEM paint is tough stuff It seems that it was pulling the corrosion out, thats good — dr_dodge
  • Yeah, there’s a patch on the hood that came back to almost-original color. I was surprised! — SpyDude
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