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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Green with Envy: Hot Wheels 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, 2006 Challenger Concept, and Greenlight 2011 Challenger R/T

There's nothing like vintage MOPAR color's with those catchy names: Plum Crazy, Go ManGo, SubLime Green.  The names go on-and-on.  Here's a treat:  How about three Green with Envy Challenger's all in one post.  Yup, here they are!

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Hot Wheels 1970 Challenger

The history behind this one started in 2006 when there was an obvious need for a 1970 Challenger in the line for a few reasons: the Challenger Concept in 2006 (more on that later) and the Rodger Dodger is not enough to satisfy "traditionalists."  This Challenger came out in Plum Crazy first, then was released in SubLime Green for the September K-mart Collector's event; ironically after getting the green at the K-day event, minutes later I found the purple one at a Wal-Mart nearby.  This casting is lower while still providing the stock look: one of the things I noticed that the body-colored bumpers make this casting look more custom than stock.  Then again, it has the quad headlights, separate grille and cool hood scoop, black stripe on the sides, rear spoiler, horizontal bar taillight, and quad exhaust.  Per HW tradition in 2006, the Hot Wheels logo is cased in the interior tool and poked through the base.  The interior has the driver-oriented dashboard with quad gauges, 3-spoke wheel, bucket seats, and the all-important pistol-grip shifter!  The engine is the 426 cid HEMI V8 with 4-speed manual.  This green very eye-catching, not like the purple was either!  The purple version also has the Faster Than Ever gold wheels that the K-mart green never got.

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Hot Wheels 2006 Challenger Concept and 2008 SRT-8

One thing noted on the card of the 1970 Challenger in 2006 was a reference to the upcoming 2006 Challenger Concept in 2007.  It was the coolest thing to come out and I was excited for it.  Oddly in 2008 a reworked version appeared for the 2008 SRT-8 production version, and if that's not odd enough consider the recolors for their first year runs were almost similar; only the green was the color shared among these three Challenger's.  The Concept has a smoother lower bumpers, cross-hair grille, one-band taillights with DODGE letters, Challenger on the rear fenders, and side marker lights that are higher.  The interior is faithful to the 1970's, right down to the pistol-grip shifter.  The engine is the 6.1L HEMI V8 to a 6-speed manual.  I believe this green was a K-day car as well, though the 2008 production one in green was a regular recolor release.  The 2008 version has ground-effects, revised front grille without the crosshair grille, sunroof, rear spoiler, revised taillight with integrated reverse lamp, and side rear quarter windows added.  The interior was a sad pit with the same plastiky square dashboard as the Charger and Chrysler 300C platform mates with only the quad gauges the only unique feature.  Also a sad note is the 2008 model only came in SRT-8 trim, in three colors, and with a 5-speed automatic only.  These two castings cause some confusion among the collectors as both share the same body lines with only a few small differences.  Trust me, it confuses me every year they release a recolor of these two.

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Greenlight 2011 Challenger R/T Classic

Changes did abound after 2008:  SE and R/T models offered, so does the 6-speed manual with pistol-grip shifter, and more colors.  In 2011 the lower grille was changed, the V6 SE engine upgraded, and a more compact 3-spoke steering wheel.  Also more packages were offered as well, including the Classic.  I profiled this Challenger many times, including the blue Classic from last year.  This year the classic name is less-pronounced on the package, but is so on the base.  It has the classic chrome mag wheels, the Challenger cursive logo, and side stripe in black with R/T letters.  The details on this casting still look good despite the hood fit, window fit, and rear bumper paint finish on my tester.  Much different from the Hot Wheels models, this one is larger, heavier with a metal base, and offers separate parts from the rear spoiler to the opening hood where the detailed 5.7L HEMI V8 resides.  The interior is nicely-detailed as well, though it still uses the large 4-spoke steering wheel and lower front grille of a 2010 model on a marked 2011 model.  Oh, and you get the pistol-grip 6-speed manual as well.  Finally the color is a different name:  Green with Envy, but still with the same look of the SubLime Green.

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How cool is that!  All four Challenger's with the same green color.  This is something we need to see more of from diecast manufacturers.

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