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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Flea Market Finds, Part 3



In this final installment of Flea Market finds we take a look at a classy VW Bug, a sporty Honda Civic Type R, two nicely done Matchbox SUV's, and the classic Good Humor Ice Cream Truck from Hot Wheels.







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Hot Wheels VW Bug and Matchbox Honda Civic Type R

The VW Bug was designed by Larry Wood and introduced in 1991 and since then it's been a very popular casting with collectors and introduced right ahead of the VW Air Cooled collector mania.  This VW has some of the similar characteristics of the '57 T-bird and some earlier Hot Wheels: a metal base, a raked stance, and nice paint jobs.  This red with side black decal looks similar to the side two-tone panel treatment of earlier VW Beetles, but then Hot Wheels adds a cool flame on top of it.  The 5-spoke wheels look on this car though one of the rear wheels was a bit bent after years of play (yet the paint was never chipped!).  All of the classic Beetle styling cues are there from the Beetle-shaped hood to the arched roofline, the round taillights, vented trunk, and split rear window.  The headlights, which are part of the base, look rather odd on otherwise a very nice casting.  The interior has four seats , dash, and steering wheel all in white.  Hot Wheels has also released a convertible as well, along with countless Beetle replica's, yet this original still stands up against the rest and so far still has its metal base.









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Now on the other side is another rounded compact car, but this time a Honda and from Matchbox.  In 2008 the Civic Type R was released as Matchbox's first Honda Civic model.  Not one of the best models to start with as this generation was vastly criticized for being soft, too rounded, and lacking the sharp edges of past Civic Type R's.  This green version uses the paint that gracefully adorned the Holden Ute SSV and has transferred to the Lotus Evora and the Civic, and that includes the 5-spoke wheels.  My version had some play worn to it as the wheels lost most of the chrome and the rear bumper sticker is barely readable (it says I Love Ricers).  The front has the large headlights that connect to the black grille with the red Honda logo.  Below is the large ducts in the bumper with integrated foglights.  The sides show off a rounded roofline with nice door handle details and exterior mirrors, while the rear has a full-width taillight bar, Honda and Type R badges, and a lower diffueser with triangular dual exhausts.  The interior has the very familiar right-hand drive Civic layout with two-tier dashboard, round 6-speed manual shift knob, and supportive front seats.  With two more in the rear and vast cargo area this civic is not afraid to haul stuff.  The engine is the legendary 2.0L DOHC I-4 offering 198 horsepower, but with more weight than before and the rear suspension goes from independent to a beam axle.  It might be as sporty as a Type R, but the car is rather bulky to deserve the name.  Can't wait how the 2016 Type R does in the Hot Wheels line later this year.









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Matchbox 1997 Chevy Tahoe and Porsche Cayenne

The 1997 Chevy Tahoe has been a long-serving American SUV in the line since 1998 as one of the first castings of the new Mattel merger.  Over the years both civilian and police versions were offered (the police using a different front-end and a light bar on the roof), with the police more during the Hero-City Era and the civilian version more during the late 2000's.  This version was one of the late 2000 versions that used the civilian version for work with a nice dark red (I believe they call it Dark Garnett Red for the real Tahoe) with Forest Ranger Fire and Rescue deco on the sides.  The base is black and so is the interior and combined with the 6-spoke wheels this is one rugged Tahoe.  I added details to the front and rear lighting to give it a more finished look, accented by the split grille front with detailed eggcrate pattern, door handles, and rear-end with split doors and black D-pillars.  The base shows off the drivetrain layout and despite the stepped design the Tahoe never had a working suspension.  The interior has plush seating for five with a nice large dashboard and 4-spoke steering wheel.  You can see the details of the transfer case shift lever, the center console with notepad holder on top, and cup holders for the passenger-side dash (oddly Matchbox did not include the passenger-side airbag pod that was new for 1997).  With this version and a yellow construction version this civilian Tahoe has look the best it has ever been.









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On the other side is an SUV no one ever though it would happen, the Porsche Cayenne.  When Matchbox released this casting in 2005 it was a bit late in a field full of the Cayenne replica's, and using truck tires on this casting never worked out.  When Matchbox designed a larger multi-spoke wheels for the trucks they fit perfectly on the Cayenne.  This silver one has those awesome wheels and along with a clean look and tan interior looks like the Porsche it should be.  The front has large detailed headlights with the larger bumper scoops of the Turbo model, nice side bodyline, trim, and doorhandle details; and back taillights (though some of the red has flaked off from play), Cayenne Turbo badges, and dual exhausts.  The wheels fix the problem of the squatting rear of this casting as well.  The interior is nicely done in the tan color with a dashboard that has detailed central controls, 3-spoke steering wheel, center console with shifter, and seating for five.  The twin-turbo 4.8L DOHC V8 makes over 400 horsepower so it is fast and handles better with the new wheels, while also providing a two-speed transfer case to tackle the rough stuff.  While the Cayenne has been revived recently in the Matchbox line it would be hard to beat a few earlier gems like this one.










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Hot Wheels Good Humor Ice Cream Truck

Finally is one casting that always brings out the kid in us, the Ice Cream truck, and while Hot Wheels has released many Ice Cream trucks of recent nothing can compare to the original Good Humor Ice Cream truck.  It was this nostalgia that got me right back into getting this Ice Cream truck.  Now this casting is still around and has quite a bit of variations, but none can match the original Good Humor look like this one that lasted for two decades.  All were white with slight alterations to the flavors, upper Good Humor sign bars, and the size of the rear window.  This ice cream truck is based on a step van with sliding side doors (the driver's side is open) and lots of side window openings to serve customers.  The front has a typical grille with headlights and a split windshield.  The roof has side panels to add the Good Humor signs, external A/C unit, and a speaker to play that catchy tune.  The rear has rectangular taillights and a large rear window on my example.  The base shows off a typical body-on-frame design with rear wheel drive and a V8 motor attached to a 4-speed manual transmission.  Now on the sides you can see the information where cones and ice cream bars are 50 cents, to the left are soda flavors in Cola, Orange, Grape, and oddly Candy (this was changed on later versions to a cola flavor).  To the right are the ice cream flavors of vanilla, cherry, chocolate, and strawberry.  On the passenger side a Good Humor ice cream man greets you and tilts toward the window to answer your request.  Inside there are freezers for the Ice Cream and cola, while the driver's seat sits in front of a typical step van layout of gauges and steering wheel.  Hot Wheels has released a more realistic ice cream truck based on a 1953 Chevy pickup, but that casting has yet to get the desired realistic Good Humor deco, nor does it match up to this all-original Ice Cream truck.





























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