Hot Wheels continues to blaze tracks at SEMA! Debuting in 1967, only one year prior to the debut of Hot Wheels, the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show has become the single largest annual event in Las Vegas. And when Hot Wheels joins the action, you know it’s “Go big, or go home.”
Beginning with the 1:1 Twin Mill in 2001, Hot Wheels has delivered such SEMA show stoppers as the Deora II (in 2003) and last year’s Hot Wheels Edition Camaro (partnered with Chevrolet). The big debut from Hot Wheels this year — partnered with Ford Motor Company — was the Hot Wheels Ford Transit Connect.
Hot Wheels designer Fraser Campbell’s concept for the Hot Wheels Transit Connect was chosen from submissions by the entire Hot Wheels design team. With Fraser as lead designer and help from Hot Wheels Manager of Product Design Phil Riehlman, Hot Wheels Vice President Felix Holst, the Ford Motor Company team and Michigan-based custom builder Ice 9 Group, this van started rocking.
Also, with the help of Picture Car Warehouse’s Billy Hammon, the Team Hot Wheels Rip Rod was given a slick new paint job (as a companion piece to the Hot Wheels Transit Connect) and an engine upgrade with a new Ford 1.0 liter ecoboost engine that will debut next year. The duo shows up ready to hit the track at any speedway and take on all challengers.
Scheduled to go on tour, the Hot Wheels Transit Connect has already appeared to great fan acclaim at the Cars&Coffee event in Irvine, CA on November 9, and the L.A. Auto Show. Also, it wouldn’t be Hot Wheels without a down-scale version, so watch for that to debut in Spring 2014!
Not to rest on our laurels, we also created a spectacle with the Hot Wheels Slot Machine. Filled with Hot Wheels and Ford goodies and prizes, our Slot Machine was nine feet tall and six feet wide and mimics the sounds and lights of an actual slot machine. It drew throngs of fans of all ages, who lined up for their chance to pull and get prizes from Hot Wheels die-cast cars, sunglasses, keychains, license plate holders and more. There were over 3,500 winners throughout the SEMA show!
Lastly, our Twitter sweepstakes reached nearly 700,000 fans and awarded five @Hot_Wheels followers with a special Hot Wheels American muscle prize pack. One grand prize winner will also have an image of his Ford Fusion “Hot Wheels-ized” by our own Hot Wheels graphic designer Ryu Asada! We’ll make sure to show you that piece when it’s complete — we expect it to sizzle.
Did you know that SEMA’s first show in ’67 was held in the basement of Dodgers Stadium? SEMA and Hot Wheels have come a long way since 1967-68. What will we do next year? We can’t say yet, but we’re sure it will be hot.