Get your engines started and wallets open, because it’s time to rank the most rare Hot Wheels cars and see how much they are worth.
You might not think these little toys would be worth much, but they drive collectors crazy.
As we will soon see, something as simple as a rare color variation will make something that usually costs about $5 have collectors dropping $1000.
Well, to my surprise, some of these simple Hot Wheels cars go for more than $1000. Like… waaaaaaay more.
So let’s find out which Hot Wheels are the most valuable.
15. 1977 Flying Colors GMC Motorhome
This particular Hot Wheels car is quite special on the list.
It is the lowest on the list, but there aren’t many known sales of them to judge its value in the collectible market.
So what’s this one all about?
In 1977 Mattel wanted to produce a series of GMC motorhome models.
To sign over the licensing rights for the design, GMC requested that Mattel produce 30 gold plated motorhomes to be given to members of their team.
All thirty of them were given to GMC sales representatives, along with a nice plaque.
The Hot Wheels Wiki (yes, that exists, as I found out) says it would be valued at $1500, but that seems quite low. I’ve seen other estimates that say $3000 or “thousands”.
I’m no expert, but based on some of the numbers on the rest of our list, I’d guess that a collector would pay at least $5000 for one of these. Maybe upwards of $10,000.
14. 1971 Spectraflame Purple Bye Focal
The value of this 1971 Spectraflame “Bye Focal” car is based purely on its paint.
That’s not totally uncommon on this list. Paint often determines a Hot Wheels car’s rarity.
But in this particular case Mattel printed blue, magenta, and purple editions of the 1971 Spectraflame.
And the purple is considered to be ultra rare.
It is even a particular rare Hot Wheels car that suffers from “crumbling”, where the paint used is known to crack and fall off.
This crumbling car is worth around $6000!
13. 1995 Collector Number 271
This one is quite the popular collectible in the Hot Wheels community.
Known only as the “Collector No. 271”, this Hot Wheels branded funny car is actually a super rare release.
There are only 12 known in existence that were printed with the blue card on the back. And only six are currently known.
That puts this super rare Hot Wheels car at a value of around $7000 for collectors.
All because of that blue card!
12. 1969 Red Baron
The design of the Hot Wheels ‘Red Baron’ comes from the Peanuts cartoon, specifically when Snoopy had an imaginary battle with the Red Baron.
Controversially, the car’s design would actually be inspired by the WWI German pilot Manfred von Richthofen who shot down 22 British planes.
Surely my Retro Dodo counterparts won’t appreciate that!
Politics aside, this German inspired Hot Wheels car sold for a whopping $7,500 on ebay.
The description of the car on its sale page included “Prototype Red Baron with White Interior … Blank Base … lighter shade of red than production models… No cross on helmet”.
So that would make this specific iteration of the Red Baron a rare prototype with very few known in existence.
11. 1974 Blue Rodger Dodger
It’s blue. It’s covered in flames. And it’s quite rare.
One factor that often contributes to a valuable collectible is a very small number of known iterations in existence.
And in the case of the 1974 Blue Rodger Dodger, there’s only seven out in the wild.
One excited collector posted a Youtube video about his Ebay purchase for $8,000!
His came sealed in the card and plastic, which is even more rare than most.
(Blue Rodger Dodger appears at 10:10)
10. 1969 Brown ’31 Woody
This 1969 Hot Wheels car was inspired by one of the coolest cars ever produced: The 1931 Ford Woody Wagon.
But this particular brown model from 1969 is considered a prototype.
It is estimated that only around 12 of these super rare red-line wheel editions exist.
That puts the ’31 Woody at around $8000.
And it’s not the only rare brown car on this list! Keep reading for more brown.
9. 1969 Ed Shaver Blue AMX
As part of Mattel’s sponsorship of race car driver Ed Shaver, a special AMX branded Hot Wheels car was created.
These were released only in the U.K. (Retro Dodo U.K. members redeemed!) so they have become a unique collectible in the Hot Wheels community.
If you happen to have a real Ed Shaver AMX, it is valued at an estimated $10,000.
A win for the U.K!
8. 1968 Python With “Cheetah” Base
This rare Hot Wheels car could be considered special based on the odd shape alone.
But what makes it so valuable is due entirely to a naming issue (as we will see later in this list as well).
The original name was to be the “Cheetah” model.
But when Hot Wheels ran into some legal issues around the name, they went for “Python” instead.
Side note: cheetahs and pythons eat eachother! Crazy, huh?
Well as you might have guessed; a few early pressings went out into the wild with “Cheetah” printed on the bottom of the car.
This rare name imprint makes a few of these Pythons super rare and super valuable.
One collector paid $10,000 on Ebay. I think you could buy an actual cheetah for that much.
But who am I to judge?
7. 1971 Purple Oldsmobile 442
This 1971 Oldsmobile 442 is a pretty sweet ride. And take a look at that paint job. Not too shabby.
Well what makes it special?
This one is special mostly due to the fact that it comes from the red-line era; an era in Hot Wheels history when they featured a red line on the wheels.
It might not seem like much, but pair that with one of the coolest cars and coolest paint jobs, and you’ve got a super rare Hot Wheels on your hands.
It was cool enough that one Ebay collector spent a cool $11,000 on it!
Proving once again that the value is determined by someone’s need to have it.
6. 1969 Brown Custom Charger
Quite a few Charger models were released between 1969 and 1971, in a slew of color combos.
But one particular color seems to be super super rare: brown.
There are only three known brown Charger prototypes in existence, so they are estimated at a value of $13,000.
Hard to imagine that a brown car would be valued so high.
But this makes two cars that are ultra rare because they are brown!
Who woulda’ thought?
5. 1970 Mad Maverick
The value of this car is almost entirely due to the name (yet again).
When Hot Wheels discovered that another manufacturer had released a “Mad Maverick” car, they decided to rename their car to the “Mighty Maverick”.
By mistake, they left the “Mad Maverick” stamp at the bottom of a few early pressings.
Not a big deal, but would be all the difference in the world to collectors of rare Hot Wheels cars.
There’s only a few of the Mad Maverick cars known to exist in the collection scene, and their value is set at around $15,000 if you’d be crazy enough to let one go.
4. 1968 Antifreeze Over Chrome Camaro
This 1968 Camaro features an ultra rare paint combination: antifreeze-over-chrome finish.
It’s also a part of that red-line series of Hot Wheels that is most desired by collectors.
The rare “Over Chrome” paint combo was produced for 1968 Christmas television commercials, and only 20 are known to exist.
That puts this ultra rare Hot Wheels car at an estimated value of $25,000.
3. 1968 Strawberry Over Chrome Mustang
There was another super rare “over chrome” painted car that became a highly sought after collectible.
This super rare 1968 Mustang was recovered in an estate sale after its owner passed away.
And it is unknown how they acquired this rare car that was made by Hot Wheels for advertising purposes.
Its value is estimated at around $40,000!
2. 2008 40th Anniversary Diamond Encrusted Custom Otto
This is the most expensive looking Hot Wheels car ever produced.
And it’s the one that even has my attention. I’d love to wear this on a chain!
This one-of-one car was produced for Hot Wheels’ 40th anniversary celebration.
It was also said to be their four billionth car ever made at Mattel. That’s a lot of lil’ cars!
Well Hot Wheels spared no expense when making this super limited edition custom car.
The body is made from 18-karat white gold and is encrusted with 2700 diamonds.
It’s initial evaluation was at $140k, but sold for $60,000 at a charity auction.
I can’t imagine if you’d buy a diamond encrusted Hot Wheels car for $60k that you’d be looking to get rid of it anytime soon.
But were it ever to go to market, we could easily imagine it would take the number one spot on future Hot Wheels lists.
Perhaps they can let its value climb and auction it again for charity one day. That would be totally cool in Retro Dodo’s book.
Hard to imagine there’s a Hot Wheels car worth more than a diamond encrusted one. But there does happen to be one that actually sold for more than $60,000…
1. 1969 Pink VW Beach Bomb
So you might be wondering how this cute little pink VW found its way to the top of our most rare Hot Wheels list.
It doesn’t even have diamonds!
Well you’d have to check out the commercial release of the 1969 Pink VW “Beach Bomb” that had a slot on the side to hold the surf board accessories.
Yeah, that’s pretty cool.
But an early prototype of the car had surf boards that loaded in the back window. Now THAT’S cool.
It is estimated that only two of these prototype models are out in the wild.
So being a prototype, this one is at maximum rarity and that puts it at maximum desirability to a hardcore collector of Hot Wheels toys.
This cute little Pink VW even made an appearance on the tv show Pawn Stars.
And their evaluation set this one at “at least $100,000.” Well they weren’t entirely wrong.
The 1969 Pink VW Beach Bomb is estimated to be worth around $175,000 today.
Which proves one thing… surf boards in the back window are worth more than diamonds to grown men.
Are you into rare stuff? Maybe check out our list of 10 Most Rare Atari Games or 10 Most Expensive & Rare Magic The Gathering Cards.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.