Supercharged Ford Anglia The Misfit, created by former estate agent, wins UK round of competition to find real car to turn into a die-cast toy.
Beating a record number of over 100 entries, ‘The Misfit’ – a 1963 Ford Anglia with a supercharged BMW engine – will represent the UK in the global Hot Wheels Legends Tour and stake its claim to become a 1:64 scale die-cast in the 2023 line up. Built by Michael Charalambous, and only finished in 2022 after final push during Covid lockdown, The Misfit was also voted the fans’ favourite at this year’s event.
For the first time in the UK, the 10 finalists and their custom cars were brought together in person at Studio 434 in Potters Bar, near London, home of the Rodger Dudding collection. In front of a live audience, judges Helen Stanley, Ian Callum and Jonny Smith, along with host Alex Kersten, spent the day assessing the cars, chatting to their creators and painstakingly scoring and vigorously debating each car against criteria such as demonstrating authenticity, creativity and ‘garage spirit’.
The Misfit’s owner Michael Charalambous was previously an estate agent. Driven by the ambition of buying his dream car, a Ferrari 308GTB, he set out on a mission to build and restore a series of cars with a plan to ultimately trade up to the Italian classic. The Misfit is his most ambitious project yet. Michael poured hundreds of hours into the project after purchasing the back of a very rotten Ford Anglia body shell. Created purely from ideas in his head, he took over from fabricator Rob Rashbrook to build a unique Hot Rod that – with the exception of potentially being produced in the millions as a toy – would be a total one-off.
Michael explained: “Hot Wheels played a major part in what we build, inspiring design elements such as the exposed engine and wheels. I often thought ‘How would Hot Wheels do it?’, so to win is just incredible. After winning Hot Wheels Legends UK, and all the attention at the shows, I don’t think I will ever sell it now.”
“The Misfit perfectly embodies the creativity, innovation, fun and positive spirit of UK custom car culture,” says judge and car builder Helen Stanley. “An ultimate reimagined classic, The Misfit represents the flair, excitement and wide appeal of Hot Wheels.”
Ahead of the event, the Legends experts had previously whittled down the entries to 10 special finalists. Reflecting the diversity of UK car culture these included ‘The Mexorcist’, a modified 600bhp YB-engined Ford Escort Mk2, a Group 5-inspired spaceframe E21 BMW, ‘This and That’ Mini twins as well as the first modified EV, a Honda-e, alongside a pair of drag racers. Underlining the breadth of the cars was ‘Boris’, a turbocharged 1000cc K11 Nissan Micra bought for £300 on Facebook, a VW-engined Porsche 911 Targa, and a Citroen Saxo with suicide doors, custom interior, 20” wheels and substantial audio system.
The Misfit will now face cars in the Semi Finals on 10th November, with the Global Final taking place on 12th November. Due to the increasing popularity of the competition, Mattel has confirmed two winning entries will be reproduced in 1:64 scale. Last year’s winner from the UK, the Volvo Gasser ‘Ain’t no Saint’, is expected to be in stores by Christmas.
Fans can watch the episode from the UK event below.