The 2023 winner of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour was crowned during the virtual Global Grand Finale held on 11th November.
New Zealand local Chris Watson’s 1990 Mazda MX-5 roadster – nicknamed Chimera – will be immortalised as a 1:64 Hot Wheels die-cast vehicle and inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends.
Chris says he was inspired by a combination of Japanese Kaido Racer car culture and the futuristic Cyberpunk genre of science fiction. His vehicle features a custom carbon fibre shark fin spoiler, a futuristic rear light bar and 15×13 inch turbofan wheels fitted under massive 100mm wide arches he designed himself. The interior also received a cyberpunk style makeover.
To complete the aesthetic, the entire car was airbrushed to give it a dystopian, weathered appearance. The build has continued to develop and now features a wasteland themed RX-7 front end conversion.
Celebrating its sixth year, the 2023 Hot Wheels Legends Tour was the largest yet. Travelling across five continents and 16 countries, the Hot Wheels team and guest judges reviewed thousands of vehicle entries.
“Every year the competition gets better, and 2023 definitely didn’t disappoint,” said Ted Wu, vice president and global head of design for vehicles at Mattel. “Chris’s journey from rural New Zealand to securing a spot in the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends is truly inspirational and embodies what this tour is all about. Chimera is a great addition to the Garage of Legends, and we can’t wait to create the die-cast version.”
Hosted by motorsports ambassador Jarod DeAnda, this year’s Hot Wheels Legends Tour Global Grand Finale showcased 10 semi-finalist builds from around the world, and the judges were tasked with choosing the entry that best represents authenticity, creativity and garage spirit. The panel featured Mercedes-Benz designer Dalal Elsheikh, TV host and car enthusiast Jay Leno, renowned automotive photographer Larry Chen, actor Noel Gugliemi, NASCAR driver and model Toni Breidinger, along with members of the Hot Wheels Design Team, Bryan Benedict and Craig Callum.
Since its launch in 2018 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour presented by Mobil 1 has grown from an America-based series of local Walmart events across the United States to the world’s largest travelling car show, bringing in builders and automotive fans through both virtual and live events.
Previous champions include the inaugural 2018-winning 2JetZ, 2019-winning The Nash, 2020-winning 1970 Pontiac Firebird, 2021-winning 1969 Volvo P1800 Gasser – from the UK – and last year’s champion, the Texas Toot, an ultra-custom 1992 Autozam Scrum micro truck.
To learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, visit www.HotWheels.com/Legends.