Once upon a time, we all dumped out our Hot Wheels onto the floor and spent time mercilessly crashing them into one another. As we’ve gotten older, we start to see the beauty in the Hot Wheel more and more. Every time we see one, it brings us back to our childhood and creates warm feelings inside. You know what else would create those feelings? Finding out that one we own was a collector worth a lot of money. Not all of them have value (other than our fond memories), but if you find a rare one, it just might be one of the most expensive Hot Wheels in the world.
The trouble is, most people have no idea what to look for when searching out the most expensive Hot Wheels. That’s where we come in! Check out the list of the ten most expensive Hot Wheels to see if any of these might be something you own. If so, prepare for a nice little paycheck.
10. 1968 Custom Volkswagen without Sunroof
This isn’t topping the charts of the most expensive Hot Wheels, but it’s worth starting here. This Hot Wheel was manufactured in Hong Kong but was only distributed in Europe at first. Most of them went to the United Kingdom and Germany, to be exact. They featured different interior from the American models and there weren’t any plastic side windows as most the VWs had.
This Hot Wheel typically came in aqua or blue, but there are some rare models featuring copper, green, or red as well. If you find one lying around, it might be worth $1,500 which is some nice pocket change.
The design of this particular model is unique. It didn’t h have a sunroof like the more popular models did and featured a front engine, unlike most that utilized the rear engine design. It also came with tinted blue glass, detailed suspension, and a black steering wheel.
9. 1968 White Enamel Camaro
Many collectors agree that this is the first Hot Wheel car ever made, which makes it one of the most expensive Hot Wheels on the market. It is hard enough to find this model loose, let alone still in its blister pack. With that said, if you were to find it, you might earn yourself $2,500.
We understand why Mattel chose to make their first car a Camaro; it’s an exceptional choice. In that first year, they actually released 16 different vehicles, but the white Camaro was only produced 35 times. The reason it’s so rare is that it was a prototype. Typically, the factory would paint the prototype white or black to inspect for trouble.
If you do find one, it’s likely to be in poor condition, but that won’t stop you from getting top dollar. Buyers will want to exercise caution before purchasing one of these because there have been plenty of forgeries. Make sure you get it verified before engaging in any transaction.
If you come across the metallic red model of this car, you’ll still earn a few bucks. However, the $500 for that pales in comparison to the money you could make from a white car.
8. 1970 Red Baron with White Interior
When you are looking for the most expensive hot wheels car, you’ll surely come across this Red Baron. Keep in mind that less than ten of them were produced. The model itself wasn’t ever mass produced and there’s no decal on its helmet. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have this in your collection, you can expect to fetch $3,000 for your car.
This car is cool and definitely impresses. The perfect blend between the red exterior and metal top makes this car stand out. The original design featured an Iron Cross motif and WWI German infantry helmet. It also came with capped redline wheels, a pointed spike on the helmet, and spectraflame red paint. You would find them packaged with a plastic or metal Collectors Button as well.
The inspiration behind this car has two parts. First, the Red Baron is the imaginary villain that Snoopy always faces from his doghouse. Otherwise, it also has some inspiration from Manfred von Richthofen, a German World War I fighter pilot. Hot Wheels plan was to create a vehicle that reminded people of the era’s fighter planes.
7. 1995 Collector Number 271 Funny Car
Part of the reason this car is worth so much is that there’s only been 12 of them made. With that said, there isn’t a lot of hope in finding one because only seven have surfaced. If you happen to see this model, you might be able to earn yourself $3,500. That alone makes it one of the most expensive Hot Wheels in the world.
They were produced in the 90s plus they feature a ‘271’ collector’s number on it. The trouble is, if you do find one, you’ll need to have the original packaging with it. Otherwise, there’s no way to prove authenticity. On top of that, if you decide to purchase one, don’t get too excited about what you see on eBay. There have been plenty of counterfeits with fake packaging sold on the auction site.
6. 1970 Ed Shaver Custom AMX
This collector’s model was only available in the UK. The blue design was produced to join the Hot Wheels’ Exclusive Racing Car Series. You’ll notice the Ed Shaver stickers located on the car. That’s actually what makes it one of the most expensive Hot Wheels. If you have one, expect to earn a nice payday around $4,000.
Ed Shaver, an American serviceman, was sponsored by Mattel for his drag racing. He was also based out of the UK just like the car company. Some of the models were given out on the track itself while others were part of a cereal promotion. There aren’t many left today, which is what makes them so valuable.
You have to be careful that you don’t confuse the UK version with the American model. The only difference is where the stickers are placed. Buying the UK version is difficult and it’s hard to determine if the labels were placed differently after the fact. That’s why it’s not wise to purchase one of these online, but rather have someone inspect the car for you before forking over any money.
5. 1970 “Mad Maverick” Base Mighty Maverick
What makes this car so rare is the imprinted word ‘mad.’ The original title of this car was the Mad Maverick, but they renamed it after a short production to the Mighty Maverick. In total, only five of these exist, as far as we all know. There have been two blue models, a purple, and another one that wasn’t assembled and features no color. Because they are being sold, it’s hard to figure out the value, but it’s estimated to be several thousand dollars. Even without the value, we know this is one of the most expensive Hot Wheels out there.
To get what it’s worth, you’ll need to find one that has the printed ‘Mad’ on the base. Many collectors compare this model to a unicorn and assume they’ll never see one in person.
4. 1974 Blue Rodger Dodger
It’s not different for Hot Wheels to create a muscle car, but the Rodger Dodger is valuable. If you head to eBay, you might be confused when you see a ton of these models for sale at reasonable prices. That’s because of the color option. The purple, red, and yellow versions are not as collectible. The only one that’s rare is the blue version. That’s because there were only seven of them made and it might have been exclusive to the UK.
Strangely enough, there was a man named Bob Parker who traded in England with a collector and got two of the blue Rodger Dodgers. He wanted more of them, so he asked and received five more. All seven of the models then got sold to U.S. based collectors. He assumed he could get more so he never saved one for his own collection. That was a big mistake.
Now, if you find one of these for sale, you’ll see it costs about $8,000 to acquire one making it one of the most expensive Hot Wheels.
3. 1968 “Cheetah” Base Python
The Cheetah Base Python was never supposed to make it into the public. It was produced in Hong Kong and had a patent pending. Mattel didn’t research the name before creating it and ended up conflicting with the name of Bill Thomas, the GM executive’s Corvette. Because of this, only a few were made previous to the name change. All of the original cars were painted in red and now retail for over $10,000.
If you find one of these, it will have the word “Cheetah” imprinted on the base. To date, only eight have surfaced. It’s one of the original 16 die-cast Hot Wheels models that Mattel released in 1968.
2. 1969 Pink Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb
We only know of one of these most expensive Hot Wheels in existence. It’s now owned by the well-known Hot Wheels collector Bruce Pascal. The prototype was produced in 1969. Surfboards were loaded in the back rear window. With the second model, the surfboards went through side pod instead.
The reason they never produced the prototype version was that the car didn’t fit tracks properly because it was too narrow. Pascal didn’t mind! He spent $72,000 to add this car to his collection. There’s been a report of a second model floating around, but honestly, we think it’s just a rumor. People want to believe there’s another one out there so they can keep their hopes alive of getting one.
If you find the mass-produced variety instead, it’s still worth a small amount. Recent auctions show the 1969 Beach Bomb selling for about $800.
1. 40th Anniversary Diamond Encrusted Otto
What is the most expensive Hot Wheels car? Some of you might not agree with this decision since it wasn’t a production vehicle. Some collectors believe that the Beach Bomb is the most expensive Hot Wheels, be we feel obligated to include this model as well.
Hot Wheels commissioned this car as the 40th anniversary of the company. Don’t you wish you had a birthday present given to you that was this valuable? Even if we did own it, what would we do with it? You certainly couldn’t race it down a track with all those diamonds and sparkle.
In fact, this die-cast car comes with 1,388 blue diamonds, 319 white diamonds, 988 black diamonds, eight rubies, and is constructed from 18k white gold. The diamonds on this car weight 23 carats in total. Jacob Arashben, a celebrity jeweler, spent 600 hours just to assemble this beauty. The total price that Hot Wheels paid to create this car was $140,000. I guess that’s why they only made one.
The underbody of the car is painted with the spectraflame blue while the brake lights are constructed from red rubies. We can only imagine what the company will create during future anniversaries.
Tips on Collecting the Most Expensive Hot Wheels
While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get your hands on one of these super rare Hot Wheels, you might find a few treasures of your own. There are plenty of Hot Wheels in circulation that will easily bring you a couple of hundred dollars. Here are some of our best tips for collecting the most expensive Hot Wheels.
Start by collecting what you like. Pick the cars that appeal to you and don’t focus on strictly finding the most expensive Hot Wheels. Choose a color, year, or specific series to start with. You can even begin by searching through one of the popular Hot Wheels collections.
In addition, make sure you research your purchase before making it. In today’s technological world, there’s no reason to make a bad investment. You have plenty of information available to you to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
If you want to start collecting a certain series, we have some you could look for.
Hot Wheels Collections
Treasure Hunt – these hard to find cars feature a circle flame logo somewhere on the vehicle.
Super Treasure Hunt – these are even harder to find and are upgrades versions of the mainline cars. They feature Spectraflame paint, a TH hidden on the car, and Real Riders wheels.
HWC/RLC Exclusives – these limited high-end cars were only available at HotWheelsCollectors.com. They feature die-cast chassis, die-cast bodies, plus the hand-polished chrome Spectraflame paint. They also come with either Real Riders tires or Neo-Classics Redline wheels. All of them have opening features such as a rear hatch or engine hood.
Premium Cars – this assortment had an intense attention to detail. They also have the Real Riders Wheels and die-cast chassis, but they are available in three varieties. The Car Culture was for vehicle aficionados, the Replica Entertainment designed for film and media buffs, plus the Pop Culture lineup was aimed at the brand lover.
Retailer Exclusives – some series and vehicles were only made available to particular retailers.
Variants – throughout the production years of particular cars, some components were changed or altered. You might notice that wheels got swapped out or the design evolved. The rarer the variation was, the more valuable the car became.
Classic Redlines – as a general rule of thumb, the older a Hot Wheels is, the more it’s probably worth. Of course, you also want to be wary of their condition, but go ahead and visit those flea markets and garage sales hoping to find a rare beauty.
You’ll also start to learn about First Editions, ZAMACs, Customs, and Event Cars the more you’re around the collector world. Enjoy your time collecting and hopefully you’ll find a treasure one day.
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever have one of these most expensive Hot Wheels. If you do, we would love to become your friend. Even though you might not find the Holy Grail of Hot Wheels out there, it’s still fun to hunt. Hit up your local events and see what treasures you might be able to find.