- Announced at Jay Leno’s Garage on Nov. 13, the 1969 Volvo P1800 from the United Kingdom will be inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends™ and immortalized as a 1:64 Hot Wheels® die-cast toy sold around the world
- Panel of judges consisted of Hot Wheels designers, automotive experts and celebrity car aficionados
The winner of the 2021 Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour was selected today during a global livestream event at Jay Leno’s Garage. Hailing from Somerset, England, the 1969 Volvo P1800 built by Lee Johnstone will join a prestigious group of custom cars in the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends™ and will be forever immortalised as a 1:64 Hot Wheels® die-cast toy.
This Volvo P1800 “Ain’t No Saint” Gasser was originally registered as new in 1969. Its owner, 71-year-old mechanic Lee Johnstone, acquired the vehicle as a rusty rolling shell before thoroughly restoring, modifying, and transforming it into the quarter-mile monster it is today. Sporting a Chevrolet 454 big block, its new power plant is capped with a 671 GMC supercharger and dual four-barrel carburettors. Finished in a fitting shade of Volvo green, it is a true culmination of more than 50 years of ‘race it, break it, build it better’ experience. Perhaps most importantly – and in true challenger spirit – “Aint No Saint” is also a family affair, with Lee’s three daughters, Eleanor, Sarah and Victoria sharing in the driving duties and his wife, Sue, on standby to help.
Finishing its fourth year, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour is a worldwide competition spanning 11 countries and five continents, making it the world’s largest international travelling car show. Thousands of builds were submitted to compete in a series of in-person and virtual stops, which began in April 2021. Over the past seven months, some of the most unique and inspiring custom creations went head-to-head, all for a chance to become the next Hot Wheels die-cast toy sold – and played with by fans of all ages – across the globe.
This year’s global Grand Finale was co-hosted by celebrity car enthusiast Jay Leno and motorsports ambassador Jarod DeAnda during a virtual livestream event, where they were joined by an array of automotive and design experts from around the world to complete the task of choosing the 2021 winner. Also on stage was Ted Wu, Global Head of Design for Vehicles, Mattel; Bryan Benedict, Director of Vehicles Design, Mattel; Brendon Vetuskey, Vehicles Designer, Mattel; Henrik Fisker, automotive design icon; Elana Scherr, senior editor of Car and Driver; car customiser and automotive electronics guru Mad Mike; and automotive content creator and drifting enthusiast Sara Choi.
“The Hot Wheels Legends Tour has truly become a global celebration of custom car creations,” said Ted Wu, Vice President, Global Head of Design for Vehicles, Mattel. “With the addition of five new countries in the Tour, we have been able to reach and interact with millions of new fans and builders from around the world. The Volvo Gasser is a wonderful expression of authenticity, creativity and most importantly, garage spirit. We look forward to welcoming Lee Johnstone and his 1969 Volvo P1800 into the Hot Wheels family and presenting the world with our newest Hot Wheels Legends Tour die-cast toy.”
“Having my family here with me for this moment was so special,” said Lee Johnstone. “I am excited to have my car become a Hot Wheels die-cast toy and to be able to share my passion project in 1:64 scale with the world. It’s amazing to be the first U.K. winner.”