Part of a series of features from The Rock Father™ celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels, Mattel is throwing things back to where it all began... to May of 1968 when a 1:64-scale Spectraflame blue Chevrolet Camaro first hit stores. Elliot Handler, who co-founded Mattel with his wife, Ruth, wanted to do something big. He wanted to create a toy car that was better than anything else out there at the time. It had to look cooler. It had to perform better. And, with a rocket scientist and the help of Harry Bentley Bradley, a designer plucked from General Motors, an icon was born. Famously stating "Those are some hot wheels!," the "fastest metal cars in the world" now had a name and 15 more would join that blue Camaro to become known as the original "Sweet 16." These rides have become highly sought-after, so for Hot Wheels official birthday (May 18), Mattel has unleashed the Hot Wheels 50th Originals Collection. The assortment includes replicas of five Hot Wheels from the Sweet 16, each presented with legacy graphics, detailed Spectraflame paint, Redline wheels, and just like the originals, they come with a collectible button packed alongside the car on reproduction blister packs that look just like they did back in 1968!
It's been a few years since we've seen a real-world Hot Wheels Chevy Camaro available at dealers, but now it's happening again - and better than ever before. Chevrolet and Hot Wheels have announced the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, "celebrating 50 years of partnership, performance innovation and design." Announced ahead of SEMA 2017 in Las Vegas, the special package will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2018, while diecast versions of the vehicle will also be rolling out to retailers as well. Check out the specs below!
Earlier this year, I had the unique opportunity to become one of the very first #KBBDads - an elite team assembled by Life of Dad to partner with Kelley Blue Book to showcase some of the best cars and trucks for families. I headed for KBB Headquarters in Irvine, California where I went hands-on with a fleet of vehicles, hitting the roads of Southern California after getting the details on how to evaluate like the team at Kelley Blue Book - direct from the KBB Editors. Kelley Blue Book is the trusted resource for new and used car buyers, available 24/7 to help people make the best possible buying decisions. Their yearly Best Buy Awards are a pinnacle of what they do, and as we prepare to flip the calendar for a new model year, I'm excited to share with you the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners - a field of 12 vehicles that have secured positions ahead of their competitors. Check out the full list along with a few "Rock Father Picks" below!
Over the past few years, I've spent a fair amount of time testing new cars and sharing my experiences here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine. The qualities that make a good car great can be a subjective thing, but I have some specific points that I'm always looking at any time I get behind the wheel of a new ride - a mix of style, function, performance and price: four key points. My friends at Kelley Blue Book also have four key points that they look for on new cars (occasionally a fifth, "Special Circumstances" i.e. payload on a pickup), but under each - Driving It, Living in It, Living With It and Owning It - they dig even deeper, with five sub-points to keep things consistent across the board, their team doing detailed reviews on over 300+ vehicles each and every year, the most of any site out there. That experience and detail makes Kelley Blue Book the trusted resource for new (and used) car buyers to make the best possible buying decisions, and this month I went hands-on at the KBB headquarters in Irvine, California for a look behind-the-scenes at how it all comes together. I joined the first-ever crew of #KBBDads to hit the road in the five vehicles that KBB has chosen as their Top Picks for Dads this year - each hand-picked from KBB's list of the 16 Best Family Cars of 2016, putting the KBB picks against The Rock Father method to see how they all stack-up.
Whenever The Rock Daughters spy a yellow and black Chevrolet Camaro on the streets, they always shout "there's Bumblebee!" For awhile following the release of Michael Bay's first TRANSFORMERS movie in 2007 (which pre-dated our parenthood by two years), you could actually buy an officially-licensed TRANSFORMERS Edition Camaro through Chevy, and over the years several of the Autobot-badged rides have been spotted not far from Rock Father HQ. With 2017's TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, perhaps a new package will be available for purchase, as Bay has teased Bumblebee's latest version, a 2016 Camaro, possibly based on the ZL1 we saw at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year. Keeping with the classic yellow, the new 'Bee features deeper black accents spread across the wheels, hood and a new ground effects package.
The 2016 Chicago Auto Show is underway at McCormick Place, and with a million square feet of automotive goodness, there's a lot for enthusiasts and families to enjoy. While I'll be rolling out #CAS16 features here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine throughout the week, today I'm highlighting seven things (with a few add-ons) to look for at the auto show - from debut vehicles, to concepts, music, tech and more.