I think LaLD's custom scene has giving me the most inspiration as a collector. I long thought "I wish they made that in this color" or "this would look so much better with these wheels". LaLD's customizers inspired me to make them happen, rather than sit and wish. Here are the fifteen favorite custom projects that I did over our first year:

15. Vector WX3 - I wanted this model so bad and when I finally came across one, the wheels on it were god awful. A simple swap made it a completely different car.

14. Shelby GR1 - Here's one of my earlier customs. I knew they released this casting in a correct, chrome finish, but I had the opportunity to trade for this one with Carnage. Khaki on orange over brown... WHATTTT?

I stripped it down, resprayed the body and interior, then added some details. A simple color change that built a whole lot of confidence! If I had to do it over again, I'd make it a Zamacs that you crazy kids are doing these days. Carnage actually went back and did just that after.

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13. Porsche 996 - Another trade from Carnage. The Porsche in the middle didn't look like the others at first, but now it does!

12. Butterfingers '96 Mustang Convertible - One of the many cars I removed tampos from. A little acetone took this car from a toy to a model.

11. Lamborghini Murcielago - The police cruiser tampos had to go. And they did. Then I added tail-lights!

10. Ferrari 456 - Flames on a Ferrari are so cliché. So I took them off with acetone for a classy green ride.

9. Aston Marton DB5 - This was a happy accident. I needed the lace wheels of this DB5 for another project, these are the wheels that came off that project. They're badass!

8. Jaguar XK8 - Another car with tampos I didn't care for. This was also part on the sugar rush series as the '96 Mustang; it had giant 100 Grand graphics all over it. I took them off to leave me with a classy droptop.

7. Jaguar XJ220 - A completely different Jag than the last entry, but still the same deal. I've had this one since I was a kid, but I hated the tampos. I got rid of the giant paws on the side of the car and had an awesome orange xj220.

6. Merc Wagon - Eddie sent me this E class wagon as a little extra in a trade we had. It was a little beat up and most of the green paint had started flaking. I swapped the wheels, added some low, and painted it black for a real badass look. Thanks Eddie!

5. Cadillac Sixteen - Another car that I didn't care for at first. I stripped off the flashy red paint in favor of a subtle flat black. I added a few details and it quickly became one of my favorites. This was an early custom.

4. Pontiac Banshee Resto-mod - I forced enginerrrrrr to trade this play-worn concept car to me because I wanted to give it new life. Some fresh paint and new wheels brought this car back.

3. Toyota MR2 - As some of you know, I'm the happy owner of a low mileage AW11! What better custom project than to build a replica of your own car? The Matchbox body splits in two, so I was able to keep the lower graphics and still paint the car to match. Wheels swapped over from a Hot Wheels car were a perfect match.

2. Ford Mustang Cobra R - Even with all of the Mustangs Hot Wheels has cranked out over the years, they still haven't made my favorite yet. This was my first major build, which involved building the powerdome hood, body kit and rear wing, and a wheel swap.

1. Orlove's Baja Bug - This one was the most fun build I worked on. It was challenging too; I had to fill in the roof, create the towing assembly, and work in small details like the iron cross on the fender.

Thanks LaLD! Here's to another year of customs