Today I’ll be showing off what was jokingly referred to as “LaLD’s Membership Card” because of the number of people here who have one. Hot Wheels’ Red Baron from the 100% collection.
As with most of my posts, there’s some good backstory here.
Tom Daniels was working for Monogram models at the time and was asked to produce something new to attract the younger buyers. Hot Rodding was all the rage at the time (late 60's) and he noticed that the youths (spoken in Clarkson voice) in So-Cal were wearing WW1-era German helmets as a sign of rebellion (every generation has its thing I suppose). He took this idea and ran with it, putting it on a highly modded T-Bucket and going with the WW1 theme - paying homage to one of the best aces of all time, Manfred von Richthofen a.k.a. the Red Baron.
Well in 1968 when it debuted, the kit sold like hot cakes. For 1969 Monogram decided to team with hot rod legend Chuck Miller to build a 1:1 version. Although it uses a T-Bucket body and a Pontiac straight-6, the styling is undeniably German.
Finally in 1970, Mattel was in ownership of Monogram (albeit for a short time) and included some of the original Hot Wheels Red Barons inside. The picture below shows how the 1970 Hot Wheels version was quite different...
After many many years, Hot Wheels finally corrected much of the design of the cast in the 100% version I am showing off here.
Hot Wheels corrected many of the issues from the original casting to make this one look significantly closer to the original made by Monogram. I would say they did an exceptional job as this is probably the most delicate Hot Wheels car ever made. The car itself is TINY and therefore its parts must also be. They did an excellent job and is a wonderful homage to Tom Daniels’ creative work.