As I promised, I finally got around to doing my first custom job. The original plan was to take a derelict car that I didn't like so much, then restore it. But then on Sunday night I found myself walking into Jewel-Osco and finding a rack full of fantasy Hotwheels cars (I originally went there to buy a new hair brush and pick up some sweet Sam Adam's Cold Snap).

The cars aren't what attracted me, but their wheels. I immediately noticed this white van...its wheels were the exact color of the smart fortwo I bought months ago. I had not planned on doing any custom work on this car...but with those awesome wheels, oops?


I started off with a Hotwheels van (I'm not even sure what it was really called, I just bought it to cannibalize its parts) and a Matchbox smart fortwo cabrio W450. I wanted the red wheels on the smart.


I hit a couple snags:

- My drill bit must be too big. Instead of breaking off the rivet, the drill flattened it into a smooth bowl. I had to drill into the plastic just a tad (less than 1mm) to break the chassis free from both cars. Unfortunately, this means the undercarriage of the smart doesn't look super clean. :(

- Since the van is wider than the smart, its wheels are also wider. This means the wheels don't really fit all that well (the axles poke out too) and the rear wheels don't move unless they're in a certain position (that whey won't stay in because of the axle).


- The axles were mounted to the van's chassis in a way that they could not be removed without damaging the chassis or bending the axles. So the van didn't survive the wheel swap.

Is there a way to solve my axle issue? And would moving down a size on the drill bit solve that issue as well?


The car is mostly done. I intend on fixing the wheels (if possible), filling in that side window (not sure why the MBX smarts aren't very well made), adding a towing hitch, and a few more details.

But so far, I'm satisfied with my result!! :)