1968

The 1968 Hot Wheels® line of sixteen models included custom cars, race cars, and show cars. All were released in eight Spectraflame colors, some in as many as fourteen, not counting shades. These are the models that have been positively verified as of this writing. Color shades can vary for several reasons: changing intensities in the spray booth, age, and storage are all factors.
Note: Custom Camaro (white enamel), Custom Volkswagen (green enamel) and Ford J-Car (white enamel) were the only cars issued in anything but the normal Spectraflame colors.
All 1968 models were made in both the USA and Hong Kong. All differ between production facilities, some more than others. Hong Kong versions have blue windows and more base detail, whereas USA cars have clear windows and are less detailed.

Beatnik Bandit – 59 mm – 1968–1971
This model is based on the show car designed and built by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. It has a metal base, exposed metal engine, plastic interior (assorted colors), plastic dome roof, and rsw. The Hong Kong version has two headlights sticking through holes under the fender, an engine with supercharger sitting on the base, a grille sticking through the body, a round steering wheel instead of a steering rod as in the real model and longer taillights than the USA version. The USA version has flat headlights inside holes under the fenders, an engine with two carburetors sitting on the body casting, and a steering rod instead of a steering wheel. The grille does not stick through the body.
Similar casting: Beatnik Bandit (1993)

Custom Barracuda – 77mm – 1968–1969
This 1967 Plymouth Barracuda fastback has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and a lift-up hood. The Hong Kong version has longer hood scoops, a large black steering wheel sticking through the interior, and a flat dashboard. The USA version has shorter hood scoops, a small steering wheel as part of the interior, and a raised dashboard. This car is difficult to find in blisterpack.
Similar casting: Custom Plymouth Barracuda 2011

Custom Camaro – 70mm – 1968–1969
This 1967 Chevrolet Camaro has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw and a lift-up hood. Some of the models were issued with a black roof. The Hong Kong version has a flat dashboard, large black steering wheel sticking through the interior and smaller taillights. The USA version has a raised dashboard and a small steering wheel as part of the interior. The Camaro is rumored to be the first Hot Wheels car produced, but this cannot be true because Mattel originally came out with an assortment of 1968 cars. This casting was re-tooled in 2007.
Note: There is a white enamel version of the Camaro which is quite rare and sells for at least ten times more. Only 35 are known to exist; none are blisterpacked and watch for forgeries on white enamel.
Similar casting: ’67 Camaro (1983), Custom Camaro (2013)

Custom Corvette – 70mm – 1968–1971
This 1968 Chevrolet Corvette has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and a lift-up hood. The Hong Kong version has the rear panel in the body casting, a flat dashboard, and a large black steering wheel sticking through the interior. The USA version has the rear panel as part of the base, a raised dashboard, and a small steering wheel as part of the interior. Although not rare, this model’s popularity with Chevy and Corvette collectors makes it one of the more desirable models in the Hot Wheels line. This casting was re-tooled in 2004 for re-issue in 2005.
Note: The Hot Wheels® version of the Custom Corvette was in stores before the full-size Corvettes were in the showrooms.
Similar casting: Custom Corvette (2005)

Custom Cougar – 73mm – 1968–1969
This 1967 Mercury Cougar has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and a lift-up hood. Some models were issued with a black roof. The Hong Kong version has no dashboard, a large black steering wheel sticking through the interior, and larger taillights. The USA version has a dashboard and small steering wheel as part of the interior. This is one of the most difficult models to find in blisterpack. This casting was re-tooled in 2001 for re-issue in 2002. Another version (M7570) was re-tooled in 2007.
Note: Cougars described as having a painted tooth means that in the middle of the grille a line is painted in the color of the car. On average, depending on color, only about 1 in 200 Custom Cougars come with a painted tooth.

Custom Eldorado – 78mm – 1968–1971
This 1967 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe de Ville has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, a lift-up hood, and a black roof. The Hong Kong version has a flat dashboard and a large black steering wheel sticking through the interior. The USA version has a raised dashboard and a small steering wheel as part of the interior.

Custom Firebird – 72mm – 1968–1969
This 1968 Pontiac Firebird convertible has a metal base, a plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and a lift-up hood. The Hong Kong version has a larger, thinner hood scoop, small windshield cowl vent, flat dashboard, and a large black steering wheel sticking through the interior. The seats are at an angle, there is no door outline, and the body casting is higher. The USA version has a large windshield cowl vent, a shorter, thicker hood scoop, raised dashboard, and a small steering wheel as part of the interior. The seats are straight up and the door is outlined.
Note: This is the first convertible produced by Mattel. The red version with red interior and the blue version with blue interior, although not too difficult to find, are quite popular and a little more expensive than other models. An orange version with blue interior exists, but is believed to be a prototype. On average, depending on color, only about 1 out of 150 Custom Firebirds come with the door lines protruding.

Custom Mustang – 71mm – 1968–1969
This 1967 Ford Mustang fastback has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, lift-up hood, black roof and was available with either open or closed hood scoops. It was also issued in smooth or louvered rear-window versions. The Hong Kong casting has a flat dashboard, large black steering wheel sticking through the interior, black rear panel with red taillights, and no fuel cap. There are no vertical bars or black on the front grille. The USA version has a raised dashboard, small steering wheel as part of the interior, and is only black in the center by the taillights. The fuel tank cap is outlined and the black front grille has vertical bars. The open hood scoop model is from Hong Kong and has the taillight section as part of the body. Although not rare, the Custom Mustang’s popularity with Ford and Mustang collectors makes it one of the most desirable models in the Hot Wheels line.
Similar casting: Custom Mustang (1994)
Note: The Mustang with open hood scoops is very rare and has only been found in red or gold. The Mustang with the louvered back window is just as difficult to find and has only been seen in red, blue, orange, and yellow. The 1968 store display Custom Mustang was released in a pink watermelon color and is rare.

Custom T-Bird – 78mm – 1968–1969
This 1967 Ford Thunderbird has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw and a lift-up hood. Some models came with a black roof. The Hong Kong version has no dashboard, a large black steering wheel sticking through the interior, wider taillights, and no black on a larger front grille. The USA version has a dashboard, a small steering wheel as part of the interior, and black on a smaller front grille.
Note: On average, depending on color, only about 1 out of 200 Custom T-Birds come with the door lines protruding.

Custom Volkswagen – 56mm – 1968–1971
This 1967 Volkswagen has a metal base, exposed engine, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and a plastic sliding sun roof. The Hong Kong version has no dashboard, an engine with smaller valve covers sitting on the frame, and a large, short black steering wheel sticking through the interior. The headlights are part of the base and stick through holes in the fenders. The USA version has a dashboard, an engine with larger valve covers sitting on the body casting, a long, small steering wheel as part of the interior, and headlights painted in silver on the fenders.
Note: The dark green enamel and magenta enamel versions are more difficult to find and worth more than any other color. This model has been found in Europe without a sunroof.
Similar casting: Custom Volkswagen (2005)

Deora – 70mm – 1968–1969
This model is based on the custom surfing truck designed by Harry Bradley for Dodge and built by the Alexander brothers. It has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and orange and yellow plastic surfboards on a black flat bed. These removable surfboards stick through the rear window. The Hong Kong version has no dashboard, a large black steering wheel attached to the side of the interior, large front bumper, deep inset grille area, flat headlights, and a frame which is part of the front bumper assembly. The USA version has a dashboard with a small steering wheel as part of the interior, small front bumper, shallow inset grille area, and ribbed headlights. The front is part of the frame and is painted in the car’s color.
Similar casting: Deora (1994)

Ford J-Car – 62mm – 1968–1971
Based on the Ford factory racing machine designed and raced by Carroll Shelby, this model has a metal base, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and lift-up hood. The Hong Kong version has only been seen with no louvers on the rear fenders. It also has a large, short black steering wheel that sticks through the interior, a base painted in white enamel, and a body casting going halfway down the sides. The USA version has louvers on the rear fenders, a body casting going all the way down the sides, a long, small steering wheel on the right side, and an unpainted base.
Similar casting: Ford J-Car 2010

Hot Heap – 55mm – 1968–1971
This model is based on the Model T Roadster convertible known as “Tognotti’s T.” It has a metal base, exposed metal engine, a plastic interior (assorted colors), and rsw. The Hong Kong version has an engine sitting back on the base, a large black steering wheel sticking through the floor, a longer trunk, and a short rear spring brace. The USA version has an engine sitting forward on the body casting, a small steering wheel in the interior and a long rear spring brace.
Similar casting: Hot Heap 2012

Python – 64mm – 1968–1971
Based on Car Craft Magazine’s “Dream Car” designed by Bill Cushenberry, this model has a metal base, exposed metal engine, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, and a black roof. The Hong Kong version has a smaller rear window, no dashboard, large black front grille, sloping interior seats, and a large black steering wheel sticking through the interior. The supercharged engine sits on the base. The body hangs over the base in front and back. The USA version has a dashboard, small black front grille, straight interior seats and a small steering wheel in the interior. The two-carburetor engine sits on the body casting. The body hangs halfway over the base in front but has no overhang in back.
Note: Mattel originally called this the Cheetah but only three models with this name are known to exist. Whether this is a prototype or public issue is uncertain. It cannot be valued without a sales history.

Silhouette –69mm – 1968–1971
Based on Bill Cushenberry’s custom car, this model has a metal base, exposed chrome plastic engine, plastic interior (assorted colors), rsw, plastic dome roof, and a painted base (same color as the car). The Hong Kong version has a large black steering wheel which sticks through the interior and longer, thinner side pipes sticking outside the body. The USA version has the steering wheel as part of the interior and shorter, fatter side pipes showing through holes on the sides.
Note: Very popular in 1968, this is probably the most remembered car of the era (especially the purple Silhouette).
Similar casting: Silhouette (1993)