Toy Box Find: 24 Hot Wheels Redlines!

I’m guessing most of you, if not all of you, played with Hot Wheels diecast cars growing up. I know I did, and being four years old at the 1968 debut of the Hot Wheels lineup didn’t hurt! It turns out that vintage “redline” (so named for the red line on the plastic wheels) cars in excellent shape are worth quite a bit of money, as evidenced by this collection of 24 listed for sale here on eBay. 21 bids have driven the price to $1,500 as I write, and believe it or not the winning bidder will still have to pay $15 in shipping fees!

This 1968 advertisement depicts the “Sweet 16” original Hot Wheels cars. Some examples of these are included in the auction, although we really don’t know when these particular Spectraflame (the name for the “candy” transparent paint early Hot Wheels wore) cars were made. There’s a Silhouette, a Beatnik Bandit, and a Cheetah/Python for sure.

The Pit Crew vehicle was one of my favorites as I grew up, but mine (I still have it) is much more worn than this and suffered through an orange repaint at some point. What was I thinking?

The seller does an excellent job of presenting the cars which I’m sure helps the price considerably. Honestly, sellers of full-size cars could learn something from the photography, although I’m not suggesting pulling your car onto the living room carpet for a photo session!

A classic carrying case is included as well. I wonder how many of you had/have one of those, too (yes, I do, although it’s definitely not mint like this one).

I’d love to see which Hot Wheels cars are your favorites! I put three of mine out here — the chrome “Boss Hoss” dates from my childhood, while the Bud Moore Mustang and Triumph TR6 are recent additions to my collection. Please share your favorites in the comments!


WANTED 1958 – 1959 Chevrolet Impala Top dollar paid! Contact

WANTED 1950 Oldsmobile 2 dr coupe Super 88 rust free and running Contact

WANTED 1969 Ford Mustang Wanted 1969 Big block mustang, any condition considered Contact

WANTED 1974-75 Toyota Corolla E5 Yellow, Black Interior, 5 speed. Rust free, any location in US Contact

WANTED 1972 Ford Ranchero GT Ready to go 4 speed, no restoration project, preferably white in Midwest Contact

Submit Your Want Ad



    Never thought I’d see Hot Wheels featured on Barn Finds but it’s cool. This is a very poor picture of 70 of my near 100 different 1963 Corvette split window coupe Hot Wheels.

    Like 53
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We’ve actually featured a few Hot Wheels over the years and they are generally well-received because most car guys have memories of them. Checkout the previous articles here:

      Like 12
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I bet many of us had Hot Wheels and can relate to this entry. It’s kind of like seeing a throw-away economy car featured, more of us had first-hand experience with them as opposed to say a Hemi Cuda. My (small) collection was well-played-with by me, and the grandkids play with those which still are operational.

    This set of good-condition Hot Wheels is not unlike the 93 Cobra featured nearby, from the “I’m glad someone kept them like new, so we can all appreciate seeing them” perspective.

    Like 10
  3. Gunner

    Like with Diamonds in determining value, hotwheel collector’s like us have the 3 C’s. For diamonds it is Color, Cut, and Clarity. For Hotwheel’s, it is Cast, Condition, and Color. Not necessarily in that order. Prices have really taking an upwards swing in value in recent years with focus in the early years of production. Collecting, like other hobbies, can be quite addicting and if you are not careful, will drain your bank account faster than you can say “Mopar”. I have many of these “little cars” as my wife innocently paraphrases, but the ones that are most dearest to me are my redlines, as they are the ones I played with as a kid (although those originals are long gone). Love the Hotwheels write ups!

    Like 8
  4. Melton Mooney

    A Hot Wheels car in 1968: $1 A Hot Wheels car in 2021: $1
    GM could learn a thing or two from Mattel.

    Like 24
  5. Mike

    Years ago, I answered a want ad for old Hot Wheels. I had a bunch of early HW cars and the guy was more than happy to buy up all my well worn & damaged cars for big $$$.

    Like 3
  6. Junior Samples

    I few years ago, there was a Hot Wheels tour that passed through Nashville. I went primarily to get a t-shirt. They we black and had the tour cities listed on the back! Didn’t have my size :( bought one for my toddler nephew. They also had a huge display where you could pull your car in front of it and take photos, where it looked like it was packaged. There were several of the cars shown here, but in life size…got my wife, who’s a looker!, standing in front of some of them…unable to post photos…

    Like 2
  7. G Webtzell

    I still have many of mine from new, buttons included, but about 25 years ago, I sold two full cases of cars. I still regret selling them.

    Like 2
  8. Laurito

    A former work friend is an avid collector. His entire garage is filled with about 10k Hot Wheels…he buys/sells, attends HW shows and other HW events.

    Like 6
    • Mark

      My son has approx 1500 Sq ft dedicated to the storage of his collection. Cars, tracks, original store display racks, games, cases, promos, etc.. And then there’s the Dukes of Hazzard stuff…….it’s mind numbing.

      Like 6
      • Dave V

        At least he has a good hobby!

        Like 4
    • Robert Eddins

      In a way, I envy a collector as him. I bet he gets kind of a warm rush in his mind when he,s in his special room. I hope many years in the future he has a child, or grand child to pass them on to.
      If there is one thing I,very learned is that selling items we have cherished always comes back to us as, “Man, I wish I had never sold that”. Now, we older guys should tell our grand kids that so they keep all their neat stuff.

  9. Dave

    Trivia…the original Sweet16 cars were made in the USA and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong cars tended to have better quality and finer details than the USA cars.
    Before Hot Wheels, there were Matchbox and the larger Corgi cars. Corgis were expensive. Hot Wheels came out right at the peak of the muscle car craze and we all were California dreaming and haunting the newsstands for the latest copy of the car mags.
    I guess that in its own way the fact that Hot Wheels are still being sold is a testament somehow to the popularity of the automotive culture.

    Like 7

      You can still get Cori’s but its the shipping that will make it prohibitive. So plan a trip and go Corgi hunting!

  10. Troy s

    Still have em, stashed away at my folks house somewhere in a bag. Condition wise they would do better in a Hot Wheels junkyard scene, man I beat the crud out of those things. Those orange tracks with the red tongue to build numerous length tracks, I think we wound up smacking each other with those things! Then in the mid seventies I got this high banked oval track that had a shifter on both ends…”powershift 500″ or something like that. Timing was key and done right the Hot Wheel car would hit a certain speed, very fast. Of course most the time I’d pull that handle and send the car flying into a wall! Ha ha, my favorite Hot Wheels and Matchbox equivalents are the most damaged! Great memories…

    Like 5
  11. Mimo

    Kept my spoilers and some others. Not mint, but in good shape. My vice is Regular Wheels Matchbox.

    Like 5
    • Steve RM

      Matchbox Regular Wheels are my thing also. Hot Wheels came out at the same time that I got an Aurora HO slot car set. After that, all my money and interest went into that so I never really got into Hot Wheels. I had Matchbox toys before that. None of which survived. I started collecting Regular Wheels about thirty years ago. I have A LOT more now then when it was a kid. It is a very addictive habit.

      Like 1
  12. Dave V

    At least he has a good hobby!

  13. Jeffro

    My wife and kids give me a hard time for my HW collection. I collect 68-70 GTO’s and VW Rabbits. Only way I can afford the cars of my dreams.

    Like 3
  14. Phil G

    This is a beautiful collection.
    I liked Matchbox, and also Lesney did some larger, wonderfully detailed brass era metal models.
    To me, Corgi toys, and Dinky toys were the most realistic, most fun to play with, some with sprung suspensions.
    Ah, to have no worries as a kid, just playing on the dirt driveway with my cars!

    Like 3
  15. man ' war

    I happen to have a lot of die-cast cars. I sold my original collection from a teenager when I was in my early 20s for about $400 if I recall. Well, over many years my Mom bought little here and a little there and gave them to me well over a decade later. So now I have another bunch of die-cast cars better than the first collection since she bought them all brand new.

    Like 1
  16. Toby Gross

    I have over 3000 hot wheel cars. Some still in the package, some redlines, mongoose, snake and more. Would sell the entire collection at a fair price. Will have to dig them out and list them with barn finds.

    Like 1
  17. Mark Hagene

    Had a small collection in excellent condition for years. Then mom got remarried and and the new grand kids needed something to play with. That was the end of my nice Hot Wheels

    Like 2
  18. Toby Gross

    I have over 3000 hot wheel cars. Some still in the package, some redlines, snake, mongoose, to many to list. would sell the entire collection at a fair price. Need to dig them out and list them on barn finds..

    Like 1
  19. Bryan

    Like the author of this article, I too was just 4 years old when Hot Wheels were introduced. My great grandparents owned a flower shop in Yakima for over 40 years and gassed up their two delivery station wagons at the local Shell station. At the time Shell was giving out Hot Wheels for every fill-up. My great grandmother would bring me grocery bags full of these Hot Wheels! I was a happy kid!

    Like 7
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Cool story!!!

  20. DieselVol

    I’m guessing mine are not worth much, as they all have that little wire axel bend that makes them not roll straight (or at all, sometimes). I think that happened to every one I ever had!

  21. JC

    My favorite has always been the Silhouette.

    Like 1
    • Jerry A

      my favorite of my small mint stash of red wheel hot wheels is the maserati mistral.
      a collector at work saw my stash and gave me some small plastic cases to protect them. i was surprised at how a small detail like louvered rear window on a blue mustang could increase perceived value. glad i have a mint one. i used to have the track and battery operated building that ejected them around the track. i got all the track and such at an old 2nd hand store back in the day. kept the cars but not the track…

      Like 1
  22. Howie Mueler

    These bring really good money if they are still in their blister pack.

    Like 1
  23. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel_Cadillac_Diva Member

    I collect every size die cast model except for Hot Wheels. (Of course)
    I have a Cadillac Eldorado but it’s not a redline.

    Like 5
  24. chuck

    I still have a few of these. I had several others, but they met an untimely demise in the bench vice, or were set on fire, etc. 😆

    Like 3
  25. Ryan Gradoville

    I have about 400 cars and most of that is firetrucks and cars with 4 totes full of cars

    Like 1
  26. GoldStar

    I remember Christmas in 1968. Myself and two of my brothers each received an original boxed set. We played with them all the time and grew quite the herd of Hot Wheels. Fast forward about a decade ago, I am at a bookstore and see a book on Hot Wheels and collecting. It named the going prices for those original cars in the sets we had. I immediately called my mother because she had saved almost all of our toys we had growing up. At the time, those cars were worth $300 each. When I asked my mom if she saved all those Hot Wheels cars we had, she said yes she had and then told me she got tired of keeping them and sold them at one of her many garage sales for 25 cents each. She said they sold real fast. I bet they did.

    Like 2
  27. Alan

    Hey all, reading BF for years and now a first time comment. I have a 1988 GTU with 86,000 orig miles and I 1979 TA w/403 Olds. I know both engines are handcuffed but that’s what I could afford. For the haters out there I realize these were “less stellar” than the 440’s and 428’s my older brother grew up with. Anyway, main reason for this is to say that I have a fairly major HW collection and the GTU plates say HOTWHL 1 since 1988. Because it looks like a Hothwl version of a car, not because I am love with the engine. Was born 10 years too late. Don’t want to wish my life away, but being above ground is better than the alternative.

    Like 2
  28. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Sep 11, 2021 , 5:11PM
    Winning bid:
    US $2,413.88
    [ 30 bids ]

    Like 1
    • Steve RM

      Can anybody explain why this lot brought over $1,000 per car. Ther are very few Hot Wheels valued at $1,000.
      Audtion fever?

      • Howie Mueler

        $1,000 per car? That must be the New Math.

        Like 4
      • Troy s

        If somebody wants something bad enough they’ll pay, guaranteed. Like the dumb Cabbage Patch doll thing years ago, it could be anything that strikes an interest in people or collectors more so.
        Hot Wheels toys have been collectable for a long time and like everything else it becomes expensive…which is an illusion as the toy itself is still worth one dollar. Antique firearms, vintage pocket knives, muscle cars, probably old Barby dolls, all are worth more than any ever dreamed and folks pay.
        Also, there could be several highly sought after(premium price) cars in this collection which drives the price up. Maybe they’re not All worth a thousand dollars each.

  29. David R Member

    I’m also fortunate to have many of the ones I had as a kid from the late 60s to the late 70s. Great childhood memories.

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