JDM Stars at the Hot Wheels Legends Tour in El Segundo, CA
We visited the 2019 Hot Wheels Legends Tour when it stopped off at the Hot Wheels HQ in El Segundo, CA on 18 May 2019. The traveling car show stops at 18 cities around the US, searching for the next custom vehicle to become a Hot Wheels die-cast car. A panel of star judges select their favorite car from each event and the 18 winners will gather at the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas where one vehicle will be inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends. The winning car is also transformed into a 1:64-scale Hot Wheels die-cast car for posterity.
Thousands of visitors came to see the hundreds of cars on display in El Segundo, which included some incredible JDM machinery. We’ve compiled a gallery of some of our favorites here. They included the Bisimoto 1991 Civic Wagon, which was unveiled at SEMA 2018. The K24 Honda engine uses a 72mm billet turbo to generate more than 1000hp, necessitating an all-wheel drive conversion based on Honda CR-V components.
At the other end of the spectrum was a diminutive Honda N600. As the first Honda imported into the US, it was originally fitted with a 600cc air-cooled two-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. However, Dean Williams replaced the engine with a Honda VFR800 motorcycle engine. Turned sideways, it drives the rear wheels via a paddle shifter. The engine is mounted in a Miata subframe and makes 115hp. A Miata rear subframe also provided independent suspension and houses the Ford rear diff.
We also enjoyed seeing the 2019 Super Street Toyota Corolla XSE in the flesh. This is another car that was launched at SEMA 2018 and was designed to show the potential of the new platform. Starting at less than $20k and having a manual transmission option, it’s a great place for drivers to start. The car was modified with RS-R coilovers, Volk Racing TE37SAGA, Auto Tuned carbon fiber body kit, A’PEXi exhaust, Wilwood brakes, Corbeau Sportline RRS seats and a Pioneer sound system.
From micro cars to widebody GT-Rs, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour had something for everybody. And while we were enjoying the JDM cars, the Legends Tour judges, which included Jay Leno and Adam Carolla, had selected Greg Salzillo’s ’57 Nash Metropolitan “Nashole” as the winning car. You can see it, the collection of Hot Wheels favorites and an incredible array of supercars in our separate blog at eneos.us/blog
For more information about the 2019 Hot Wheels Legends Tour visit: hotwheels.mattel.com/explore/HW_50th/en/legends-tour