The Hot Wheels Legends Tour is one of the world’s biggest traveling car shows that attracts new talents in automobile engineering and design. The tour also awards the best with die-cast immortalization. The Hot Wheels Legends Tour started in 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand and now includes several stops in different states of the US and for this year, the show was live-streamed to other countries. At each stop, the show’s judges carefully examined custom-built cars by local builders and marked them based on three factors; authenticity, originality and garage spirit.
Hot Wheels held the final stop in its 2021 Legends Tour on Saturday, Oct. 9th at the Hot Wheels Global Headquarters El Segundo, CA. This year, the tour is a combination of physical and virtual events while also featuring a wide mix of vehicles that reflect LA car culture, including Lowrider, classics, and one-off builds.
In addition to enjoying a great car show, Hot Wheels had a host of celebrity judges who selected a winning vehicle. The winner is invited to the semi-final round, where one vehicle will be immortalized as a Hot Wheels Diecast Collectible.
Judges for the day’s event included:
Ted Wu – Vice President and Global Head of Design for Vehicles at Mattel
Bryan Benedict – Design Director Hot Wheels and Matchbox Die-casts
Jarod DeAnda – former street racer, the voice of Formula Drift, as well as the host of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Livestream events
Estevan Oriol – internationally celebrated professional photographer and filmmaker
Emelia Hartford – SAG-AFTRA actress, car builder, racer and automotive content creator
Jonny Lieberman – Senior Features Editor at Motor Trend
Dave Marek – ACURA Executive Creative Director at Honda R&D
Enthusiasts entered numerous one-offs and custom cars in the event, but the judges selected a 1974 Chevrolet Impala nicknamed the Crystal Ship as the last event’s finalist.
Javier Covarrubias of Los Angeles, California and his 1974 Chevy Impala lowrider – dubbed the “Crystal Ship” – will advance to the North American Semi-Finals on October 28th, and take the next step toward being immortalized as the next 1:64 Hot Wheels die-cast. As in the past, the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour winner will have his or her custom build inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends and made into an official Hot Wheels toy sold – and enjoyed by fans of all ages – around the world.
This 1974 Chevy Impala is a ground-up rebuild that includes the motor, transmission, full paint, interior and more. This car features a Chevy Caprice front clip, bespoke grille, 14” wheels, leather and suede interior accouterments, hydraulic suspension and a candy purple and orange exterior to match.
Covarrubias’ Impala will advance to the next round of the selection process and face off against a diverse list of previous winners. The winner will move on to the grand finale, and the overall winner will earn a spot in the Hot Wheels line, reproduced as a 1/64-scale model.
TJ Russell’s Baja Prerunner Porsche 911 was also selected to receive The Ryu Asada Prize. The Ryu Asada Prize is a new award for this year, given for “excellence in design and storytelling” at each stop on the Legends Tour; it was developed in memory of Hot Wheels designer Asada, who passed away in March 2021. The trophy has a Mighty K on it, which was the final design he saw finished.