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Episode 43 – Hot Wheels vs Matchbox

Welcome to the auto podcast that can’t have Steve Brown on two shows in a row… but we probably should because he’s a great interview and a cool dude overall. If you haven’t listened to the last episode, you’ll certainly want to take it for a spin around the block. Winter is in full effect here in the Midwest, but the days are longer. In a month or so, we’ll dig the summer cars out of hibernation and prep for an exciting season of autocross, trail-running, and car shows. Until that time we have some fresh podcast content for you.

In this episode, we bring everyone up-to-speed on President Biden’s plan to electrify the federal vehicle fleet, catch up with Carlos Ghosn’s soldier of fortune, and discuss why you should always leave your car in PARK while you’re paying for parking. All that and more in Episode 43.


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Eric recaps the tragic death of Eric’s beloved daily driver and trail rig, Treehugger 2.0, which met its fate one afternoon while running errands. We discuss the accident, how it happened and why it’s a good to have extra Treehuggers on hand so you can dust them off and put them right back into daily service. RIP, 2.0… you will be missed.  

Daryl purchased a crapload of parts from RockAuto for the ‘58 Plymouth, including ball joints (closeout) and wheel cylinders and wheel bearings. With the new master cylinder, he should be set to have working brakes as soon as it gets warm enough. That also means he’ll have a total of three cars that need brake work this spring. He also ‘waxes poetic’ about Jax Wax ceramic wax, which he put on his 2017 Tundra before winter set in. The ice and snow glide off the Tundra, which is another reason to keep your un-garaged daily drivers clean and protected before the snow flies.

Race Daily Kill

Hot Wheels vs Matchbox

In a previous show, Eric talked about how 3D BotMaker’s YouTube channel helped rekindle his interest in Hot Wheels cars. Like any red-blooded American gearhead, we both love model cars and trucks of yesteryear.

They’re also way easier to bring home than actual cars.

Our good friend and lister Jake Irish took things a bit further by offering us a wonderful suggestion: Explain whether you were a Hot Wheels kid or a Matchbox kid. Great idea, Jake!

You’ve heard of Ford vs Ferrari. Well, this is Hot Wheels vs Matchbox.

  • Introduced by Mattel in 1968
  • Featured race track sets
  • Custom cars featured prominently in the early 70s
  • Introduced by Lesney in 1953
  • Pioneered ‘low-friction’ wheels in the 1960’s
  • Purchased by Mattel in 1997 and now shares a parent company with Hot Wheels.

Top three most valuable vintage Hot Wheels* cars

  1. (1969) Rear-loading Volkswagen Microbus Beach Bomb (pink): $100,000 to $150,000
  2. (1971) Olds 442, Hot Wheels (purple): $4,682
  3. (1969) Custom AMX, Hot Wheels (blue): $4,357

Top three most valuable vintage Matchbox cars*

  1. (1961) Magirus-Deutz Truck, Matchbox (tan/orange): $11,822
  2. (1966) Opel Diplomat, Matchbox (sea foam green): $6,682
  3. (1965) Dodge Wreck Truck, Matchbox (green/yellow): $5,911

*Value data from the Detroit Free Press

The Verdicts

Eric: We have a Matchbox display at the local soda fountain in Fairbury, called Bellot’s.  You could spin the cars around and pick your number, and they’d pull up a small box and sell you the car you picked. I distinctly remember buying this camper truck model. Maybe it was foreshadowing my future.  So wild when I think back. 

Daryl: I was definitely a Matchbox fan as a kid, and still am today. I thought they were more realistic than Hot Wheels, which I always appreciated. I collected their  “World Class” series with painted headlights and taillights and real rubber tires!  I even had the display stand for them and had them on my dresser for way too long. They’re in a closet now covered in dust. 

What about you? Are you #TeamHotWheels or #TeamMatchbox?

Let us know at info@throwinwrenches.com and we’ll give you a shout-out on the next episode. Special thanks to Jake Irish for letting us run with this segment.


International News

Where in the World is Carlos GoshnMan Wanted in Carlos Ghosn’s Escape Accuses US of ‘Betrayal’

Source: Associated Press

A U.S. Army Special Forces veteran accused, along with his son, of smuggling former Nissan Motor Co. Chair Carlos Ghosn out of Japan in a box is imploring U.S. officials to block their extradition

BOSTON — A U.S. Army Special Forces veteran accused, along with his son, of smuggling former Nissan Motor Co. Chair Carlos Ghosn out of Japan in a box is imploring U.S. officials to block their extradition.

Photo: AP

In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, days after a judge cleared the way for the pair to be handed over to Japan, Michael Taylor said he fears they will be treated unfairly in the Japanese legal system. Taylor, a former Green Beret and private security specialist from Massachusetts, said he feels betrayed that the U.S. would try to turn him over to Japan after his service to the country.

You dedicate your time in the military and you serve in combat and you do a whole bunch of other things,” Taylor said from the suburban Boston jail where he and his son, Peter Taylor, have been locked up since May.And now they volunteer to extradite me and my son to Japan for something like this? Yeah, you feel a great sense of betrayal.

National News:

Legendary Auto Parts Manufacturer Edelbrock is Shutting its California Headquarters

Source: The Drive

According to a January filing with California’s Economic Development Department, longtime parts-maker Edelbrock announced it would be permanently closing its Torrance base, affecting the facility’s 270 employees with an unconfirmed number of layoffs. This includes workers in the company’s office-based divisions like sales and advertising, as well as employees in the research and development, testing, and manufacturing areas. It did not list a reason for the closure. Edelbrock has been headquartered in Torrance since its inception in 1938. As the story goes, Kansas-born Vic Edelbrock Sr. moved to California in the early 1930s and fell in love with hot rod culture. Edelbrock has been owned by Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), a private equity firm, since 2010. IOP also acquired COMP Performance Group in February 2020.

President Biden to Make Entire 645k Federal Vehicle Fleet Electric

Source: Eletrek.co

President Joe Biden has just announced that he will replace the entire US federal fleet with electric vehicles made in the US.

The US federal fleet consists of over 645,000 vehicles, according to the latest Federal Fleet Report. This includes 245k civilian vehicles, 173k military vehicles, and 225k post office vehicles.

Dealers Call on Nissan to Revive Xterra

Source: Automotive News

Stoked by the market frenzy now greeting the return of long-dormant SUVs such as the Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender, some wishful Nissan dealers are calling for the return of their own long-absent model — the funky Xterra SUV. And according to dealers, the automaker is now listening. The pickup-based sport-ute, once referred to as “the car that saved Nissan” for bringing an infusion of sales to the then-struggling brand in 1999, was discontinued after the 2015 model year, a casualty of new safety regulations and a consumer pivot from truck-based utility vehicles to lighter unibody crossovers.

“Other than the Z car in 1970, the Xterra was the best launch we’ve ever had. It would be great if Nissan would recognize that the Xterra should come back.”

– Scott Smith, Smith Automotive Group President and Nissan National Dealer Advisory Board Chairman, Automotive News, Jan. 25

EVs Don’t Like Winter Weather

Source: WardsAuto

In News of the obvious…

The barriers to EV ownership are coming down. Battery costs are dropping and will reach parity with Internal combustion engine powertrains in just a few years. Range anxiety is becoming less of an issue as more public charging stations get built. And consumers soon will have a rich choice of models to choose from in almost every showroom. But the auto industry faces a major development challenge with EVs: They don’t like winter weather. Or, more properly stated, EV batteries don’t like cold temperatures.

Tundra V6 News

Source: Torque News

Things are evolving and about to change in the Toyota truck world. You see, a next-generation Tundra is coming for the 2022 model year. And we really do not know much about specifics yet. We expect an official announcement within the next month or so, but time will tell where this timeline ends up falling.

But what about the new engine (or engines)? People have associated Tundra with its trusty 5.7-liter engine for what seems like a lifetime. It produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. torque. 

Rumors are circling. We may see a twin-turbo Toyota Tundra engine. There could be a hybrid option. Maybe even keeping the 5.7 as an alternative – or a different V8.  (insider scoop… no go!)

Local News:

3,500 Signed Petitions may Save Small Peoria Businesses From Relocating

Source: CIProud.com

Glen Haven shopping center on the corner of Glen Ave. and University St. in Peoria is home to 7 small businesses, and Club Car Wash intends to build its third facility in Peoria at the shopping center. In efforts to save the shopping center, Erica Pamson created the petition on Monday and currently has over 3,500 signatures. During Tuesday’s Peoria City Council meeting, the city decided to postpone taking any further action on the site for another 30 days.

Illinois Rate Cap Bill Would Impact Auto Lending

Source: Automotive News

An Illinois Senate bill that would place a 36 percent cap on interest charged on all loans extended in the state below $40,000 is drawing concern from dealership and auto finance leaders. The Illinois Legislature passed SB 1792 on Jan. 13, which includes a provision titled the Predatory Loan Prevention Act, which some experts say limits credit access to consumers who fail to qualify for lower interest rate terms. It now goes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his signature. The bill illustrates the tightrope regulators and government bodies walk-in crafting rules that expand credit access for high-risk populations without burying those borrowers under insurmountable debt.

Moment of Musk

Elon Musk Loses Round One Vs Indian American Student Who Sued Him

Source: news.google.com

A California state judge rejected Musk’s argument that the suit filed by Randeep Hothi was baseless and should be thrown out as an attempt to silence the billionaire’s free speech.

Randeep Hothi
Randeep Hothi

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk failed to turn the tables on a critic of the company who sued him for defamation.

A California state judge rejected Musk’s argument that the suit filed by Randeep Hothi was baseless and should be thrown out as an attempt to silence the billionaire’s free speech.

Hothi, a University of Michigan graduate student known as “@skabooshka” on Twitter, drew Musk’s wrath two years ago after two incidents, both of which Hothi claims were harmless.

Someone even set up a GoFundMe for Hothi's legal defense fund. 
Someone even set up a GoFundMe for Hothi’s legal defense fund.

In the first, in February 2019, Hothi was confronted by a security guard when he showed up — to do research, he says — at the Tesla sales center in Fremont, California. In the second, in April 2019, Hothi said he was driving when he spotted a Tesla test car and took photos of it, which he later posted online.

Musk complained about Hothi in an email to an online tech editor, describing him as a liar and accusing him of “almost” killing Tesla employees when he was trying to drive away from the sales center.

Hothi claimed that Musk triggered an online hate campaign against him in the complaint he filed in August in Alameda County Superior Court.


Ford Mach-E Easter Egg Found!

Source: Mach-E Forum.com 

The rear axle in Ford’s new 346 horsepower Mach-e has an Easter egg in the rear differential casting that says “Electric Ponies Live Here”. How cute. How lame. Real performance cars don’t have to advertise they’re powerful. They just bark and everyone listens. 

 We think it’s safe to say this is #NotMyMustang.

Cars of the Weak

Eric:  1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider 1600

Bring a Trailer listing


Eric’s pick this week is a very sleek Italian roadster. More specifically, a 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider in a non-traditional blue with a black convertible top. Powered comes from a 1,570cc twin-cam aluminum four-cylinder shifted through a five-speed manual transmission. The seller claims this car was sold new in Milan, Italy, and is only a two-owner car hailing from the San Francisco area since 1980. Eric likes the smaller chrome bumpers, 15-inch Borrani wheels, Veglia gauges, and the newer black leather with red piping. This would be a lovely addition to Eric’s virtual garage.

Daryl: 1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe 2 Door Sedan

Vintage Chevrolet Club of America listing.


Daryl’s friend John is selling his ‘50 Chevy after enjoying it a few years. It’s a 61,000-mile cream puff that still sports its original paint and interior – Just how Daryl likes them! Mechanically the car has been gone through and the 235 and first-year Powerglide 2-speed trans go like new. While in Florida in 2016, Daryl and his Dad stopped by to visit John and spent an afternoon driving this beautiful Styleline through the backroads of horse country in Ocala. It was such a sweet old car if you’re not in a hurry since it’s slow as molasses… but even still, he wouldn’t mind owning it. 


Thanks for listening, everyone!

Feel free to share this episode with another person who ‘gets it’ and we’ll catch you on the next episode!

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