Custom car builders vie each year for their ride to be chosen as a Hot Wheels toy design for everyone to buy.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

November 21, 2022

10 Slides

The first Legends Tour was established in 2018 to celebrate Hot Wheels' 50th anniversary. The winner's real-life car was turned into one of the company's signature 1/64th-scale die-cast toys.

With worldwide competitions, thousands of car enthusiasts have entered to earn the chance to advance to the world finals, where their car could be chosen as the latest Hot Wheels Legends Tour winner.

The 2022 version of the tour visited 16 countries on five continents.

Judges based their scores on three criteria: authenticity, creativity, and garage spirit.

"Authenticity" is defined as a vehicle that inherently looks like a full-size Hot Wheels toy. "Creativity" refers to the need for the design to be unique, because Hot Wheels has 25,000 different models. "Garage Spirit" refers to the car's back story and how the builder created it.

"I tend to think practical," remarked judge Jay Leno, "and when I see these outrageous things I realize just how free people can get with their minds and their talent and their ability. It amazes me. I come here and I always see something I've never seen before."

This year's winner is a Japanese Domestic Market 1992 Autozam Scrum mini-truck dubbed “Texas Toot,” by builder Craig Meaux of Beaumont, Texas.  Texas Toot was customized in Meaux’s garage, starting as a stock Japanese import in 2020, before becoming this year’s Hot Wheels Legends Tour champion. This custom vehicle incorporates a fabricated five-foot hydraulic lift, Chevrolet 454 big-block, GM Turbohydramatic 400 automatic transmission, 12-inch-drop reverse-rotation FTI transfer case, 250-shot nitrous oxide kit, train air horns, and massive custom welded 30"x15" wheels.

Related:Hot Wheels Delivers Legends Tour Model to Stores

“The competition was strong in 2022, but turning a Japanese mini truck into a monster truck was hard to beat,” said Ted Wu, Vice President, Global Head of Design for Vehicles, Mattel. “As the first truck to be crowned since the inception of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, we hope Craig’s passion project inspires builders and fans from around the world to set big goals and follow their dreams. I cannot wait to see what this super-sized mini truck looks like in 1:64-scale.”

“I wasn’t expecting to win, so this is a dream come true,” said Meaux. “I wanted to create something that no one else had. I didn’t have previous experience with this sort of fabrication, so it’s awesome that it came out the way it did and to have everybody enjoy the truck.” 

Click through our gallery to see Texas Toot and the other nine top-ten finalists in the 2022 Hot Wheels Legends Tour.

Related:How Hot Wheels Uses a Surgical Simulator and 3D Printing to Turn Real Life Custom Cars into New Toys

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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