Hot Wheels Legends Tour returns to the UK


June 5, 2023 By Mike
Last updated on June 5, 2023
  • Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour returns to the UK to find the ideal car to recreate as one of its iconic die-cast toys 
  • New for 2023, the UK final will be held at RADwood at Bicester Heritage on 2nd September, with 10 finalists on show at the car culture event
  • For the first time, UK fans will also have the chance to vote on Hagerty’s social channels for their favourite car to be fast-tracked to the UK final
  • Entry now open for new, classic, road or track vehicles at www.hotwheelsuklegendstour.co.uk

The chance to have your car perfectly recreated as a Hot Wheels die-cast toy is back along with new opportunities for all UK fans to be a part of the growing Hot Wheels Legends Tour.

For the first time, the Hot Wheels Legends UK final will be open to the public to watch, taking place at RADwood at Bicester Heritage on 2nd September. Fans of all ages will have the chance to appreciate the incredible car builds in the metal and listen to the judges deliberate. Also new for 2023 is the first-ever fan vote, with enthusiasts having the power to select one entry from a shortlist drawn up by media partner Hagerty, to be fast-tracked to the UK final.

Just four years after it launched the competition in the UK, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour has increased in popularity within the car community with over 100 vehicles entered in 2022. Underlining the quality and depth of talent in the UK car scene, finalists from the past two years have both reached the Global Final, with the Volvo P1800 Gasser, Ain’t No Saint, going on to win overall in 2021. Now, thousands of 1:64 scale models of the wild drag racer are being enjoyed across the world.

To become a unique part of the Hot Wheels story, which has witnessed over eight billion toy vehicles roll off its production lines over the past 55 years, entrants simply need to upload a short video and brief description of their build, highlighting its creativity, authenticity and ‘garage spirit’. Vehicles can be new or classic, road or track, with the winner entering the hallowed Hot Wheels Garage of Legends and securing a firm claim to fame in popular car culture history.

The difficult job of judging the 2023 Legends Tour at RADwood will be down to a panel of expert judges handpicked by Hagerty. Guiding the panel will be a Hot Wheels designer, who will be aided by Hagerty’s experts including modified car creator and TV presenter Helen Stanley, presenter and avid car collector Paul Cowland and Sniff Petrol’s Richard Porter.

RADwood is a celebration of the cars and popular culture of the vibrant 1980s and 1990s. The ten finalists will be assembled in Bicester Heritage’s main hangar for fans to enjoy and the judges to pore over.

“The UK consistently delivers a group of incredible finalists, each worthy of becoming a Legend. That makes it one of the closest fought competitions in our growing Tour. From EVs to classic drag racers, the diversity, creativity and passion from the UK entries ensures it’s always an inspiring group for our designers to check out,” says Ted Wu, Global Head of Vehicle Design at Mattel, Inc. “And it keeps getting bigger and better each year. Bringing Hot Wheels Legends to RADwood is an exciting new addition, enabling fans of all ages to get involved and be a part of our global car culture community.”

As part of its expansion, the UK round of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour welcomes Falken Tyres and Castrol Oils alongside Hagerty as official partners for 2023. All ten finalists will receive a mega bundle of Castrol Oils merchandise and the UK overall winner will also be given a set of Falken tyres. Followers of Castrol, Falken Tyre Europe and Hagerty’s social channels will all have the chance to win cool Hot Wheels merchandise and models.

Entry is quick and easy: simply upload a short video and brief information at www.hotwheelsuklegendstour.co.uk before 4th August 2023.

The UK winner will be announced on Hagerty’s Facebook channel, with a video covering the live final, judging, and result announcement to follow. The UK finalist will go on to face winners from nearly 20 other countries including for the first time, France, that will run its Tour live at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Grand Final will take place in the US in November.

Now in its 55th year, Hot Wheels continues to both drive and cultivate global car culture. Alongside the expansion of its die-cast range available in the UK at Smyths, The Entertainer, B&M, Tesco, Sainsburys and leading independent toy shops, the Hot Wheels brand is just as likely to be found in film, gaming, fashion and the automotive lifestyle communities.

To learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour in the UK visit www.hotwheelsuklegendstour.co.uk and follow #HotWheelsLegendsTour.

Hot Wheels Facts

  • Hot Wheels is the leading die-cast brand in the UK, available at Smyths Toys, The Entertainer, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and independent toy shops.
  • Founded in 1968, Hot Wheels is the number one selling toy worldwide with over 16 cars sold every second.
  • Hot Wheels continues to be a key influence on car culture, inspiring full-scale designers, car builders and tuners.
  • Hot Wheels is all about the challenger spirit – its founder Elliot Handler embodied that essence when he created the brand.
  • Hot Wheels’ original design team included a car designer and a rocket scientist. They had a brief to create a toy car that was cooler and performed better than the competition.
  • The inaugural set was called ‘Sweet 16’ and today is highly coveted. It featured a mix of custom cars and ‘rods.
  • To date, over eight billion have been sold.
  • The most valuable Hot Wheels car is said to be the ‘Beach Bomb’ VW bus in pink. Never released to the public, its value has been estimated at $150,000.
  • In 2022, Hot Wheels announced it is working on a new live-action movie. 

* Per NPD 2021

Previous winners: 
2018 – Luis Rodriguez with 2 Jet Z
2019 – Greg Salzillo in his 1957 Nash Metropolitan, AKA ‘THE NASH’
2020 – Riley Stair and a 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 
2021 – The UK’s own Lee Johnstone and his 1969 Volvo P1800 Gasser, dubbed ‘Ain’t No Saint’
2022 – Craig Meaux’s monster truck, Texas Toot