1974, Mattel spiced up the Hot Wheels line up by using for the first
time a new technique for painting multi-color designs on the
technique was called "tampo" painting, and it basically consisted of
using a soft roller to
apply the paint to the car. Most of the Flying Colors cars were
produced in a
single enamel color, although several cars appeared in second alternate
color, all of which
are fairly rare.
Four of the cars that appeared in the 1969-70 Grand Prix Series were
reprised in 1974 as Flying Colors cars. They were the Ferrari 312P, Porsche 917, Chaparral 2G and the
Brabham Repco F1. The Chaparral and Brabham Repco were renamed
the Winnipeg and RASH 1, respectively.
The Winnipeg is a nice
re-issue of the Chaparral. It was painted in yellow enamel with
blue and orange tampos. The plastic spoiler was re-created in
orange to match the color scheme of the car. Original Winnipeg
spoilers are scarce
and reproductions abound. As with most Flying Colors cars, the
Winnipeg usually has non-removable
open hub wheels. However, a few Winnipegs have been found with
cap style wheels.
Flying Colors Winnipegs with original orange spoiler.
The RASH 1 is the Flying
Colors version of the Brabham Repco F1. The RASH 1 was produced
in three different colors: green, light green and dark
blue. Green is the most common color for the RASH 1, and light
green is a bit harder to
find. Dark blue is the rare alternate color. A few very
rare white interior RASH 1s
have been found.
The RASH 1 in light green, green and
The Flying Colors Ferrari 312P
was produced in red enamel with blue and white racing stripes, #30
numbers and Ferrari logos on the sides of the car.
The 1974 version has a metal base; later versions have a black plastic
base. Most of
these cars had open hub wheels all around, but they also can be found
with rear cap style
wheels. A blackwall version of the Flying Colors 312P has been
seen. These cars
appeared in boxes in Japan and - curiously! - in 2-packs that were sold
Flying Colors Ferrari 312P
A Flying Colors 312P with rear cap
wheels in the blister!
A blackwall Ferrari 312P and Japanese
There were several versions of the Flying Colors Porsche 917 produced between 1974
and 1977. In it's first iteration, the 917 was painted in orange
enamel with yellow, red and magenta tampos. This car had a metal
base, and the word
"Porsche" is included in the painted stripes. Later versions (c.
1976) had a black plastic
base. At some point during 1975, Mattel changed the name of this
car to "P-917", presumably
to circumvent a licensing issue. Most plastic base cars have
"P-917" in the
tampos, rather than "Porsche". Metal base cars with "P-917" in
the tampos are rare,
as are plastic
base cars with "Porsche". An alternative color Porsche 917 was
in red enamel with yellow, orange and magenta tampos. In 1976, a
chrome P-917 was
issued as part of the Super
Chromes series. This car is quite hard to find. A blackwall
version of the P-917 appeared in 1977-78 and can be found both in
Italian Mebetoys boxes and
on Flying Colors cards. Of
course, the Porsche 917 was one of the cars featured on the original
Flying Colors blister cards
and carrying cases.
and red Porsche 917s on the left, orange and chrome P-917s on the right.
birds: alternate red Porsche 917 (L) and P-917 (R).
The Super Chromes P-917
An Italian Mebetoys boxed P-917 with
Fans of the Ferrari 312P and the Porsche 917 also love the 1974 Double
Dare track set. A simple downhill race set with a finish gate,
the Double Dare set
featured the Flying Colors 312P and 917. The set is quite hard to
original cars. As an added bonus, the side of the box features
photos of all the 1974
Colors cars, including a few prototypes.
The Double Dare track set.
other race cars that debuted in the Flying Colors line up are popular
among Grand Prix collectors. These cars include the following:
El Rey Special (1974)
This car was produced in four different colors; blue and light blue are
Steam Roller (1974)
This car was later issued in two Super Chromes and several blackwall
Mercedes C-111 (1974)
Originally issued in 1972, this car featured working gull-wing doors.
American Victory (1975)
Based on a McLaren M8B, this was one of the first Hot Wheels cars to
feature a chrome plastic base.
Formula 5000 (1976)
This car was also a Super Chromes casting in 1976.
Formula P.A.C.K. (1976)
The Formula P.A.C.K. is a slightly modified re-issue of the El Rey
Special. It was produced through 1977 with blackwall wheels on
the late-production cars. Consequently, the redline version of
this car is easier to find than the blackwall version!
Second Wind (1977)
Fashioned after the "Mach 5" car of 1970s cartoon character "Speed
Racer", this car debuted in the last year that Mattel used redline
tires. As a result, it can be found with both redlines and
blackwalls. The redline version is much more difficult to find.
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