Saturday, 22 October 2016

The '78 Dodge Li'l Red Express Pickup is Back for 2017!

How can you not love the '78 Dodge Li'l Red Express Pickup? Or at least have a soft spot for it? After a 1 year hiatus, the '78 Dodge makes its return to the mainline in the 2017 'A' case. This yellow and green beauty is the 6th iteration of the Paul DeLorean-designed casting that debuted in 2012.

Growing up, a guy on my street had this truck and I'd sure as heck be running for the window when I caught it passing by. At first glance, the side stacks make you think the Li'l Red Express is a nostalgic daily driver for retired truckers. It's anything but. The real thing had the fastest 0-60mph time of any mass-produced American automobile in 1978 according to Car and Driver. Emissions law loopholes and a modified police engine accounted for the haste. Basically, the Li'l Red Express is one cool (and fast) little pickup.

We know the real thing is cool, but what about the Hot Wheels Li'l Red Express? Usually unique real cars make for great diecast, and the Hot Wheels Li'l Red Express is no exception. The stacks are plastic, which makes them look more realistic than molded diecast stacks would have and the scale is surprisingly accurate thanks to the Li'l Red Express being a smaller pickup in real life.

Let's talk liveries. In 2015, the Dodge was coated in flames. Flames worked in white and ice blue, but not so much in purple and yellow. The 2017 livery is yellow with green accents. It evokes a little John Deere (but not much) and looks period-appropriate. Plus, the licensed Firestone tampos are a nice touch.

Ultimately, the deco works and the casting is great, so I'm more than happy to see the '78 Dodge Li'l Red Express Pickup return to the 2017 Hot Wheels mainline. Enjoy the photos! (I've been playing with lighting, so something's a little off with this set)

Happy Collecting!!

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