When I collect every variation of a particular Hot Wheels casting, I do a post for you guys and gals called 'casting complete.' It makes a nice little visual checklist for you completionists out there. You can check out all of my past 'casting complete' posts here! While I'm not going to stop doing these 'casting complete' posts, I am going to change the name to 'casting up-to-date' for the simple reason that most of the castings I feature are still being used and could see a new release any day. This way, you'll know I'm up-to-date as of the day of publication.
Now that we've got that housekeeping issue out of the way lets talk Mopar. At first glance, there's nothing special about the '69 Charger 500 casting. It's just another iteration of one of the most iconic muscle cars ever. No big deal. There's a story behind this one, though. Why did Mattel release a second '69 Charger casting, when the first one was developed in 2004 and still serves well as an accurate '69 Charger replica? At first I thought it was just an update. A 'make-a-modern-tooling' scenario. Then I realized both castings were still being released by Mattel. So I did some research.
The '69 Dodge Charger 500 was specifically designed by Dodge to compete in NASCAR racing. For a production car to be NASCAR eligible back then, it needed to have 500 units made; hence the '500' moniker. The 500 differs from the standard '69 Charger most noticeably in its Coronet derived front grille and rear window that's flush with the body work instead of being inset as on the standard '69. In other words, the 500 isn't your average 'General Lee'. Rather, it's a purpose built Torino-slayer designed for NASCAR. However, it couldn't keep up with the Torino and Cyclone Ford offerings, so Dodge countered with the Daytona and Superbird 1-2 punch. The rest is history. Enjoy the photos...
'69 Charger 500 (Photo Courtesy of 'Mopar Muscle' Magazine)