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(Tommy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Joel)>> Today on Detroit Muscle Road Burner gets a shot at being immortalized as a piece of miniature Mopar memorabilia.

(Tommy)>> Plus we hit the road for a MoParty! [ Music ] [ engines revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Hey guys, welcome to Detroit Muscle. You know when it comes to old Road Burner this thing oozes the name on my shirt.

(Joel)>> I mean just take a look at this thing. Cool stance, Hemi power, TKX five-speed with the pistol grip, and of course that cool patina finish that you just can't buy cause quite frankly that's mother nature's handiwork right there.

(Tommy)>> When we pulled this Plymouth out of that shipping container we knew what we had was a diamond in the rough. That's what I'm talking about! That looks more in my price range for sure. She was structurally sound and just needed a few goodies to get it back out on the road.

(Joel)>> We stripped her down to bare bones and put in a trick front K-member and rear axle assembly to handle all the new horses she'd be pulling.

(Tommy)>> We brightened up the engine bay and dropped in a 6.4-liter third gen Hemi with a TKX five-speed, all commanded by that pistol grip shifter.

(Joel)>> We also added some new shoes, rejuvenated her finish. [ Music ] and did a complete interior restoration to finalize her metamorphosis into a lean and mean street machine.

(Tommy)>> This car definitely turns heads. It grabs plenty of attention, and we've got a few compliments on it. A while back we had some friends of ours fly in and they wanted to check this thing out. They deal in some cool cars except for theirs are on a little bit of a smaller scale if you will.

(Bryan)>> Hot Wheels started in 1968. It was a direct response that there really wasn't a die cast vehicle toy at that time that performed well.

(Brandon)>> The idea of coming up with a car that could perform well and look exciting was the challenge that drove Hot Wheels to become what they were.

(Bryan)>> Elliott Handler wanted to create something that would really be fun to play with.

(Bryan)>> As the story goes, they hired a car designer from the car industry, and they hired a rocket scientist from the aerospace industry, and between the two of them they came up with this amazing line.

(Brandon)>> They came up with using torsion bar suspension with del rin bushings. Putting a little thin rib on the inside of the wheel for low rolling resistance. Then the cars themselves were pretty much inspired from Harry Bradley's '64 customized Chevy El Camino. He used to park it out front, and Elliott Handler would see that car, and it was bright yellow, and it was chopped, and it had velocity stacks sticking out from the hood, and it had Mag wheels and red line striped tires, and all those types of elements were applied to the original 16 Hot Wheels. You look at them, they have spectra flame paint. They have engine details. Most of them having a moving part or a feature, whether it's a removable surfboard, opening engine hood, stuff like that. They look great and they perform great. We had track sets that came out so they could do loops, and jumps, and stunts. It just took the world by storm. It caused everyone else in the industry to have to follow and try to keep up. Even other competing toy companies came and went with lines of die cast cars that pretty much mimicked Hot Wheels.

(Bryan)>> When they laid that first prototype in front of Elliott Handler on his desk and rolled it across that desk that thing just zipped across the desk, and Elliott Handler says, now those are hot wheels. As the story goes that's how the name of the brand came about.

(Tommy)>> You know I've always wondered how these guys take a care from this to this, and we recently got to find out.

(Joel)>> Well Brandon after months and months of work, and a lot of labor, Project Road Burner is finally complete. What do you think?

(Brandon)>> This is amazing! I've always loved the '68 through '70 Road Runners. They're just so cool of a car. The hood off with the nice Hemi engine. The tunnel ram, the dual quad setup, this thing you'd see it from a mile coming.

(Joel)>> What kind of details and features do you see at first glance that you think would look great in a Hot Wheels car?

(Brandon)>> The engine is the first draw. Visually it's so contrasting from the flat black paint, and then of course it's physically popping out. That's what you draw your eye to.

(Joel)>> That's what we were going for when we designed the car initially is we wanted that engine bay to be the first thing you see walking up to the car. I think we hit the nail on the head. The fact that Hot Wheels is even considering making Road Burner into a die cast car is truly an honor. How do you envision the final produt looking?

(Brandon)>> To make this as a Hot Wheels in one-sixty-fourth scale it would have the body. I would do an open engine bay, and then if it were me I would make that engine part of the interior, and then do that whole thing chrome with the bumper, and the grille, and the back bumper so that as they sandwiched the parts together that'll come down and nest, and then you'll have this nice, big chrome engine sticking up like that. When you're walking through the isles on the store shelf looking at all these crazy shapes, colors, forms, cause all these Hot Wheels cars have graphics on them, but then you've got this flat black with chrome engine sticking out. That in itself is gonna be very visually contrasting and it's gonna draw you right to it.

(Tommy)>> So how complicated is it to capture the stance of our Road Runner in the little die cast, cause that has a lot to do with the curb appeal?

(Brandon)>> It's not difficult to capture a raked stance. The trick with Hot Wheels is we have a performance element to them. You can make a car that looks nice, it can sit on the ground, but it doesn't really roll, go down a track, a launcher, a booster. It's a very short overhang in the front, and then of course you have relatively flat sides already and a flat back end. Those are all great elements for a performance car already. So I think it would do okay. So we could still capture that stance.

(Tommy)>> What about getting you to sketch out some of the features of this thing? You think that would be possible?

(Brandon)>> Yeah, we could do that. Let's do it!

(Joel)>> Coming up, things get sketchy as our bird gets blueprinted.

(Joel)>> Well Brandon we've got a little bit of an art supply store here for you. You go crazy!

(Brandon)>> No pressure here. The idea, four part car. So we'd have the body on top. I'm thinking about this, I'm not drawing the whole car, but thinking about it exploded. The real trick is up in the front because we would have this area open. What I would have to do is have the core support in here and probably the radiator detail because we have a spin post that comes in the front. So from a manufacturing perspective this is like a tapered post here with a little bit of metal on the end. So when manufacture it they will sandwich it together. So it would look something like that. Next in the process would be the wheels because those are pre-manufactured parts that we have. You have nice, skinny wheels in the front. Fortunately we make skinny wheels in Hot Wheels, and of course we have some nice large wides that we put in the back too because gotta have big wheels in the back, right. So the larger wide wheels are gonna have a shorter axle in the back because the wheels themselves are wider. So this would be a little bit wider cause they're both gonna be tucked in underneath. Beyond that then we have the chassis. Because we have the bumpers here the chassis only needs to cover the remaining portion. So it's not a whole lot. That basic body, the window, the interior, chassis makes a four part car.

(Joel)>> Then from here we have the paper design. Does it go over to the computer after that?

(Brandon)>> Yes, from this we would want to capture this car in 3-D. Have a digital sculpt of it. So that would be the next step is to come up with a realistic looking '69 Plymouth Road Runner.

(Joel)>> Well we have a big, fancy computer here. Would you mind showing us that process as well?

(Brandon)>> Sure, let's do it.

(Tommy)>> So what does it take, as far the process goes, to go from a real live car to a one-sixty-fourth die cast?

(Brandon)>> Fortunately for us what we want to do is capture the car in three dimension in the computer. So fortunately for us we had an existing '73 Trans Am that was already done. So it was a little bit easier to modify. This one we took the hood off, put his engine in there, put all that crazy tubular roll cage that he had in front, captured as much of the detail that we could, getting that to look just like his real car. The one thing with one-sixty-fourth scale we want to exaggerate the details because if you just take everything and literally shrink it down most of that stuff gets washed away. All the little cut lines, like between the door cut lines, any of that stuff gets so thin. You need to blow those up bigger so that they still read at one-sixty-fourth scale and it looks like that real car. Then we give them all the other technical information for making that a parted out car. From that our partners will take that information and they'll come back to us with a parted out 3-D model. So we can print it at work. We have 3-D printers there. We can review this stuff at one to one scale. So looking at it and it's like, you know, that detail didn't come out right, or they have to change things to make it manufacturable. Just because we want it a certain way they might not be able to produce it. So it's a back and forth on that. Once we're happy with that, and they approve, we approve it, then they cut steel, parts are molded. Now we can check for fit and finish of the details. Well you've got some molding flash here, or this gap is wrong, this detail got missed. So we'll do that, check for those things. At that point our graphics team will come up with the deco, what they call on an E-sheet, and of course the packaging team comes in. They take care of their part with the illustration, the copy, all that information that goes on the package until we have a final product.

(Tommy)>> What's crazy too is after putting this car together it's funny how people who haven't seen it but they walk up to it, and after a couple times around it they're like, that's kinda like a grown-up version of a Hot Wheels. When they say that I just think back to myself playing in the floor with cars of the same situation.

(Brandon)>> We all have a similar story. As a kid I had Hot Wheels. I'd paint them, the old testers model paints. Now I'm building new ones for the next generation.

(Tommy)>> Up next, we go plumb crazy for a classic ride.

(Tommy)>> The Plymouth Road Runner has been a staple in the muscle car industry since they were introduced back in '68. The sole purpose of these things were to go fast and to be easy on the wallet. Now just like its cartoon counterpart, it was light, nimble, and quick, and the main basic options on these things were all performance.

(Joel)>> They were fast out of the gate but quickly fell off the cliff and faded into obscurity along with the death of disco, but that planted the seed that made this majestic Mopar indeed a rare bird, and it catapulted this iconic piece of Detroit Muscle into the automotive hall of fame as one of the most prestigious performance vehicles of all time. [ Music ] By the late 1960s muscle car mania was in full effect, but many models started red lining away from their roots as fast and cheap. Plymouth set out to build a back to basics muscle car that could run 14 second quarter mile times and sell for less than $3,000 bucks. The result, the 1968 Road Runner.

(Tommy)>> Built on the same B-platform as the Belvedere, Road Runner only offered options that were essential for improving performance.

(Lester)>> The B-bodies are excellent about handling. They drive really, really good and ride good.

(Joel)>> While Hemis and 440 six-packs were available, the standard 383 packed plenty of punch to ruffle the feathers of Ford and Chevy lovers. Chrysler paid $50,000 to Warner Brothers to use the name and likeness of their famed cartoon bird, and then spent another $10,000 to develop that famous meep meep horn.

(Tommy)>> The Road Runner was a runaway hit and paved the way for a host of other character driven Mopars. This 1970 model brought a new rear and front end styling to the basic '68 body. It had a grille with vertical fins and a bumper with integrated turn signals. The body lines were smoothed out, and the just for show side scoops were molded into the rear quarters. Options included a towel rack rear spoiler, but it was beefed up brakes, suspension, and power that pushed buyer's buttons. The addition of that air grabber hood was just icing on the cake.

(Joel)>> If you're trying to outrun a wily competitor you better have a lot of air flow to the carburetor. So with the flip of a switch a vacuum servo raises a functioning forward facing scoop complete with terrifying teeth and coyote air cleaner.

(Tommy)>> This mean looking tire twisting cartoon car was good news for budget minded performance fans. The bad news, more and more Road Runners stayed roosting in showrooms until sales dropped way down in the early '70s. People can't help but react when they see these rides out in the wild leaving a trail of dust as they travel down the highway. With a roaring exhaust and a ready to pounce stance this 1970 Plumb Crazy Road Runner wasn't worried about being caught by a cunning coyote anytime soon. And if you're lucky enough to spot one take a picture because these rare birds are an endangered species. [ Music ] A Plumb Crazy '70 Road Runner is one of my personal favorites, and that's the great thing about Mopar. There are many different styles and tastes for all kinds of palates.

(Tommy)>> So if you're into A-bodies, E-bodies, B-bodies, you name it, if your flavor's Mopar there's a party out there that will tickle your fancy, and you better believe that this thing had a v-i-p spot.

(Joel)>> Coming up, we're gonna MoParty like it's 1969!

(Tommy)>> Hey guys, we're in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at Holley's MoParty, and it's easy to say that these rides are all about Detroit Muscle.

(Joel)>> We love a car that makes a statement, but this one right here screams it.

(Tommy)>> It's battery powered. It's right here, where you plug it in at.

(Joel)>> The whole neighborhood flickers when I plug it in.

(Tommy)>> Good news is that once you charge it fully for like a week you can drive it for about 45 minutes.

(Joel)>> If you get charged up looking at Dodge, Chrysler, and Plymouth products of every make and model from the past 60 years and beyond, then Holley's MoParty is going to send shockwaves up your spine for anyone who's a fan of all things Mopar.

(Bill)>> We're at MoParty today, Holley's MoParty. Just like all of our events we're here to have a good time. Thus the name MoParty. This is just a celebration of everything Mopar. '80s cars, '70s cars, new cars, trucks, we've even added Jeeps this year. We've got an off-road course that we started last year. We've expanded to have a Jeep experience. [ engine rumbling ]

(Tommy)>> Glad they wet the track!

(Bill)>> We do auto cross, we drag race, we do burnout contests, rock crawling. The Dodge Thrill Rides are here giving rides to people in their Hellcat powered machines. Anything and everything powered by a Mopar engine. We're just here to show all of our consumers that love Mopars of any kind that we love them too and we have parts for them. Even if you're not a Mopar guy just come get a taste for car culture. There's always a common bond and a common thread, and besides that who doesn't like cars sliding sideways and going 200 miles down the drag strip. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Well we just walked up on the survivor tent, and I have to say I'm thrilled to see this thing. Wing cars always grab attention, and it snagged mine. This '69 Hemi Daytona may be one of the only unrestored Dodge wing cars you'll ever see. Not only is it considered the holy grail of Mopars, but this ride could be considered the Babe Ruth rookie card of muscle cars. With only 39,000 miles on the odometer it's been stored in a garage for the last 45 years and making a rare appearance at Holley's MoParty.

(Joel)>> If that Hemi Daytona is the king of Mopars this Coronet 500 might just be the duke of Dodges. This is Pumpkin, a 1970 Hemi Orange 318 automatic convertible with white interior. Like any survivor car, only belts, hoses, and brakes have been replaced to ensure the car is safe to drive.

(Tommy)>> This numbers matching 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A sports a 340 six-pack with a four speed transmission and a pistol grip shifters. She only has one owner, 47,000 miles, and purchased Labor Day 1976.

(Joel)>> Now I'm typically a muscle car guy, but the novelty of this '96 Indy 500 Ram definitely caught my eye. Not your typical survivor. This special edition pace truck started as a 1500 SLT and was later upgraded to a 5.9 liter V-8. As many of you know, doing a frame off restoration is a lot of work, but it could almost be argued that maintaining a survivor could be just as daunting of a task.

(Joel)>> If you thought those survivor cars were rare take a look at this cherry 1971 Plymouth Cuda. Don't worry, if green isn't your thing they also have one in red. It has a 426 Hemi under the hood along with all the cool and stylish hot rod goodies you'd expect on a true piece of Detroit Muscle. Just be sure to bring your checkbook because these babies aren't cheap.

(Tommy)>> Now walking around the swap meet, one of the things I enjoy the most is finding tools cause you never know what you're gonna find.

(Joel)>> You could almost do an entire episode on all the weird stuff we've got in our toolbox.

(Tommy)>> These are some fancy fingernail clippers here.

(Joel)>> You're gonna need them for your toes. I know how nasty yours are. ( )>> Stan is stellar on the tree yet again, 003, 641-7 out the top.

(Tommy)>> Most of us love going fast, grabbing gears, and doing smokey burnouts at any chance we get, but if you aren't fortunate enough to have a Hellcat engine at your disposal Mopartyers can get a chance to sit down, buckle up with a professional driver, and live out their fantasy as a tire slinging stunt driver. Pro tip, don't eat before you jump in this vomit comet because these guys are gonna push this ride to the limit.

(Tommy)>> Joel, MoParty is always a good time, and having Road Burner here, that's a multiplying factor. Think about this bud. We have the opportunity that Road Burner may actually become a Hot Wheels! What do you think?

(Joel)>> Just thinking about little seven year old Joel laying the floor, playing with Hot Wheels, and think one day that little dude would grow up to build a real life one. It's a dream come true buddy. Let's go get something cold to drink.
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