In this lineup, clockwise from top left, is a Matchbox tow truck, a Ford E-350 ambulance, a '56 Buick Century police car, and a Hot wheels '71 Dodge Challenger painted to look like Hotchkis Sport Suspension's real '70 Challenger named "E-Max." The real one has a 340 Six Pack V8 and Hotchkis's own suspension built to make muscle cars handle well on the track.
The first thing I noticed was how detailed Matchbox cars have gotten within the last few years. Matchbox has traditionally makes more "stock-looking" cars whereas Hot wheels makes the hot rods and customs. They're usually detailed enough for me (if not, I go at them with Sharpies), but just look at the tampo on these cars! Even the chrome outlines on the ambulance's tool doors are there and all the words on the cars are legible.
Even more surprising was how well the new Matchbox cars rolled. I feel like these new ones could give some Hot wheels cars a run for their money in a drag race. The red tow truck was exceptionally smooth and it was going to be my only fully operational tow truck until I got a bright idea for the yellow '87 Ford. The F-350 was one of two (the other was a fire truck) in my first-ever set of cars, sold by Maisto as part of an airport set around 1997. Many of these cars have built-in suspension to prevent axle damage and increase "play value" but Maisto quality has taken a nose dive since then. Adding suspension to cars is actually something I do quite often. Anyways, I bent up a paper clip and put it through the existing, non-operational tow hook and made me a second tow truck. I also wanted another one of those nice Buick cop cars...
On yet another trip to get milk this morning, here's what I got:
Another '56 Buick, a Matchbox steamroller, a tank that doesn't roll (might fix that later), Hot wheels '05 Mustang, and a '13 Mustang with an upturned front splitter to help it perform better on Hot wheels tracks.
I proceeded to detail the second Buick with Sharpies right away.