A bespoke built Volvo P1800 Gasser has been selected as the UK finalist for the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, a competition that is seeking out the best in classic, modified and race cars from around the globe, with the overall winning vehicle to be made into a 1:64 scale die-cast and released in Hot Wheels’ 2022 range.
Nicknamed ‘Ain’t No Saint’, the Volvo P1800 was unanimously selected as the UK finalist as part of a live streamed event on 14 October 2021. The UK judges – Car Throttle’s Alex Kersten, revered designer Ian Callum CBE, photographer Amy Shore and YouTuber Sam Fane – deemed the Volvo P1800 most fitting of Hot Wheels’ exacting standards of performance, authenticity and ‘garage spirit’.
Owned and built by Somerset-based Lee Johnstone, the Volvo P1800 is raced by him and his three daughters – Ellie, Tori and Sarah – with supportive wife Sue also part of the team, which competes under the name of JD Racing (Johnstone & Daughters). Originally purchased as a stripped shell that was too far gone to restore as a road car, the Gasser has a 600bhp big block supercharged 454 Chevrolet V8 engine, which has powered it to run a quarter mile drag race in 10.01 seconds and reach a top speed of 133mph.
“As a team, we were ecstatic to hear our car was chosen. We never thought it would be chosen against some of the other entries,” said Lee Johnstone, owner of the P1800. “Everyone always says it looks just like a Hot Wheels and maybe it will now become one!”
“This is a beautiful example of a gasser – a drag racer with street car form,” said judge Ian Callum, design director of design and engineering business, CALLUM. “Often with dragsters, the chassis is so important that the body gets overlooked, but this example is fabulous with great attention to detail. It’s a super quality, beautifully built car. And it completely hits the Hot Wheels brief.”
In a record-breaking year for entries to the Hot Wheels UK Legends Tour, other notable competitors included a 1972 Ford Escort Mk1 Speedster, which was a lockdown project, and a 1964 Singer Sport that took five years to build.
The Volvo P1800 Gasser will contest in the Semi Finals of the competition on 4th November, with the chance of going onto the Global Final on 13th November. The global winning car will be immortalised as a Hot Wheels 1:64 scale die-cast for both children and collectors to enjoy.