Head-turning Hot Wheels cars hit streets to promote Indy 500

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Indianapolis residents may soon be seeing street-legal, full-size Hot Wheels cars zipping around their neighborhood. And if consumers like the cars, they can fulfill a childhood fantasy and buy their own.

The 33 directors of the 500 Festival recently received their Indianapolis 500 Chevrolet Camaros at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a longtime tradition leading into the month of May.

Each of the 500 Festival cars this year is a special Camaro Hot Wheels edition convertible, which will arrive at Chevrolet dealerships this spring after a limited, one-time production run. It’s the first time a full-size, production Hot Wheels car has been offered for sale by any manufacturer.

The festival cars have reminded Indianapolis-area residents of the upcoming Indianapolis 500 since the 1960s, and IMS officials think this year’s unique cars will capture more attention and start more conversation than usual as they are driven around central Indiana.

The Camaro Hot Wheels Edition echoes the cues that Hot Wheels enthusiasts recognize, including a vibrant, graphics-accented metallic paint scheme and even the red-lined wheels. The result is instantly recognizable as a Hot Wheels.

Available in coupe and convertible models and in 2LT (V-6) and 2SS (V-8) trims, the Camaro Hot Wheels edition cars feature Hot Wheels grille and decklid logos and Hot Wheels Edition sill plates among their exterior and interior styling.

SS models feature a 6.2L V-8, which is offered in two iterations: the L99 on automatic-equipped vehicles and the LS3 on manual-equipped models. The L99 is 400 horsepower, and the LS3 is 426.

The LT-based model features the LFX 3.6L V-6 engine, with dual-overhead camshafts, variable valve timing and direct injection. It’s rated at 323 horsepower at 6,800 rpm.

A dual-mode exhaust system is available on SS models with the six-speed manual transmission, as well as LT models with either the manual or automatic transmission. Similar to the systems found on the Camaro ZL1, the vacuum-actuated system provides a quieter driving experience at low engine speeds and a more aggressive sound during hard acceleration, according to Chevy officials.

The Custom Camaro 1:64-scale toy from 1968 was one of the original 16 Hot Wheels issued and remains one of the most valuable Hot Wheels toys among collectors.

The 97th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 26. Opening day at the IMS is May 11.

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