The Back Story… Hot Wheels’ 2007 Corvette C6R GT1


From a Series Entitled:  ” The Back Story” by Ward Wilson

[Originally published Article 1 – 1.31.2010 on]

There I was, killing time in the toy car isle, having no real reason to expect anything from my local retailer….when out of the blue I see it. I had found the new Hot Wheels “Speed Machines” series for the first time! Among the various peg hooks was this little gem hanging right in plain sight.

An authentic replica of a 2007 Corvette C6R ALMS GT1 race car …. Holy Cow! I had seen this casting in Hot Wheels standard .99 cent release, but these graphics are a knockout! With the real GT1 cars now extinct, this is an instant “must have” for both Corvette and road racing collectors alike. Finding that this unique paint scheme had been replicated in 1:64 scale was a real surprise. Mattel has done this one “right”!


For years, the Mighty 7.0 liter (427 ci) Pratt & Miller prepared Corvette Racing Team (CRT) ruled the GT1 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). As early as 2004, a small skull emblem featuring the Corvette crossed flags as the eyes, began appearing on various CRT cars. As the “JAKE” logo was becoming more popular among the Vette faithful, a decision was made to feature the mascot on the two team cars for a real event. This design only appeared in one race, the 2007 season ending ALMS Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca.


The car featured in the Speed Machines series is the #3 of Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell. In the Laguna Seca event, they finished second in class behind teammates Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin (in the reverse paint #4). Greenlight has already produced that car in scale, so it is exciting to see Hot Wheels complete the team line up with this release. For cars that only saw the race track one time, this livery has become a fan favorite.


Thanks to Mattel for the painstaking attention to details. This casting offers fairly accurate body lines and captures the racing vibe of the C6R well. The interior could be improved with a bit of highlights, although in fairness, the GL version does not even include a roll cage. Also, the yellow portion of the body color is a shade too bight, and the wheels are not correct for the actual race car. But I assume this is a common feature in the Speed Machines line up. The crisp tampos have to battle with a bit of dust in the finish, but the accurate sponsorship decals more than make up for any short comings.

The crew at Hot Wheels did their homework on this release. There were several other great cars in the current Speed Machines release, but this was the only authentic livery I noticed. Weighing in around $2.50 each (retail), I have no real complaints!

This is not the first time that the C6R has been captured in diecast. Autoart has released both paint schemes in 1:18 scale. As mentioned, Hot Wheels already had this casting in their standard 1:64 line up. While Greenlight and Jada have also released a nice version. In fact, GMP has produced a wonderful replica of the C5R as well. But this is the first I have seen the #3 version (with the yellow hood) produced in small scale.


The Hot Wheels casting is based on chasse #003, which first saw action in the 2006 season opener, THE 12 HOURS OF SEBRING. The real car was still in action as recently as June 2009, now campaigned by Luc Alphand Aventures in the European Le Mans Series. In fact, this car has raced the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times (2006, 08, 09) sporting different paint.


Pit stop action at Laguna Seca, Photo by Kenneth Barton ( )

For the 2009 season, this version of the mighty GT1 Vette was replaced by the lesser GT2 class entry. With 2010 bringing an even smaller displacement (down to 5.5 L), this car is quickly becoming a part of automotive history. I suggest you buy a piece of that history while these are still available. And in my travels, I see that they are quickly becoming harder to find.

For those who want to read a bit more on the “JAKE” logo, here is a great link…

Happy collecting, and remember, “race car spelled backwards is still RACE CAR!”

“The Back Story” is an ongoing series exploring the history of real racing machinery that many of our favorite toys are based upon. Ward is an avid motorsports collector who dreams of the day he can fit into one of these cars! Originally published exclusively for Comments, corrections and conversation at

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