British-built Volvo P1800 wins global Hot Wheels competition

A heavily modified Volvo P1800 built in the UK has won a global competition to be turned into a toy.

The classic car, built by Lee Johnstone in Somerset, will be immortalised as a 1:64 Hot Wheels toy to be sold around the world.

The Volvo will join other iconic custom cars in the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends after winning the competition hosted by American TV personality and car enthusiast Jay Leno.

Originally registered in 1969, the Volvo – nicknamed ‘Ain’t No Saint’ – was bought as a rusty rolling shell before being completely restored and modified for quarter-mile competition. It uses a Chevrolet 454 big block engine with a 671 GMC supercharger and dual four-barrel carburettors.

The 71-year-old mechanic said the car is a family project, with his daughters, Eleanor, Sarah and Victoria, sharing driving duties.

The Hot Wheels competition is in its fourth year and sees thousands of car builds from 11 countries submitted for consideration. This year the judging came from Leno and motorsports ambassador Jarod DeAnda, who were joined by car design legends and big names in car culture.

Ted Wu, global head of design for vehicles at Mattel, said: “The Hot Wheels Legends Tour has truly become a global celebration of custom car creations.

“With the addition of five new countries in the Tour, we have been able to reach and interact with millions of new fans and builders from around the world.

“The Volvo Gasser is a wonderful expression of authenticity, creativity and most importantly, garage spirit.

“We look forward to welcoming Lee Johnstone and his 1969 Volvo P1800 into the Hot Wheels family and presenting the world with our newest Hot Wheels Legends Tour die-cast toy.”

Johnstone added: “Having my family here with me for this moment was so special. I am excited to have my car become a Hot Wheels die-cast toy and to be able to share my passion project in 1:64 scale with the world. It’s amazing to be the first UK winner.”