Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: What was the design feature of Hot Wheels’ Ramblin’ Wrecker that caused its creator, Larry Woods such grief?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump—or for those of you on mobile, just scroll on down—and see if you’re right.
What is a more vivid memory of Hot Wheels from when you were a child: racing the cool cars down their iconic orange track, or getting slapped with one of those sections of track by an annoying sibling?
Introduced by Mattel in 1968, Hot Wheels were the hot rods to Matchbox’s somewhat more staid production models. The models ran the gamut from takes on real cars, with eye-searing paint or flame details, to wildly imagined original designs. Kids had to have them all.
It was the design scheme of an original Hot Wheels car that caused one of Mattel’s designers a ton of consternation. Something you’d regret having done from just about the moment the model hit the shelves.
From the Hot Wheels Wiki:
Larry Wood has created some of the most well-known and unique Hot Wheels cars, including the ’49 Merc, the Boyd Coddington collector set and the Ramblin’ Wrecker (which originally featured Wood’s phone number on its sides). He has been with Mattel/Hot Wheels team since 1969. He’s originally from General Motors. His initials have been featured on some 2009 cars, such as the ’41 Pickup and Hiway Hauler. Each one bears the name “Elwood”. Elwood is identical to L.Wood in pronunciation. Larry Wood has made a new car series, Larry’s Garage. This series features many of his popular designs, such as Dairy Delivery, Metrorail Nash Metropolitan and the infamous Bone Shaker. The car, Cabbin’ Fever, bears a close resemblance to Larry Wood’s truck.
This isn’t the only instance of a real phone number having been used when a phony number would have been more appropriate, but it’s the one with the clearest car connection.
Perhaps the most famous instance of this was the Tommy Tutone song 867-5309/Jenny released in 1981 and for years after causing frustration for everyone with that number in area codes across the nation getting calls asking if Jenny was home. Maybe they all wanted just her to come and play with their Hot Wheels.