This year’s RADwood show on 2nd September will feature ten phenomenal vehicles from across the UK vying to be the next Hot Wheels Legend.
Over 270 people applied for the chance to reach the UK final and whittling that down to just ten was never going to be easy. However, with the help of Hagerty’s social media followers the first finalist has now been selected, and it’s a corker.
Fans were asked to choose between four unique home-built vehicles, A MkII Volkswagen Golf, a race-winning Skoda 130R, a camping pod based on the engine of a Vickers VC10 aeroplane and the eventual winner, who scooped more than half of the votes, Sam Carr and his unique 1983 Mazda RX-7.
The Mazda RX-7 has always been a sporty car but when Sam bought this rusty example on eBay – without seeing it beforehand – he set about making everything better.
Parts for these cars are rare. Just 3,000 examples of this generation of RX-7 were sold in the UK and very few of those are still remaining, so the build had to be a collection of bespoke, custom parts.
The result? A Mazda-Honda-Nissan ultra-Japanese hybrid concoction. Mazda RX-7 basis, Nissan S14 200SX rear end and steering, and a Honda Civic Type R K20A2 engine. This car came together like a set of transforming robots all joining to form one super-being intent on just one thing – going fast.
Sam worked on this project for 5 years. He taught himself how to weld during the Covid lockdowns which also led him to start his fabrication business Downforce Fabrication during the process.
Originally, the car was sprayed white, but the plethora of super lightweight carbon fibre panels meant that Sam switched to all-out black, a mean look with hidden headlights and exposed mechanicals which would look amazing as a Hot Wheels scale model.
With a proper steering rack (instead of the original Mazda steering box) and fully independent rear suspension, this car is not just about straight-line speed either. It now weighs only 840kg and is road legal – but will it be chosen by the judges as the UK representative in the global Hot Wheels Legends Tour?
We’ll have to wait until RADwood, the car show celebrating ’80s and ’90s culture at Bicester Heritage, to find out. If you’d like to attend, you can find out more about the event and grab your tickets here.
The remaining nine Hot Wheels UK Legends Tour finalists have been chosen by a panel of experts and will be revealed very soon, so Sam will find out what he’s up against.