BRIDGWATER motor mechanic Lee Johnstone made the trip to New York earlier this week to see the official debut of his Hot Wheels™ 1:64-scale die-cast of his 1969 Volvo P1800 Gasser.

Mattell officially unveiled the project of the first international Tour winner as part of the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour.

Lee Johnstone and his daughter, Victoria Upham, attended a global unveiling ceremony in New York City, where their family’s passion project was officially inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends™.

The 71-year-old motor mechanic, Johnstone restored and modified his 1969 Volvo to become a real-life track star, which he races with his wife and three daughters.

Somerset County Gazette: Lee Johnstone from Bridgwater and his hot wheels car.

A winner on and off the track, the P1800 Gasser emerged victorious from a historic 25-stop international Tour spanning five continents.

The announcement was made by Ted Wu, vice president and global head of design for vehicles at Mattel, at the legendary Classic Car Club Manhattan prior to the start of the historic fifth annual Hot Wheels Legends Tour presented by Mobil 1.

“The Legends Tour began in 2018 as a way to celebrate and engage the car builder community around the world,” said Wu.

“Lee Johnstone’s 1969 Volvo P1800 proved to be a truly awe-inspiring Gasser interpretation that captivated the entire Hot Wheels team.

"As the first international Legends Tour winner, we can’t wait to share his dream with Hot Wheels fans in more than 150 countries around the world.”

Somerset County Gazette: The real version of the vehicle. Picture: Santa Pod RacewayThe real version of the vehicle. Picture: Santa Pod Raceway

The space was reimagined to showcase dozens of examples of how Hot Wheels has influenced culture, ranging from high fashion to NFTs.

The 2022 Tour kicks off with virtual livestreams in New Zealand and Australia on April 14 and April 21, respectively, followed by the first North American live event in Miami, FL on April 30. The UK leg of the competition will run from June to October, with entry details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Hot Wheels is an automotive legend, and for generations, every auto enthusiast’s love for cars has begun with Hot Wheels.

Since the casting of the brand’s Original 16 vehicles in 1968, Hot Wheels has continued to define itself by creating some of the most iconic cars in the world, both influencing and being influenced by car culture.