The class of builds we're seeing in this competition is spectacular and only getting better.
After scouring the globe for the world's most amazing custom rides, the 2022 Hot Wheels Legends Tour has finally announced the top 10 finalists from across the world. The Global Grand Finale, set to take place on November 12, will see one of these phenomenal vehicles drive away with top honors and be immortalized as a die-cast model.
As you'll see below, choosing from the finalists won't be easy, as they're all truly unique builds that any child would love to own in toy form. We're pleased to see several builds from the USA have made the list, including "Texas Toot." Once a humble Kei car, the little Autozam Scrum has been transformed into a monster truck and now boasts a 7.4-liter Chevy V8, 30-inch wheels, and a 250-shot nitrous kit. But can it beat the insane Porsche 928 that has an engine almost as tall as the roof?
Flying the flag for Dallas, Texas, is the 1978 Porsche 928 pictured above. Painted in a resplendent shade of blue, it's no longer the grand tourer it once was. Said to be powered by a 9.4-liter supercharged V8, it looks to be an absolute drag strip destroyer.
If you're into classic Americana, it's the 1931 Dodge Rat Rod that's likely to get your vote. It's powered by a potent 5.9-liter Cummins straight-six diesel with two turbochargers. This menacingly-styled beauty is the pride and joy of the Smith family, who built it together.
Another build from the USA is the 1968 Volkswagen Beetle seen below. Amusingly known as "Hammerhead," this father-and-son-owned Beetle no longer gains motivation from a thrumming flat-four but rather a turbocharged Volvo five-cylinder.
The global competition has searched far and wide, unearthing some wonderful builds from around the world too.
From the front, this '68 Volkswagen would appear to be a perfectly restored Volkswagen Transporter (T1). But it's actually a Malaysian combination of the beloved minivan and a Beetle that took three years to complete, according to owner Denny Kusumah.
In nearby Indonesia, a humble 2015 Proton Suprima S managed to sneak its way into the top 10. As you may have guessed, this is no regular economy sedan and features a widebody kit, along with some sweet-looking Rays CE29 wheels and lowered suspension.
The 2003 Toyota Hilux is sure to win many fans. Adored over the world for its die-hard demeanor, this particular version has traded utility for style and looks brilliant in its bright pink paintwork and vivid graphics.
Another automotive legend - albeit for entirely different reasons - is the Ford Anglia. The cheap family car brought motoring to many in post-war Britain. This version, however, is far removed from that ethos. Known as "The Misfit," owner Michael Charalambous took a dilapidated Anglia and transformed it into a custom vehicle.
The chassis is a mix of Anglia and Hillman Imp, and the vehicle is powered by a supercharged BMW E30 engine. The styling is, however, the main attraction. Charalambous went for a rat rod look. "My vision was for a car that if you pulled up at the traffic lights, you would never pull alongside something similar."
Muscle car fans will love the finalist from Mexico City. The stunning creation retains the original look of the 1971 Plymouth Duster but hides the modern mechanical components of a Dodge Charger SRT8. The inspiration behind this finalist is rather heartwarming. The owner visited the 2019 Legends Tour with his son, who was clearly enamored by what he saw.
"Dad, promise me that we will build a Hot Wheels to compete and win," pleaded his son. Just three years later, their family project stands a chance of doing just that.
Hailing from New Zealand is the Raptor Buggy. It may not win any beauty contests, but this rugged off-roading machine has one-stand out feature - a rotary engine.
The finale is set to be hugely exciting, but only one car can win. We're glad we're not the judges, though, as it looks to be a tough decision.