Ford Rat Rod With E30 BMW Heart Is A Hot Wheels Champion

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What started life as a boring old Ford Anglia is now a Hot Wheels legend.

Michael Charalambous is the winner of the UK leg of the global Hot Wheels Legends Tour, where builders of cars all over the world compete to have their ride immortalized in die-cast. Judges spent the day pouring over the ten finalists in front of a live audience, only for Charalambous to be crowned the winner. Now, Charalambous and his creation, The Misfit, will go to represent the UK on the global stage.

So what makes the metal on this rat rod? "My vision was for a car that if you pulled up at the traffic lights, you would never pull alongside something similar," says Charalambous. Michael, a former engineer by trade, finished the car in 2022 after a final push during Covid-19 lockdowns in the UK.

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The build started life as a rotten old Anglia, something we never got in the States. While we were getting the Mustang, British families were rocking about with these. But this is no family sedan, at least not anymore, with the supercharged engine and driveline from an E30-generation BMW living at the front of the car. The chassis is entirely bespoke - a mix of Ford and Hillman Imp parts.

Charalambous took six months to modify the BBS wheel centers, which he got off a Ferrari GT racer, to get the stance and offsets right. Inside, the trim matches the flat-green paint, and Charalambous has installed a new Marshall audio system, cupholder, and leather-trimmed seats. The best part? One of those BBS wheel centers now serves as the steering wheel.

The competition was narrowed down to 10 finalists, judged by a panel of automotive enthusiasts, including Helen Stanley, Ian Callum, Jonny Smith, and host Alex Kersten.

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Competition was stiff, including cars like a VW-engined 911 Targa, a 600-hp Ford Escort, and even a Citroen with suicide doors. Those were just the finalists. Over 100 cars were entered, making Charalambous' victory all the more impressive.

Charalambous says the car isn't a garage queen either. He drives the car to events across the UK, and even takes his kids to school in it. "After winning Hot Wheels Legends UK and all the attention at the shows, I don't think I will ever sell it now," said Charalambous.

The Misfit is headed to the semifinals on November 10, after which a global finals round will take place on November 12. Because of the Legends Tour's increasing popularity, two cars will be made into Hot Wheels. Let's see if The Misfit is one of them.

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