Most Valuable Hot Wheels Ever Worth More Than New Audi R8

Car Culture / Comments

It's one of just two known to exist.

Pink, for whatever reason, has never really caught on as an automotive exterior color, Mary Kay cars notwithstanding. But nor has pink proven especially common in the world of Hot Wheels, which might help explain how the most valuable Hot Wheels toy car ever made - among the rarest scale models in Hot Wheels' 52-year history - is pink.

In fact, just two examples of the toy car in question - a prototype scale Volkswagen Microbus known as the "Beach Bomb" - are known to exist, and Volkswagen just caught up with the owner of one of them.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen

Bruce Pascal, 59, was swept up in the Hot Wheels craze after the toys launched back in 1968, avidly collecting and racing the die-cast toys throughout his youth. He set his collection aside when he grew up, only to rediscover it 30 years later - and rekindle his love for the toys of his youth in the process.

"My friend offered to pay me $200 for the [collection]," Pascal says. "I declined and held onto them, but it was his offer that made me start researching the value of Hot Wheels and pursuing collecting as an adult."

He resorted to some pretty crafty means to get his hands on new cars for his collection, taking out newspaper ads and even looking up old Mattel employees from the late 60s to ask if they had any rare models they wouldn't mind selling. In the process of amassing a bigger collection, Pascal learned of one car that he felt he had to have: the bright pink Volkswagen Beach Bomb prototype.

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The prototype version of the Hot Wheels toy is instantly recognizable for the surfboards hanging out the back window; the final production design had the surfboards mounted to the sides so that the toy was less prone to tipping backward. Just a handful of those poorly balanced prototypes were made, accessible only to Mattel employees, and of those, pink were the most rare; Hot Wheels was lukewarm toward the concept of marketing to girls because it was assumed they might not be the most receptive market for the toys.

Over time, Pascal managed to track down the owners of both, making two offers, and acquiring both pink Volkswagen Microbus prototypes. He's since sold one to a friend, who is also an avid collector, but retains the best-condition example in existence.

"I won't say how much I purchased it for," he says, "but it is worth an estimated $150,000 today." That's more than the price of a brand new Porsche 911, more than an Audi R8, and nearly as much as a Lamborghini Huracan.

Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen

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