With a build like this, does the Hot Wheel version come first or the full-size build? Irregardless, the car was amazingly built in just 2 months! Darth Vader’s car is a theme build with some unique features…
The design was influenced mostly from the Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back movie. This car was designed by Bryan Benedict who worked for Hot Wheels. Most recently, he now works from Hot Wheels’ parent company Mattel in their die-cast vehicles group which oversees both the Hot Wheels and Matchbox lines.
The Build and Chassis
Darth Vader’s car was built by Billy Hammon. He owns Action Vehicle Engineering and now has a growing list of vehicle he has built in real life for Hot Wheels. Many other well known clients as well. It’s based off of a C5 Corvette. The body was is primarily custom fiberglass with some carbon fiber for various components such as the splitters and diffuser.
Hammon’s portfolio of vehicles is quite diverse. From hot rods to trophy trucks, a simulator for Infinity to a lifted Hot Wheels ambulance. A few of these vehicles broke some work records too.
Powertrain and Exhaust
The Darth Vader car isn’t lacking in the power department. Under the hood is an LS3 V8! Custom exhaust was ran. The side pipes taking inspiration from the light saber design, although are non-function. Purely for styling purposes only.
Wheels and Tires
Wheels are custom built by MHT. The custom wheels are paired with redline tires, therefor giving a bit of a retro look.
Clearly inspired by Darth Vader’s helmet, but not overly done, the cockpit is accessed thanks to the helmet opening up with a linear actuator. The entire method of entry was inspired by the Star Wars movie scene where Vader has his helmet placed over his head. The cowl/windshield also moves forward.
Darth Vader’s Car in Hot Wheels Form
Besides the traditional diecast version, Hot Wheels also made a couple of RC versions in 1:18 scale.