Hot Heap (1968)

  The Hot Heap is a hot-rod Ford Model T roadster that was
based on a California full-
fendered roadster named "Tognotti's T"
.  It is unusual to see a real T-bucket roadster with
all the fenders still attached! 

The Hot Heap was made from 1968 to 1971 in both the Hong Kong and U.S. factories.
All US-made Hot Heaps have a clear windshield, and the steering wheel is a molded part of the
interior.  US interiors are found in white, champagne or bronze, and dark brown. As with other
US castings, it appears that dark brown and champagne interiors were phased out leaving only white
interiors on the late run versions.  Dark brown interiors are seen much less often and were phased
out around 1969. Only white interiors are found on late-run color versions like hot pink, magenta,
apple green, rose, and true yellow.  It is true that interiors are easily switched but, color research
and packaged car research proves this to be true.

A group of US-made Hot Heaps.

There are 4 distinct side pipe variations on US Hot Heaps. The pipes got progressively bigger,
with more of a radius as the years passed, and the molds were modified or improved.  The
four pipe styles are shown in the photo below:  'A' version is on the orange car, and the 'B' version
is on the green car.

In the following photo, the 'C' pipe version is on the blue car, and the 'D' version is on
the bright orange car.

The earliest available colors for the Hot Heap were green, antifreeze, orange, purple and gold. Green,
orange and antifreeze are the most commonly found in the early variations and are not hard to find.
These cars feature straight side pipes, a smaller circle "R" on the base, and the engine moved slightly
forward towards the radiator.  These are 'A' cars. (the 'A' corresponds to the casting letter on the
body and chassis components.)  Here are some examples:

There are also early 'B' component cars, with straight pipes, a larger circle "R" and the engine moved
back slightly.  'B' cars are found in most, if not all early run colors. These were probably produced
during 1969. There is a slight difference in the side pipes between 'A' and 'B' cars, but the best way to
tell the difference is the larger circle "R".  Here are some 'B' cars:

'C' component cars are the most hard-to-find chassis variation.  'C' cars have pipes with a slightly
larger radius.  Here are some examples of the 'C' variation:

The 'D' component cars are the latest version, and the most common. 'D' cars can be found in all the
common spectraflame colors. This final variation must have had the longest production run, from
around 1970 until the end of US production.  Another change on the 'D' body is the "transmission
hump" behind the engine. On all earlier versions it is a small hump. On the 'D' cars it has been
changed to a larger rectangular block. It looks like this change was made to prevent the engine from
twisting.  The following photo shows a group of US 'D' cars:

Some colors like green and antifreeze can be found in all four chassis pipe variations. Chocolate
brown seems to be the toughest color to find on US-made Hot Heaps.

Early in the 'D' run there appears to have been a large batch of cars assembled with windshields tilted
forward at varying degrees. This was explained as having resulted from the windshield mold sticking
at the time of ejection from the tool. However, since the windshields still fit in the cars, they were
assembled and shipped.  These tilted window cars are not difficult to find, and do not seem to add
much value to the car. Some collectors view this as a defect, not a variation.

All US cars found to date have pressed-on bearing-type wheels. However, Hong Kong large-sized
rear wheels are often found on the final production run of US Hot Heaps. Packaged car research has
proven this to be true. Apparently, Hong Kong wheels were sent to the US factory to be used on
these and other US cars.  There could be a number of reasons why this was done.  The following
photo shows a magenta US Hot Heap in the blister with Hong Kong wheels on the rear.

All HK Hot Heaps should have a blue tinted windshield, and a separate black steering wheel.
HK interiors are found in white, tan gray, and dark brown. No early run color-coordinated or
color-matching interiors have been found for the HK production Hot Heap.

A group of HK-made Hot Heaps.

Some late-run HK-made Hot Heaps have been found with capped wheels on one or both axles.
This appears most often on brown, blue and aqua cars.  The photo below shows a Hong Kong
Hot Heap with cap-style wheels.

Color chart

antifreeze very common
green very common
aqua common
blue common
gold common
lime common
orange common
purple common
red common
copper uncommon
hot pink
olive green
light (apple) green
hard to find
hard to find
hard to find
creamy pink
very hard to find
light blue very hard to find
olive gold
very hard to find
yellow very hard to find
brown (dark or chocolate)
very rare
blue very common
green very common
red very common
hard to find
creamy pink
hard to find, esp. in the US

If you like variations and lots of colors, the Hot Heap is a great casting to collect!

Photo & info credits: Jerry Schmitt


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