Python (1968)
 

 
  Another member of the "First Sixteen" group of 1968 Hot Wheels cars, the Python - originally
called the "Cheetah" - was based on a car built in 1963 by Bill Cushenberry for Car Craft magazine.
The Car Craft "Dream Rod" was designed by the staff of the magazine in 1961.  Cushenberry
built the car using parts from a '60 Pontiac and a '61 Corvair, and powered it with a small block
Ford engine.  After a few years on the car show circuit, the Dream Rod was re-styled into a
car called the "Tiger Shark" which was much closer to Mattel's Python in it's appearance.


The Car Craft "Dream Rod" circa 1963.

The Python was produced at both the US and HK plants.  The earliest version of the Python
was called the "Cheetah".  Only a few of these are known to exist.  Most are red HK cars
although one orange HK Cheetah and one unpainted US Cheetah have been found.


Above: a red HK Cheetah (L) with a view of the base (R).

For more information on the Cheetah, please visit the Python/Cheetah page at HWProtos.com.

HK-produced Pythons are easily recognized by the blue-tinted windows
and blower-equipped engine. US Pythons have clear windows and a chrome-plated
engine with dual injectors. The bases of HK cars are much more detailed than
their US counterparts with a oil pan, transmission and full suspension system.
US bases show only an oil pan and half of the rear springs. Early production
HK bases have a Trademark ™ symbol to the right of the HOT WHEELS logo. Thus far
these have only been found in Red, Orange, and Purple. All others have the
Registered ® symbol. In addition, some early HK Pythons (™ on base) have been
found with long, protruding tailpipes, while US and later HK cars have short
tailpipes which are flush with the back panel.



A red HK Python showing early protruding tailpipes.

Also, US Pythons have the front and rear lights as part of the base cast, rather
than the body.  HK Pythons have the head and tail lights as part of the body of the car.
   HK cars have a small rear window; the rear window of US-made Pythons is large.
Lastly, HK Pythons typically have small front wheels. However, some of
the early production HK cars (just ™ on base and all the long tailpipe variations)
have been found with medium wheels in front. All US cars have medium front wheels.



All Pythons have various interior colors,  HK Pythons have little interior detail, while US
cars have detailed seats and dashboard.


A nice comparison of antifreeze (L) and lime (R) US Pythons.

Most Pythons have a painted on flat black roof.  Non-black roof cars exist and are likely production errors.
pre-production cars.  So far, legitimate non-black roof Pythons have been found in red, orange,
green, blue and purple.  Some Pythons have a full black roof that extends down to the rear which has been found on both US and HK castings.
deck.  These are believed to be early run cars and likely were discontinued for cost reasons.


In the center: a non-black roof HK Python.

Color chart

US COLORS:
COMMENTS:
aqua
common
blue common
green common
red
lime
antifreeze

gold
rose
purple

hot pink
hard to find
brown
hard to find
light ("ice") blue
hard to find
olive
hard to find
magenta
hard to find
orange
hard to find
creamy pink
hard to find
yellow
rare
HK COLORS:
COMMENTS:
purple
common
aqua
common
green
common
blue
common
red

gold

olive

creamy pink
hard to find
orange
hard to find
copper
hard to find

   
US blue (L) and US brown (R) Pythons.

 
HK orange (L) and HK red (R) Pythons.


US gold (L) and US rose (R) Pythons.


A stunning US magenta Python!


A hard-to-find US olive Python!


A tough US yellow Python in the blister!


A beautiful US ice blue Python.


A creamy pink US Python.


Getting some air!  A prototype Cheetah with a painted base!


Photo & info credits: Jerry Jones & the RLOL Community





All
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
Alphabetical

Customs |
Gran Prix |
Heavyweights |
Spoilers |
Super Chromes |
Alternate Colors |
CIPSA |
Home



* DISCLAIMER *
Private use of original images is allowed.
Non-profit, non-commercial publication of original images is allowed only with prior expressed written consent from Graymatters.
For other commercial, for-profit or redistribution needs, please contact the site owner.  This site is not affiliated with Mattel, Inc.

Questions? ... Send me an e-mail: tngray@nautiloid.net

  © 2012 by Graymatters. All Rights Reserved.