T-4-2 (1971)
 

 
The "T-4-2" (casting no. 6177) was produced only in Hong Kong and is a Larry Wood-designed concept car based on Henry Ford's famous Model "T".
 

 
Originally dubbed "Which Way" before its regular production in 1971 and 1972, its yin-yang design marries "2" souped-up Model T front ends, with a die cast question mark "?" on either side door.  The car features a pair of steering wheels and driver's seats, each facing the front and rear of the car, depending of course on "which way" your T-4-2 is scorching down the orange track!  The T-4-2 has a metal base and four large-size redline wheels, blue-tinted windshields tucked under a black plastic roof, and front and rear flat black-painted grilles.  All T-4-2 interiors are brown, except for the Mexican (CIPSA) T-4-2 (casting no. 3407), thus far only found in a yellow-orange enamel with a white interior.
 

 

 
There's more to this "Siamese Heap" casting than meets the eye...  First, while its sizable exposed engines imply the mega-horsepower typical of all early Hot Wheels cars, as depicted in the T's top view...
 

 
...the front view (or rear, again depending on your guess) looks like a conservative Model T because the great "Elwood" set the car's engines perfectly flush with and tucked behind the radiator grille... 
 

 
Collectors who purchase their first "T" are usually surprised by the size and weight of the casting which, together with four large wheels, makes it a formidable downhill racer.  And it is one of the most detailed redline-era castings, insofar as it generally has more component pieces, relatively speaking.
 

 
The T-4-2 does share scale similarities with the Hot Heap (another redline casting based on the Model T) as judged by the overall appearance of each.  The T's slightly larger fenders (as compared to the Heaps's front and even rear fenders), and the fact that the T has four large wheels (versus the Heap's medium fronts), tend to make the T seem slightly larger and stand a little taller.
 

 

 
It is common to find T-4-2s that are missing their black plastic roof.  In the photos below, an original roof compared to a reproduction roof.  Repro roofs are generally flatter in finish than the originals, have side edges which are not as smooth, and are missing the complete series of numbers molded in the original's underside.
 

 Above & below: original (L) and reproduction (R) T-4-2 roofs.

 
Consequently, the T's roof can be easily removed and re-inserted using the two underside tabs that easily fit into the canopy top slots of the blue windshields.
 

A light green T-4-2 with the roof removed.
 
T-4-2s can be found in blister packs with the original '68 Hot Wheels card art (1971), and the 1972 "Mantis" or "California Custom Miniatures" card (as shown in the photo below).  T-4-2 buttons were only produced in plastic.


 
In addition to the rare CIPSA version mentioned earlier, at least one prototype was made in hot pink spectraflame with some experimental painting of the question mark cast on either side of the car in flat black.  It appears that the proto was derived from a Hot Heap, as its fenders are similar and the proto has two Hot Heap engines.  Other distinct features of the proto include a smaller bumper on one end of the car, and an asymmetrical roof (an overhang on one end but not the other).
 
The T-4-2 was also found in the '72 Zappit Paks, (stock no. 5824).   Unfortunately, the T-4-2 casting was never used as the subject of any Hot Wheels box art.
 
The following color chart is based on study of various published redline color guides for the T-4-2, as well as collecting T-4-2's privately and on the web.  One resource erroneously lists gold as a production color for the T-4-2.  Also, some red T-4-2s were generally lightly sprayed and are therefore sometimes referred to as "watermelon".


Color chart

HK COLORS:
COMMENTS:
lime common
light green
common
yellow common
red uncommon
green
uncommon
aqua hard to find
magenta hard to find
blue
hard to find

 

A light green T-4-2.
 

A red T-4-2.
 

A green T-4-2.
 

An aqua T-4-2.
 

A view of the T-4-2 base.
 

 

 







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