Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Redline?

A "Redline" Hot Wheels car is one that was manufactured within the first ten years of production, 1968 to 1977.
The term "redline" derives from the fact that, during that period, the cars were manufactured with a red stripe on the tire.

Although there were a number of different wheels types and sizes, almost ALL cars made during the redline era have red striped wheels.
(The exceptions being the Rail Dragsters from 1971, the two motorcycles from 1975 and some of the military vehicles)

However, simply having a red striped wheel does NOT guarantee that a car is a true redline.

In 1978, the red stripe was abandoned and cars made after 1977 are commonly known as "Basic Wheel" or "Blackwalls".
In 1993, the red striped wheels returned to the product line on the "Vintage" reproductions of the original red lines and have been used intermittently since then.
So, the red striped wheel alone, is not a conclusive way to confirm a true redline.

During the red line years, the cars were sold worldwide but were only manufactured in two places, the US or Hong Kong.
If the chassis of the car identifies the "country of origin" as anything other than US or Hong Kong, then it is NOT a true redline.

US or Hong Kong Only!

Not France, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Macau, Mexico or Venezuela...

Therefore, if the car HAS red striped wheels AND was made in the US or Hong Kong, then it is a true Redline!

Once you know that you have a redline, use this guide to learn more about it.

"How old is my Hot Wheels car?"

Almost every Hot Wheels car made has a "year" embossed on the base.
This date is the year in which Mattel filed the COPYRIGHT for the name of the car and the design of the car.

The date is NOT the year it was made.

Typically, the cars were copyrighted in the year prior to first release for sale, but many castings have been in production for over 30 years.
Thus, the date has no relevance to the age of the car other than the car can be no older than the copyright date.


Pictured above are two Plymouth Barracudas, one in spectraflame copper next to a chromed version.

* Both have "redlines" on the wheel
* Both are dated "1967"

Country of Origin
The chrome car is made in "China" and CANNOT be a true redline.
The copper Barracuda is made in the USA and therefore is a true redline.

Copyright Date
Although dated, "1967", the chromed car is a Redline Club Membership car from 2004.
The date on the base is NOT the year of manufacture.


Notice: All CIPSA information has been moved to a new website! CIPSACars.Com


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