The Custom Fleetside, a Hot Wheels model, was meticulously designed by Harry Bradley, who drew inspiration from his own modified 1964 El Camino. Despite numerous modifications, the Custom Fleetside still bears a striking resemblance to the El Camino. Introduced as one of the original 16 Hot Wheels in 1968, it gained popularity among collectors.
In 1970, the casting made a comeback with an "Aero Launcher" variant, replacing the bed cover with an orange ramp. This version, known as the "Sky Show Fleetside" among collectors, was designed to interact with track sets featuring glider-style planes. The ingenious triggering system allowed these planes to be launched from the moving vehicle.
Distinguishing features between the U.S. and Hong Kong models include the windshield color, with the U.S. models having clear glass and the Hong Kong models featuring typical blue-tinted glass. Early production Hong Kong models were available in orange and purple and had the tails painted in the same color as the body. Some Fleetsides also had the front end underside painted, making them less common.
Earlier production models from both the U.S. and Hong Kong had small red taillights and a black-painted rear panel that partially wrapped under the car. Later U.S. models showcased a different tailpaint configuration, with two larger horizontal red light strips painted above a black block, which also wrapped slightly to the underside. The Sky Show Fleetside adopted this later paint scheme as well.
The Custom Fleetsides were manufactured in various spectraflame colors but had a consistent black interior. This decision was likely made to match the plastic bed cover, which was integrated into the interior. However, due to the plastic material, the bed cover often suffered from breakage or loss.
The model features a cast-shut hood, cleverly revealing an eight-cylinder engine. First-run production models had silver-painted cylinders, which are now relatively rare to find. On later production runs, the cylinders matched the car's color.
The Custom Fleetside was produced in both the United States and Hong Kong, sharing a black-painted roof and equipped with medium wheels on both axles.
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