In the second part of my interview with Mike, we discussed about customizing, rare cars and some of the missing puzzle in his collection.
PART TWO - CUSTOMIZING AND RARE CARS
14) Have you ever attempt to customize your own car?
Yes, I have done a couple small customs, but they take so much time, time that I don’t have. If I have any time like that, I like to customize real cars.
15) Do you collect customize cars?
No, I don’t collect Customs. I like the ones that people give me and the ones that people do of my car, but I don’t go out looking for them. Some of them can be expensive and that money could buy me something old that I’m looking for.
16) what are your view on Customize cars?
Customs are cool. I like to do real cars and guys like my son Chris like to do scale cars. There are guys out there that do some amazing work, just like the guys that do the full size cars.... and the paint work is amazing too!
Mike discussing with Chris Parker at the Las Vegas 2010 Super Convention by Diecastspace
17) How important is it to have Customizers awards?
I think it’s important to have Customizer Awards. It’s like any other competition, everyone like to compete and hone their skill. It’s like real cars, if you don’t place at one show, you try harder to do better at the next one. It make’s you better.
Mike Signing Autograph during the Summer Smash 2008
Mike giving words of wisdom to the at the Summer Smash 2008
18) Do you have a Favorite Customizer's work?
No, not really. There are a lot of guys out there that are really good. I like it when someone takes a few different castings and chops them all up and makes one car out of all the pieces. Ya know, like real cars.
Larry Wood sharing some ideas with Mike during the Summer Smash 4 2011
19) You have been to many conventions. which is your favorite convention? and why?
Wow....! Yes, I’ve been to many conventions! I do about five conventions and a few other appearances every year. You can find where I’ll be on the Appearance Page on my website http://www.mikezarnock.com/dates.html All the conventions that I go to are great in their own way, but I think the best one for me is the Diecast Space Super Convention and Hall of Fame Ceremony. There are so many celebrities that come to that event and I get to meet so many of my fans too. A lot of wonderful friendships have come from that event.
Mike with the great George Barris at the Las Vegas Convention 2009
Mike with Gary Reid's Bubble Top Vette
VHTF and rare ones
20) From over 8,000 variations of Hot Wheels produced by Mattel, Can you name me 3 that you deem as a rare car/casting?
A rare casting would be the Rear Loader Beach Bombs. The Python with the “Cheetah” on the base along with the Mighty Maverick with “Mad Maverick” on the base. I talk about those and a few others in the Warman’s Hot Wheels Field Guide as the “Top Ten Hot Wheels Of All Time” and of course in the Prototype Book that I did with Bruce Pascal.
Bruce Pascal paid a whopping $70,000 for the Rear Loading Beach Bomb
The Phython with the Cheetah written on the base
Mighty maverick with Mad Maverick written on the base
And then there is the Collector Number 271 package. It’s not the casting with this one, but the packaging that is so very rare.
1995 Collector Number 271 Funny Car It’s reported that only 12 of these cars were packaged and released on the Blue Card with white Collector Number 271 due to the way the cards were printed 12 to a sheet. There have only been six of these Collector Number 271 Funny Cars found to still be carded today. To date, no variations of this car have been found. Note: This Hot Wheels car must be in the #271 package to realize the value noted. Value: $3,500 blister pack.
21) You have over twenty thousands of cars in your collection, which is your prized possession?
I have been asked that question so many times over the years and it was always so hard to answer, but I can now say without a doubt that my favorite Hot Wheels car is the “Mike Zarnock’s Altered Roadster”! Having a production Hot Wheels car with my name on it is just such an honor!
Hot Wheels Altered State inspired by Mike Zarnock's Altered Roadster
Mike Zarnock's Altered State Design Spec. Sheet
22) Is there a car that you still have trouble finding?
NO, I can find just about any car that I need, but the problem now is the cash. The cars that I need now are all high dollar pieces. The least expensive being about $500 or so....
The ultra rare blue open fire for sale for over $2000
23) In your opinion. what makes a car becomes a sudden rare items? is it the publicity, designer, limited produce?
It’s always the limited production that makes a car rare. Sometimes Mattel will make a running change after only a few hundred pieces and everyone will want one of those first run cars.
A limited edition Batmobile 1st run tool car
25) Do you collect cars such as unspun, prototypes...etc?
No, I don’t collect any of that type of stuff. They get pretty pricey and if I’m going to spend that kind of money, I’ll get something I really want like one of the Variations or Collector Number or a rare Track Set that I need.
A sample prototype of the Phantom Corsair
A sample unspun VW Drag Bus
26) How do you determine the value of a VHTF or rare car?
I don’t determine any prices. All the prices in my books are what collectors have actually paid for each car. Remember, a value is what someone is willing to pay for something.
On Sale online for US$500,000
27) What do you think of the new Treasure Hunts Supers that are no longer in the old green strip?
I love it! I have been asking Mattel to do that since 1998 or so. This is the perfect way for the “COLLECTOR” to find the treasure, not the scalper or people that just look for Treasure Hunts. I can’t tell you how many times I’m looking through the cars and someone else is there looking too. I’ll always be courteous and ask if there is anything special that they’re looking for and they will always come back with.... “I’m looking for the car with the green stripe and the money sign on it! They’re worth a lot of money on ebay!” I’m hoping this will put an end to all the crazyness!
Old T-Hunt Super$ with the green strip
New T-Hunt Super$ with a common blue strip
Mike's Collection of Hot Wheels at home
Interview was conducted by Ronald Wong aka Darthvaderr
The next part of the interview will be featured on 1 April.
PART ONE - PERSONAL COLLECTION