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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Red Baron casting is based on the Monogram model kit designed by Tom Daniel. In 1969, Monogram asked Bob Larivee to have a full scale version built for the custom car show circuit. Larivee had Chuck Miller, the owner of Detroit Styleline Customs to make the build based on the Monogram model kit. Ira Gilford is credited with the in house Mattel design. It was distributed by Mattel through 1972.

The Hot Wheels design features the large German spiked infantry helmet (called a Pickelhaube) over the passenger compartment with a black Iron Cross decal applied to each side. There is also an Iron Cross design on the front of the radiator. The Hot Wheels casting has fenders. Where the Monogram model kit and 1:1 car build does not. Like most T Bucket style roadsters it features an exposed engine. This one is an inline 6 cylinder German aircraft engine and includes the upright raditor up front with as noted earlier - an Iron Cross design on the front side of the radiator.

As a Redline it was produced only at the Hong Kong factory in Red Spectraflame paint with primarily a black interior piece. Some white interior castings are known, but are extremely rare. The interior has a dash board and a tall steering wheel column that fits up inside of the helmet top making the wheel hard to see inside the interior. They have been found with a blank base and with the same copy right information as the regular black interior distributed pieces.

The base is bare metal. From the rolling casting perspective the base is not visible from the front. From the sides the traditional rod linked suspension peices are visible along the frame side rails. At the back of the casting, a rather larger differential and other suspension components are visible with a fuel cell mounted above them directly behind the body bucket. On the bottom of the base casting the front portion is a blank squarish area. The front rivet goes through the oil pan. A large drive shaft (?) joins up to the transmission passing under a central frame cross member. A thinner drive shaft then joins up to the differentail with the rear rivet passing through that drive shaft along the way. A peculairity in the base design is that here the rear wheels are not in line with the differentail and axel details. As almost all other Hot WHeels castings are. Instead they are about a 1/4 inch in front of these casting details.

Initially this casting was issued with a corresponding smooth tabbed metal collectors button from HK with a red casting image on a yellow background. Later production runs have a plastic button instead and are also considered a rare find.

Several prototype models are known from a former Mattel employee collection. These all have white interiors and shorter 'clipped' rear fenders.

No catalogue models have been identified to date.

In 1973, the Red Baron was release again in red enamel paint with a still spiked helmet design and through hole design Redline front wheel sets. The steering wheel and dashboard are deleted in this version. The country of origin is now China. A digital version of this casting is playable in the Hot Wheels Turbo Racing video game.

In 1974, the helmet spike was reduced to a bump and all through hole Redline Wheels sets were used. A shorter steering wheel column and dashboard returned to the interior of this casting release.

In 1977, 1979 and 1983 it was release in the repective Flying Colors line ups with black wall basic wheel sets.

In 1993, a re-tooled version of the casting model was released for the 25th Anniversary Set and continued to be used as listed below.

In 1994, releases included the FAO Schwarz Gold Series I and the Vintage Series,

In 1995, the FAO Schwarz Gold Series II.

in 1996, the Target Retro Wheels Set.

In 1999, the Toy Story Game.

In 2002, a more detailed version of the casting was made (in true 1:64 scale (?) and without fenders for the 100% Hot Wheels Psychedelic Relics 2 Car Set. This version was only produced one time.

In 2003, the Highway 35 World Race - Scorchers #31 went back to using the 1993 re-tooled casting pieces.

In 2008, the Since '68 Series, the Hot Wheels Classics Series 4 set and Top 40 Set.

In 2009, Fright Series, Hot Wheels Classics Series 8 - Neo-Classics, and the Disney Pixar Toy Story Track Set.

In 2012, the Hot Wheels Boulevard series was the last release to date.

During a portion of the time Mattel owned Monogram, the Red Baron could often be found as a bonus car inside the model kit.

In his book Warman's Hot Wheels Field Guide: 3rd Edition (Values and Identification), Michael Zarnock notes the 1970 Red Baron with the white interior to be the fifth rarest Hot Wheel casting to date, with an estimated value of $3,000 or more. No Red Baron with a white interior has ever been found in an original blister pack. Consideration should be made that The Red Baron has been reissued as listed above with a white interior 4 other times since 1970. Two of those 4 releases were done in a Red metallic paint. Neither of these later castings reflect the same values as the original Pre Production or Production run castings in Spectraflame Red paint with the white interior. Notice is also made that reproduction white interiors are also readily available.

For years the whereabouts of the 1:1 car show unknown, but fortunately, today the Red Baron can be found in the Smith Collection Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Resource references -

http://www.streetmusclemag.com/news/what-happend-to-chuck-millers-red-baron/
Red Baron | Hot Wheels Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
On Line Redline Guide
http://www.hwredlines.com/menu-grp/hw-70.shtml
http://www.hwprotos.com/menu-grp-cars/1970/6400-RedBaron/6400x-HK-RedBaron.shtml
NCHWA Redline Central: 1970 Redline Price Guide
The Elite Redline Guide (2010)
https://sites.google.com/site/redlinebuttons/Buttons/1970
Warmen's Hot Wheels Field Guide
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I updated the history thread post above for additional details from the other listed web sites and field guide book. New information includes a list of all releases to date and revisions of the casting by Hot Wheels through 2002. Information on the 1:1 build and current location are also included with additional links to those resources. For visual reference here are some images of my tatty, but heavily used and deeply loved version of an original 1970 Redline from my childhood. I have the replacement large capped wheels from another casting already in the workshop ready to be installed to make this one a roller again. Be sure to add information and photos of your Red Baron when you can.


1970 Hot Wheels (6400) Red Baron by Milton Fox, on Flickr

1970 Hot Wheels (6400) Red Baron by Milton Fox, on Flickr

1970 Hot Wheels (6400) Red Baron by Milton Fox, on Flickr

1970 Hot Wheels (6400) Red Baron by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 

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Old School #69
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The replacement for my childhood collection 1977.



Had this cut card for a while.



Guessing it was from a Shell promo, it appears the button was cut through and a shard of it remains inside the blister!



Eric
 
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