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Off the Shelf: February 23, 2018

Hot Wheels' Aston Martin One-77

If you've been following any of the news lately in the automotive industry, you might also be surprised and well, laughing in hysteria, at some of the names luxury car manufacturers are slapping on to the backs of their newest models.

Rolls-Royce is calling their new SUV the Cullinan (yes, the Spirit of Ecstasy is finding another home perched atop on a sport utility vehicle). Lamborghini just came out with something called the Urus, which I still can't pronounce right and probably never will. Bentley is selling a beluga whale wearing a suede tuxedo called the Bentayga, and Ferrari has a hypercar on sale today called the Ferrari LaFerrari. It gets even better, because there’s also a stallion out of Maranello that proudly goes by the name, wait for it, the 812 Superfast. Oh boy, two-adjectives in one model name! Aston Martin’s cars at least have intriguing, gentle and for the most part exquisite names that aren’t incredibly preposterous or boisterous. Easy, fancy flowing words that roll-off the tongue like Vanquish, Vantage, Virage, Vulcan and Rapide. So I applaud and raise a glass of champagne to Aston for that, cheers.

Speaking of Aston, let’s look at this week’s die-cast, a One-77 from Hot Wheels.
[Click the photo above to enlarge]

I’ve always loved Aston Martins, and I blame a combination of things for this lust. Maybe it’s due to the repeated listening of rappers Rick Ross and Drake’s 2010 hit “Aston Martin Music,” which yes, I admittedly had playing on YouTube while writing this week’s column. Perhaps it’s from all the James Bond 007 movies I’ve seen, brief seat time in an older manual-transmission DB7 I drove years back, or watching the V8 Vantage GTE compete in the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans. They’re stunning, tasteful, classy, and I’d much rather own an Aston than one of its Italian classmates from Lamborghini and Ferrari. My dream car in fact, is a mid-2000s Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, and I confidently strive to own one at some point.

The One-77 is a special car and quite possibly one of the rarest Aston Martins ever built. Aston showed off this work of art at the Concorso d’Eleganza Ville D’Este in northern Italy circa 2009. Its sexy, jaw-dropping shape reflected across the blue surface of Lake Como as it earned the design award for “Concept Cars and Prototypes.” Only seventy-seven One-77s (ah, get it?) were made between 2009 and 2012, each commanding a little over £1 million or about $1.87 million US dollars. Underneath its vented hood, a 7.3-liter V12  propelled the rear-wheel-drive One-77 to 220 mph. A six-speed sequential manual and paddle shifters managed all 750 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Zero-to-60 mph took around 3.5 seconds, making it the fastest Aston Martin ever built.

The Brit had an intense yet attractive appearance, its chassis made of a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque tub surrounded by hand-crafted aluminum. There were carbon fiber splitters and diffusers, and it had active aerodynamics, meaning the rear spoiler would do a little flappy, cheerful dance to keep the car under control at high speeds. 20-inch forged wheels were wrapped with 335/30 ZR tires in back and all brakes had huge, ventilated carbon ceramic discs. The car had a racing-derived inboard suspension, adjustable dampers and double wishbones at each wheel. It was built like a dream car, performed like a dream car, had the price tag of a dream car and looked like a dream car.

I’ve sadly accepted the reality that I’ll never quite own this dream car you’ve been reading about, but thankfully Hot Wheels fills that void, because I can walk into my local Target and buy a mini die-cast of the One-77 for a dollar.

Launched by Hot Wheels just a month ago and part of their 2018 “HW Exotics” collection, this well-detailed model of the One-77 is painted in a sparkling metallic green that does an A+ job mirroring the actual car’s finish. There’s a subtle black stripe running down the hood, roof and atop its rear spoiler. What’s the most impressive thing about this model? Its headlights look spot-on accurate when compared to the real hypercar itself. That is very cool. Hot Wheels also sells it in red, too.

Hot Wheels 2018 "HW Exotics" Series
Aston Martin One-77
No. FJY01


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