It’s often said that a very expensive obsession with cars starts with a grocery store purchase of a 99-cent Hot Wheels, but sometimes, that idea works in the reverse. To wit: For most auto enthusiasts, purchasing a perfect-condition GMC Syclone for $25,000 is a non-starter. But purchasing a 1:64-scale Hot Wheels 1991 GMC Syclone for a crisp green Washington, with a shiny copper Lincoln to spare? That’s easy.
Somewhat surprisingly, this is the first time that Hot Wheels has cast the GMC in legendary 1:64 scale. Painted the same sinister black as every 1991 Syclone, the miniature version uses Hot Wheels RA6 rollers that match the original’s turbine-spoke wheels pretty well.
The Syclone is integrated into the Hot Wheels mainline release, part of its HW Hot Trucks collection. The company says that it doesn’t tend to release bone-stock vehicles much, so when it does, it’s because the source material is already pretty impressive. That’s certainly the case here.
The life-sized 1991 GMC Syclone was a revolution when it hit the market, based on the conventional Sonoma compact truck. A turbocharged and intercooled 4.3-liter V6 powered the truck, sharing a block but little else with the Sonoma. Instead, the Syclone got unique exhaust and intake manifolds, a high-performance throttle body, and forced induction, raising its output to a possibly underrated 280 horsepower (209 kilowatts) and 360 pound-feet (488 newton-meters).
Routing that power to standard all-wheel drive through a beefed-up four-speed automatic transmission, the Syclone could jump to 60 miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds, a time that shamed the much more expensive Porsche 911 Turbo and V12-powered Ferrari Testarossa. Even GM’s performance flagship, the Corvette ZR-1, wasn’t safe from the Syclone’s heat-seaking missile tendencies, at least as long as the road was straight.
Of course, on race tracks and canyon roads, the Syclone is still a pickup at its core, even with sportier suspension bits and a lower ride height. But on an orange Hot Wheels track, the 1:64 should be just as much fun, size-proportionate of course.