top of page

Kiwi man's custom car wins worldwide competition, will be turned into miniature Hot Wheels model

Paridhi Bakshi

The global winner of the 2023 Hot Wheels Legends Tour was built by a Kiwi.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

The global winner of the 2023 Hot Wheels Legends Tour has been crowned - and it was built by a Kiwi.

Now Northland man Chris Watson's car will be turned into an actual Hot Wheels model and sold in stores worldwide.

Nicknamed 'Chimera', Watson's car is a highly-modified Mazda 1990 MX-5.

The dystopian-looking car was built in his shed in Kaiwaka, inspired by the combination of Japanese 'Kaido Racer' car culture and the futuristic cyberpunk genre.

Its makeover includes the custom-made carbon fibre shark fin spoiler, custom-made 100mm fender flares and a futuristic rear light bar, while the interior was given cyberpunk-style LED lighting, a smoked-acrylic switch panel, and a custom-mounted 'cyberdeck' over the passenger seat.

In a statement, Watson said he was "absolutely blown away with the result".

"This win really means a lot because with everything I build I try to encourage others to be creative as well and this shows that you don't need a fancy shop or a huge budget to build something awesome," he said.

"I want to show that there doesn't have to be a high barrier for entry to working on cars and that not all builds have to follow the same formula."

The Mazda MX5 has a custom-made carbon-fibre spoiler in the shape of a shark fin. Photo credit: Newshub.

Mattel vice-president and global head of design for vehicles, Ted Wu, said Watson's victory "embodies what this tour is all about".

"Chris' journey from rural New Zealand to securing a spot in the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends is truly inspirational," he said in the statement.

"Chimera is a great addition to the Garage of Legends, and we can't wait to create the die-cast version."

Chimera will be immortalised as a 1:64 Hot Wheels vehicle and inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends.

Hero image: Kaiwaka man Chris Watson customised his Mazda MX5 nicknamed 'Chimera'. It has just won a worldwide Hot Wheels competition. Photo credit: Supplied.

bottom of page