This may the among the first of a dubious trend - a 30-minute toy commercial masquerading as a Saturday morning cartoon. Hot Wheels was a wildly popular toy car line, spawning several imitators (like Johnny Lightning). As a product, it was quite enjoyable, and a high-quality product that now is among the mega-collectible boomer toys. And yes, my mom in fact DID throw out my "wheel" carrying case with all my cars in it! But I digress
Hard to say how the cartoon came about. Did someone say, "hey, my kids love Hot Wheels cars, let's make a cartoon vaguely related to Hot Wheels and cash in", or alternatively, "hey, I had this great idea - why not make a cartoon about our toy, and maybe we can sneak it into the Saturday morning line up, advertise our toy, and also get paid for doing it!"
The cartoon itself was the typical, generic, limited animation that looked like it cost about $150 an episode to produce. The plot was nominally about a race car club competing in some unspecified series, with some rival "bad guy" car club as a frequent antagonist. Rule #1 about cartoons - if it's about a race, it's gonna stink! This cartoon did not prove to be the exception, it stunk out loud. Nonetheless, it worked pretty well and it was relatively popular for a while. Whether it ever sold any more Hot Wheels cars is unclear.
I vaguely recall an airplane-related sister series, but it's been too many years.
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