The Ford J-Car was one of the original 16 Hot Wheels cars that debuted in 1968. It was originally packaged on the regular blister cards, but later came out in Grand Prix Series blister packs.
The real Ford J-Cars were the predecessors of the Ford GT40 Mk IV. Completed in March of 1966, the first J-Car (J-1) weighed just over 2,600 pounds and was powered by a 500 HP 427 c.i. engine. Although J-1 had the fastest times at the 1966 Le Mans trials, it was sidelined so that the Ford team could focus on their team of GT40 Mk II cars. This decision paid off with a 1-2-3 finish by Mk IIs at the 1966 Le Mans! A second J-Car (J-2), built to CanAm specifications, crashed at Riverside in August 1966, tragically killing driver Ken Miles. After extensive re-working of the chassis and development of a new body style, the J-Car officially became known as the GT40 Mk IV.
J-1 on the track at Riverside (L) and in the pits at the '66 Le Mans trials (R).
The Hot Wheels version of the Ford J-Car featured an opening rear hatch, racing numbers (#1) and rocker panel stripes, and were painted in various Spectraflame colors, as well as white enamel like the real car. J-Cars were manufactured at both the US and Hong Kong plants.
are two major variations for HK J-Cars. The first of these is a
early run version with vents (or “louvers”) on the top of the rear
hatch (similar to the
US version) and a "hidden
hinge" mechanism for the rear hatch. Apparently, the
iteration of the hatch mechanism was too fragile
so the casting was redesigned with a hardier hinge, and the rear vents
omitted. Hidden hinge J-Cars were produced only in white enamel
and light blue ("blue fog") and are extremely difficult to find intact!
An early-production "hidden hinge" HK Ford J-Car in white enamel.
casting, HK J-Cars have top and bottom halves so that the base is
same color as the rest of the car. Most HK J-Cars are found with
white enamel paint, although they also were produced in Spectraflame
red, green and
A red HK Ford J-Car.
have blue windows and black interiors. Most HK J-Cars have four
medium-size bearing wheels. The rare exceptions to this are small
front wheels on early cars, and cap wheels on late-run cars. Note
that there are two interior types: one (early) features a large
steering wheel, and the other (late) has a small steering wheel.
Interestingly, HK cars have the steering wheel on the left, while US
cars all feature right-hand drive!
The HK J-Car on the left has an early interior with a large steering wheel.
are a few rare and very interesting versions of the Ford J-Car.
HK J-Cars in anything but white enamel are rare. Of these, red is
common but it too is relatively
scarce. Only a handful of green and light blue HK J-Cars have
been found, and most of these seem
to have come from
Europe. The early run "hidden
hinge" cars are often found in Canada. (Click "hidden
hinge" to learn more...)
A very rare light blue HK Ford J-Car!
Ford J-Cars can be found in most of the Spectraflame colors, although
since they were not produced after 1969, are either very rare or
non-existent in the second generation colors
(e.g. hot pink, magenta, yellow, light green). A "blue enamel"
version of the J-Car was produced in limited quantity and is often
rumored to have been
promotional car for the 1969 Indianapolis
500 (although no promotional material to support this has ever been
documented). The car is
painted in blue Spectraflame
white enamel base coat. It is
not known how many "blue enamel" J-Cars were produced but they are
scarce, especially in good condition, and
a clean example typically commands a price of several hundred
dollars. Nearly all "blue enamel" J-Cars have type "B" bodies
& hatches, further suggesting that they were produced as a single
A "blue enamel" US Ford J-Car.
A hot pink US Ford J-Car.
A pair of antifreeze Ford J-Cars.
Ford J-Car Color chart
|gold||hard to find
||hard to find
|creamy pink||very hard to find
|blue enamel||very hard to find (many are in poor condition; may have been a never-released promotional car)|
|white enamel||common; regular hinge
||hard to find|
||rare; "hidden hinge" casting
||very rare; Italian "Brucia
Pista" BP only
|light blue||very rare; "blue fog"|
A red HK Ford J-Car still in the blister pack!
A stunning spectraflame blue US Ford J-Car!
A rare green HK Ford J-Car in an Italian blister pack!
A complete HK Ford J-Car rainbow. Only four colors, but very rare indeed!
A rare early-run antifreeze US Ford J-Car in a "Cheetah card" blister pack.
Common color, but a tough combination to find: a white enamel HK Ford J-Car in a
Grand Prix series blister pack.
A complete US Ford J-Car rainbow!