Not Wheels:  Bruce Pascal, Hot Wheels Historian and MCHOF Inductee, Solves a Book Mystery

Ron Ruelle model car hall of fame
by Ron Ruelle

I recently came across an interesting vintage Hot Wheels book, seen here. “Navigating Your Moods” appears to be a late-1960s  to early-1970s coloring book from Golden Books. 

But something feels… odd about it. Obviously, I’m talking about the art style. It doesn’t quite feel like the work of Otto Kuhni, who was THE go-to guy for Hot Wheels illustrations of the era and for many years after. Kuhni created the original logo, the entire flame motif, and of course the delightfully dynamic car depictions. His cars came at you with foreshortening, dynamic speed, and enough distortion of the details to create huge, chaotic energy.

not wheels coloring bookThis cover feels a bit flat by comparison.

Oh, also, that title. And the kid’s frown. Now that I think about it, yeah, none of that is right. But it was on the internet, so, it must be true, no? 

This modified cover showed up on a Facebook group called “Your Childhood Runied,” in which artists alter classic kids’ books, especially Golden Books, Nancy Drew mysteries, and such. (Warning… most of the humor is silly, maybe a bit naughty, but some of you might find the content over the top. The comments can get a tad raunchy as well. ENJOY!)

Now, as a kid with a voracious appetite for Hot Wheels back then and even more importantly, a kid whose grandmother worked for Western Publishing, the creators of Golden Books and Gold Key/Whitman comics, I was a bit surprised I didn’t remember having that one way back when. Not the altered one, the original title. And I couldn’t find it online, because, it helps to know the title when searching. Duh.

hot wheels coloring book

So I asked Pascal, on his Instagra, @pinkbeachbomb if he recognized it. He, of course, has published the definitive guide to Hot Wheels prototypes and is also a 2009 Inductee of the MCHOF. It didn’t take him long to send me a photo of the original “Hot Wheels Coloring Book,” complete with a boy who looks a tad happier on the cover.

Speaking of Pascal and Hot Wheels history, he has written countless articles on many websites, some of which are sadly now defunct. We’ve been talking with him about reprinting some of his older articles here on the Model Car Hall of Fame, and will have the first one sometime next week. We know you’ll enjoy it.

If any of you have your old copy of this coloring book, especially with your artistic embellishment, we’d love to see it!

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