Hot Wheels' line of 40th anniversary models, designed by the car makers themselves, are due to go on sale in the US any day now and, we can now confirm, that they'll be making the boat trip Down Under too.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Hot Wheels asked designers at a number of car companies to come up with their ultimate toy car. The winners were initially unveiled at last year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show — the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas is a mecca for car tuners, car makers and rev-heads alike.

Amaury Diaz-Serrano is an industrial designer at General Motor's Rear-Wheel Studio Exterior Group. According to his company blog he has collected more than 3,000 Hot Wheels models. In an interview posted on the company's Web site, he says he "died and went to heaven" when GM asked him to stop his work on the upcoming Camaro to concentrate on his Hot Wheels design.

Dodge XP-07
Featuring two turbine engines, Mark Reisen's XP-07 is a two-seat Dodge taken to the extreme.

Gangster Grin
According to CNN, Steve Gilmore, a former Hot Wheels intern, was inspired by both a 1949 Ford and a customised 1950s-era Mercury.

Honda Racer
As we reported previously, Guillermo Gonzalez's Hot Wheels design, the Honda Racer, nominally has a 20-litre V10 in a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

Lotus Concept
Russell Carr, Head of Lotus Design, says that his team "relished the opportunity to design a concept that was free from the typical technical and legal constraints of a full size car".

Mitsubishi Double Shotz
Gary Ragle's coupe was designed to show off the 4G63 engine, the turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that's powered the Galant VR-4, Eclipse and Lancer Evolutions I through IX.

In addition to car makers, Hot Wheels' own designers were invited to come up with a design. Jun Imai's winning entry "is a little bit of everything ... American, Italian, classic, modern, et cetera".

Consider your ride pimped
Hot Wheels commissioned jeweller Jason of Beverly Hills to create a vehicle to celebrate the four billionth Hot Wheels car. According to Hot Wheels, this bejewelled marvel has more than 2,700 diamonds on it, totalling almost 23 carats in weight and valued at US$140,000.

Going, going ...
This mini bling-mobile will be auctioned off later in the year, with proceeds going to charity.

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