2018 50¢ Hot Wheels: Twin Mill (1969)
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: September 29, 2018
First Day City: Fort Worth, TX
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 100,000,000
In most cases, toy cars are inspired by or modeled after real cars. They give children and collectors a chance to "own" their favorite vehicles. But in the case of the Twin Mill, the toy car inspired a real car.
The Twin Mill is one of the most popular and famous Hot Wheels ever produced. It was created in 1969 by former Chrysler designer Ira Gilford as part of the first series of Hot Wheels to not be based on existing cars. In designing the car, Gilford wanted "a big roller across the back." His resulting design had a wide, exposed rear-wheel area, which convinced him teh rest of the car should be wide as well – wide enough for two engines. The Twin Mill was released in a variety of Spectraflame (metallic) colors with brown being the most rare, and hot pink, light green, and yellow some of the most popular. There are also some hard-to-find varieties with a much smaller "cut" rear fender.
Three decades later, Hot Wheels was preparing to celebrate its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, they decided to build a full-sized version of the beloved Twin Mill. Setbacks in production delayed its release, but when it was unveiled in 2001, it wowed crowds wherever it went. The fully functional Twin Mill had working head and tail lights, turn signals, and gauges, and could reportedly reach up to 170 miles per hour. Not bad for a design that was originally a toy car!