2018 50¢ Hot Wheels: Deora II (2000)
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 1968, Hot Wheels released its first line of toy cars, dubbed the "Sweet 16." Among those was the Deora, a custom car designed a few years earlier by Harry Bentley Bradley, the first Hot Wheels designer.
Bradley had been hired in 1964 to design a custom car for the Alexander brothers (owners of a famed custom car shop) for an upcoming car show. The resulting "surfer truck" used parts from a Dodge A100 pickup and a 1960 Ford station wagon. Painted in a shimmering gold color, it was named the Deora, based on teh Spanish word for gold "de oro). The truck was a hit and won nine awards at one show alone.
By 1968, Bradley was working for Mattel and was tasked with designing their first batch of Hot Wheels cars. He proposedhis Deora, and with the addition of two removable surf boards, it captured the "California Custom" look they wanted. The Deora quickly became a beloved classic.
The original Deora design was only used in 1968. After that, it was 26 years before Hot Wheels produced a retooled version. Then in 2000, they produced the Deora II, a modern streamlined and aerodynamic take on Bradley's original design.
To mark Hot Wheels' 35th anniversary in 2003, a life-size, fully functional Deora II was built, bringing the story of this custom surfer's truck full circle.