After spending months traveling around the world, Hot Wheels has chosen the next custom-built car it will add to its catalog of scale models. The winner of the 2023 Hot Wheels Legends Tour is a 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata nicknamed Chimera and built out of a shed in New Zealand.
Chris Watson, the Miata’s owner, drew inspiration from a diverse array of sources to design his dream car, including Japan’s Kaido Racer car culture and the Cyberpunk genre of science fiction. He added slim LED headlights, vents in the space carved out for the front turn signals, fender-mounted mirrors, and a wide-body kit, among other parts. There’s also a custom-designed hardtop with a fin and a rear light bar.
The nearly four-inch-wide flares aren’t there just for show; they cover massive wheels. Inside, there’s a pair of aftermarket seats, a three-spoke steering wheel, a digital display mounted in front of the factory instrument cluster, and a series of aftermarket gauges and switches.
We don’t know if the modifications extend to the engine bay. Stock, an American-market 1990 Miata uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 116 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. The engine spins the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. What’s nearly certain is that this Miata should be louder than an unmodified model thanks to a Yoshimura muffler designed for motorcycle use.
Hot Wheels will add Watson’s Chimera to its collection of die-cast cars in the near future. The brand has already released several variants of the original Miata so its designers won’t be starting from scratch. Once released, the model will make its way to stores, toy boxes, and scale-model collections around the world. In the meantime, the Miata has been inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends, where it joins past winners such as a 1969 Volvo P1800 gasser powered by a Chevrolet-sourced V8 and an Autozam kei truck turned into a monster truck.
As for Watson, it looks like the Chimera may not be his final Legends Tour entry. Check out the R35-generation GT-R wagon (?!) in his shop.