MINICARS: The Datsun 240Z introduces a new Chameleon paint for Hot Wheels cars

Hot Wheels is about to introduce a new type of paint. Chameleon, which transitions from purple to green depending on the angle of light shined onto it, has been around in the full-size car scene for a while now, but this Custom 1972 Datsun 240Z will mark its first use on a Hot Wheels car.

The so-called color-shifting pigment’s popularization in the Japanese tuning world came about when Japan’s Nippon Paint used the pigment in automotive paints branded as Maziora (which was a portmanteau of “magic aurora”).

And it’s not just any 240Z (Hot Wheels has made four S30 Z models). The casting is based on Sung Kang’s Fugu Z, and has a GReddy-built RB26 under the hood replicated in exacting detail. To show off the engine, this premium edition has an opening hood. It also comes with classic 4-spoke racing wheels á la SSR MkII wrapped in rubber racing slicks.

The car will be available exclusively to members of Hot Wheels’ Red Line Club, which offers special models for collectors. The car will retail for $19.99 plus shipping when it goes on sale on the morning of Tuesday, August 20, at 9:00 am Pacific Time. We have discussed before how to become a member of the Red Line Club, and it is because of cars like this that we renew our membership year after year.

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12 Responses to MINICARS: The Datsun 240Z introduces a new Chameleon paint for Hot Wheels cars

  1. Leon Dixon says:

    Ah-ahh-ahhh! With all due respect… “Chameleon” paint is not new at all, except for maybe Hot Wheels toy cars. And it certainly was not born anywhere in California or Japan. And the name is not new either–no matter who thinks so. I first wrote about Chameleon paint in an article for “Car Classics” magazine back in the 1970s. So no mere argument here.

    “Chameleon paint” (and it carried this very same name) was co-developed by an automotive paint maker and Creative Industries of Detroit in the mid-1960s. It was introduced (again with the same name and same function/effect/appearance) on the Plymouth XP-VIP concept car that Creative Industries built for the Plymouth Division of Chrysler Corporation in 1965. More information is in my book, “Creative Industries of Detroit–The Untold Story of Detroit’s Secret Concept Car Builder”…

    While B&W press photos don’t do the XP-VIP color any justice at all (they make it look as if a monochrome dark color), I was there when the car debuted at the Detroit Auto show. I can assure you. Colors changed from bronze to gold to maroon to pink to reddish to green to chartreuse and more–depending on the light and angle. People who were standing around the turntable at the debut were all arguing as to what color the car really was.

    It created a sensation in the 1960s even if this has been forgotten in 2019. And a friend who participated in the building the XP-VIP said it “drove the painter crazy” as it was being painted in the shop the first time.

    So please, let’s correct this and give credit where credit is due. The effect is not new and the name is not new… and the development of Chameleon paint took place in Detroit …in the 1960s… by Creative Industries of Detroit.

    • AndyB says:

      That is exactly what the article says. Did you not read it?? They didn’t say anything about where it was first developed, just how it was popularized in Japan. For being a journalist, I’d think you could read better.

      • Leon Dixon says:

        Apparently YOU are the one incapable of reading. Did you read the ORIGINAL POSTING? Did you not read what I wrote in response?

        For being such a rude critic (which is typical for this JNC site where half of the responses are from curt, abrasive know-it-alls who THINK they are somehow informed), it would seem that YOU could read better on BOTH sides of the equation. Chameleon paint is NOT new… and the original posting DID indeed say it was new…and did indeed say who and where it was “first developed”… BEFORE THE POSTING WAS EDITED.

        Nobody cares what you think except people who think like you! Problem is, people who think like you don’t think. They just open their mouths and spew fouls smells and poison.

        You also ought to look up what “journalist” means… as in the dictionary. Have a nice day.

    • Your Mom says:

      This is one of those guys that’s REALLY fun at parties…

  2. Ricky S says:

    In the mid 90s SEMA, BASF, Ford and Saleen, preceded the Maziora
    Trend that came much later in Japan.

  3. Ben Hsu says:

    Thanks for the info, Leon and Ricky. I removed the reference to JDS uniphase of San Jose and merely reference the its popularity in the tuning world.

    • Leon Dixon says:

      I guess it is okay that the later imitators are deleted from the story, but my feeling is that they did not need to be deleted. But rather people need to be educated and true sources deserve recognition and credit. it would still be nice to see Creative Industries of Detroit officially recognized as the original creator of both the name of the paint and the concept/effect of the paint. Also the time period was well before the Datsun 240Z, Mustang or any later OEM or aftermarket similar ideas for color. This despite the fact that people who presently make Hot Wheels and perhaps Ford and Nissan and anyone else don’t know the history. Here is a very good chance to set the record straight.

  4. Nigel says:

    Very nice

  5. Brad says:

    And I believe, Maisto was the first toy company to use it on their products, in 2005. It was done on the 1/24 and 1/18 GRidez VW Beetle and 1967 Ford Mustang.

  6. I’m looking for the 1984 Nissan 300zx aniversaey edition

  7. Socarboy says:

    20 years ago these finishes were called “a flip – flop paint job”.

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