In 1976 DMC introduced the first prototype of the DeLorean. With an innovative design, the car soon captured the public’s interest. In 1978, when DMC was setting up its factory in Ireland, Mattel contacted DMC and obtained verbal authorization to produce a miniature of the DeLorean. Based on the prototype photos, Mattel began to develop the molds for the miniature and some prototypes of the miniature were created.
However, for reasons unclear at the time, DMC ended up not providing the license to Mattel, Years later it became known that this was due to an agreement between DMC and Matchbox (which at the time did not belong to Mattel yet).
To recoup the costs of the design and molds development, Bob Rosas, Product Development Manager at Mattel, convinced the company to make minor modifications to the existing molds to change the model enough so that it was no longer a DeLorean copy.
And that’s how Hot Wheels Turismo was born! It was launched in the 1981 line and was produced until 1984. The 81 and 82 models were made in red color, with yellow, white and black graphics, and with the number 10 on the side. Also, on the doors, there were stickers from brands like Goodyear , Bell, 76 , STP and Champion . The only difference between the 81 and 82 models is the color of the plastic parts (interior, rear deck, bumper). On the 81, it’s beige, on the 82, black.
In 1983 and 1984 they were painted yellow. The 83 with orange, purple, black stripes and purple plastic parts. The 84 with orange, red, black stripes and black plastic parts.
In 2015 Hot Wheels released two DeLoreans with similar graphics to the Turismo: a regular version and a Super Treasure Hunt version.
Turismo - 1981 Hot Wheels
Pictures credits: miniatures from the author’s collection