Bruce Pascal (RLOL: pinkbeachbomb) has made some of the most amazing discoveries in the history of Redline collecting. He found one of the only two known Pink Beach Bombs in existence (at one point owned both of them) and more recently, an unopened box of cars from the 1970s Shell Gas Station promo.
Now Bruce’s tenacious sleuthing of ex Mattel employees has yielded another incredible discovery: a of set of drawings by legendary Hot Wheels designer Ira Gilford; hidden in a drawer for the past 40 years. These drawings have never been seen in public before today. They include the original concept drawing of the iconic Twin Mill, showing a cut fender model that varied from the production cars. This drawing verifies that Twin Mills with cut fenders were indeed the first, original concept.
All but one of the 16 Hot Wheels released by Mattel in 1968 were designed by Harry Bentley Bradley, a car designer and hot rod enthusiast who previously worked in Detroit for GM. Unfortunately, Mattel would not commit to a second Hot Wheels series, so Harry resigned to start his own design firm. After the overwhelming success of the original Hot Wheels lineup, Mattel asked Bradley to come back. He declined the offer, but recommended they contact his friend, Ira Gilford, who had recently left Chrysler.
Gilford accepted the job and turned out to be another home run hitter for Mattel. He went on to create 51 of the most famous Redline designs: including the Twin Mill, Splittin' Image, Classic Nomad, Volkswagen Beach Bomb, Custom Volkswagen and Classic 32 Ford Vicky.
During his employment, Mr. Gilford gave his assistant a group of 11 original drawings from his Hot Wheels portfolio. These drawings were put in drawer where they laid dormant for the past 40 years.
Recently, the owner sold them to Bruce, who graciously allowed them to be digitally scanned for display in this article.