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Respect the Classics: Easy Idle

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  • Respect the Classics: Easy Idle

    Several weeks ago I started a series about the Cars Piston Cup racers with an article on Mood Springs... In this article, we'll continue with a look at another one of the Piston Cup racers and his team - Ruby "Easy" Oakes, better known as Easy Idle... Easy Idle - "A warm start to a cold morning"... now that we're in fall and winter's 2 months away, we will need those warm starts to cold mornings.

    One of the earliest boxed sets and at the time of release the most expensive boxed set was the Speedway of the South set... Limited to a run of 1000 pieces, the SOTS set went on sale in May 2008... To be eligible to purchase the SOTS set you had to join the Hot Wheels Red Line Collectors club... I joined in April 2008, and bought one set when they went on sale.

    One of these days I'll put the Cars in the display box and put it out on display... For various reasons, many collectors did not purchase the Speedway of the South set when it went on sale... Several of the Piston Cup racers had already been released and they didn't want to purchase Cars they already had... they wanted to purchase just the Cars they needed at the approximate $4.00 price of a single... Unfortunately, Mattel didn't cooperate with those hopes... most of the racers were released, but in various formats and with other Cars or accessories that you might or might not have wanted... In this article, we'll take a look at another one of the Piston Cup racers and the other members of his team - Easy Idle.

    Easy Idle is based on the Clutch Aid body style that was featured during the Kmart 2 Cars Collector Event.

    As you'll see in this article, there have been several different releases of Easy Idle and his team... and others that weren't released.

    Kmart 2 rubber tire racer

    The first release of Easy Idle outside of the Speedway of the South set was as a rubber tire racer... Easy Idle was one of 9 racers released during the Kmart 2 event, June 20, 2009.

    There was only 1 Easy Idle in the case of 18 Cars; it has always been one of the more difficult KM2 racers to find.

    I have Easy Idle in the lead position of my Kmart rubber tire racers - the Kmart 2 Cars start on the bottom row.


    Easy Idle has been released as both a Pit Row Race-off launcher and a Lightyear Launcher... In my opinion, the best case of launchers was Race O Rama case C, which came with Mood Springs (x2), Fiber Fuel (x2), Easy Idle (x1), and Nitroade (x1)... I only saw this case in a store twice... I ordered several cases from online resellers... At one time I had the Easy Idle launcher carded on both US and International cardbacks; the picture at the top of this section is the International version from the UK.

    The Easy Idle Lightyear Launcher was released on the Night Skyline cardback... due to Mattel case assortments and distribution, I only saw this in stores a few times... I got my first one (and Vinyl Toupee) from friends in Canada - I only wanted the plastic tire Cars for one of my Poor Man's Speedway of the South sets...

    A few weeks after getting it, one of my friends from the Chicago area found it at Toys R US.

    Here's the cardback:

    I also found it at a few Meijer stores one year before Christmas... and one time during a Cars hunting trip to the Cincinnati (Ohio) area, I stopped at a Kroger store in Newport, Kentucky... and I found 6 each of Easy Idle and Vinyl Toupee on the shelves... we used to hear about Kroger finds from a collector in Tennessee who passed away a year or so ago... very few of us believed him... that day I saw it was possible... that Kroger store had 6 aisles of toys - most Kroger stores in Indiana and Ohio have less than 6 feet for toys.

    Easy Idle Pitty

    The only other official release of a Car from the Easy Idle Team was the Easy Idle Pitty... This was released during the Race O Rama series during case E, around December 2008... There was only 1 Easy Idle Pitty in the case... I'm down to my last carded Easy Idle Pitty... The Chase Car in this case was Impound DJ - ROR case E was released in the US and in the UK.

    Unlike HTB, Dinoco, Leakless, Octain Gain, Nitroade, Bumper Save, No Stall, Shiny Wax, and Spare Mint, the Easy Idle team was not released as either a Team set with hauler/racer/pitty or Team Crew set with Crew Chief and 3 pittys... However, for quite a while, these were listed on Target's website but out of stock... I placed orders, but they were canceled.

    Unreleased Easy Idle Cars

    Easy Idle was announced in several other formats but never released... it was supposed to be in a Target exclusive Speedway 4 pack... there was supposed to be a Target exclusive hauler/racer/pitty team set... there was supposed to be a Target exclusive team crew set with crew chief and 3 pittys... but due to case assortments and selection (and the $20 price for team sets), they were canceled... for now.

    They do exist, however... Here's an Easy Idle Crew Chief that I received from my friend cvc1968:

    Here's the unreleased wide Easy Idle Pitty (no gun) that would have been in the hauler/racer/pitty set - I received it from a good friend.

    And here's the Easy Idle Hauler from a photo from a good friend who attended the Cars exhibit at the Peterson Museum in LA:

    (Photo used by permission)

    As Mater would say, I'd give up my left 2 lug nuts for that hauler... and the other pittys and crew chiefs.

    In Conclusion - Team Easy Idle

    Here are some photos showing opened Easy Idle team members:


    Crew Chief and Pitty:

    Will we see more of the Easy Idle team members? I don't know... I would like to see them... I would like to add them to my collection (even though it will mean spending more money on Cars)... the molds for the pittys, crew chief, and hauler exist... they'd just have to paint them and package them... I don't think we'll see them at retail stores... but many of us would buy cases of the team sets if they'd come with 2 each of 3 new team sets... those would be great cases to split with a friend... and some of us would buy a case by ourselves to have one to open and another to keep carded.

    That wraps up this installment of Respect the Classics... 10 Piston Cup racers done... 26 to go... As always, thank you for reading... I appreciate your comments.
    Last edited by cac1959; 11-24-2012, 02:43 PM. Reason: date correction

    I am cac1959... I am a Cars-a-holic... and a proud supporter of Nathan's Playroom

  • #2
    Shame that mattel never finished the hauler sets. They are some of the best looking molds.

    Looking forward to the next one

    Transformers for Trade


    • #3
      FAT PITTY! Awesome!

      Thanks for another great article.


      • #4
        Easy Idle is one of my favorite racers from Cars. I really like his colors.. just wish I had him! All I have is a lonely pitty so far.

        Thanks for another great article cac!


        • #5
          Great read cac1959

          I'm always envious when I see your Easy Idle crew chief - he looks really good!


          • #6
            I think I got the rubber tire version of this car off eBay when I first started collecting the racers. I know about a year later I traded a launcher version I found on clearance at Kmart.

            signature courtesy of BomBom77


            • #7
              i'm with fillmore on this one,i also like easy idle's colouration and those pitties and crew chief are sublime.
              great article on one of the more sought after racers thanks cac1959


              • #8
                these still being unreleased is still a mystery to me, esspecially with all the old cars coming back
                I am jbail10... I am also a Cars-a-holic... and a proud supporter of Nathan's Playroom