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Respect the Classics: Hail to the (Crew) Chief

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  • Respect the Classics: Hail to the (Crew) Chief

    Behind every racer is a crew chief... Whether it's in NASCAR, Formula 1, Indy Car, the Piston Cup, or the World Grand Prix, the crew chief is responsible for the setups, determining when to make a pit stop and whether it's gas and go or 2 or 4 tires...In this edition of Respect the Classics, we'll take a look at the the Crew Chiefs.

    Crew chiefs have been released in several styles of vehicles as well as several different packages... Some are cars... some are pickup trucks... some are SUVs... some are other vehicles... Some have been singles... some were singles packaged as Easter Eggs... Some were in 2 packs... some were in 3 packs... some were in 4 packs... Some have been shown in magazines but never released... some were released as prototypes and not released for retail sale... Several were released from Cars... a few Cars 2 Crew Chiefs have been released and more are hopefully coming... If Mattel will make them and if retailers will stock them, we will buy them.

    Cars Crew Chiefs from Cars

    6 Crew Chiefs from Cars were released as Cars...

    Fabulous Hudson Hornet:

    McQueen's Crew Chief for the race-off in California... Released as a single in WOC and ROR series... never released in a team set with Lightning McQueen.

    Leakless Crew Chief (Earl Filter):

    Released in a 3 pack in both WOC and ROR series as well as in a 4 pack Team Crew set.

    No Stall Crew Chief (Roman Dunes):

    Released as a single in WOC series as well as in a 3 pack in both WOC and ROR series... Also released as a lenticular single.

    Chief RPM:

    Released as a single.

    Chief Shiny Wax (Senor Trax):

    Released in a 3 pack in both WOC and ROR series... Was also a Target Easter Egg special in 2010.

    Chief Spare Mint (Earnest B Raykes):

    Released in a 3 pack in both WOC and ROR series... Was also a Target Easter Egg special in 2010... The WOC Team Spare Mint is a very rare 3 pack gift pack - it was never released in the US... I got mine from a friend in Singapore.

    Here are photos of the gift packs:

    World of Cars gift packs:

    Shiny Wax ROR Gift pack:

    Spare Mint ROR Gift pack:

    No Stall gift packs:

    The pickup trucks

    3 crew chiefs were released as pick up trucks in Team Crew sets which consisted of the crew chief and 3 pittys... We eagerly awaited these Team Crew sets... but Target thought we'd all buy 20 of each set... these became pegwarmers.

    HTB Crew Chief:

    Dinoco Crew Chief:

    Both HTB and Dinoco Crew Chiefs are shown in the following picture, along with the Leakless Crew Chief:

    Nitroade Crew Chief (shown with an International version of the Octane Gain Team Crew set):

    It looked like the Nitroade Crew Chief was not going to be released in the US... it was announced... we saw prototypes on eBay... but Target had canceled their order due to horrible case assortments... I got the Nitroade and Octane Gain sets from friends in Canada... and then we learned they were at Gordman's stores in the US - a friend got me over 15 of them - I sent them on to others... They later turned up in the UK.

    Those were the only officially released pickup truck crew chiefs... There were prototypes of the N2O Cola Crew Chief on eBay - I never got one... There are a couple others shown in one issue of the UK Cars Magazine...

    I do have one other pickup truck crew chief... A customizer made this for me out of a Dexter Hoover single and a Leakless Crew Chief:

    The SUV
    The only SUV Crew Chief was the Octane Gain Crew Chief... a friend in California found one for me... it took 9 months for me to find any more at Target...

    The International Version of the Octane Gain Team Crew set is shown up above with the boxed Nitroade set.

    Other crew chiefs
    There was only on officially released version of a crew chief in another vehicle design... Here's the Bumper Save Team Crew set:

    Here's a close-up of the crew chief:

    I remember seeing this listed on and ordered a couple of them... a few people saw it at Target stores... I never did... the Targets in Ohio and Indiana were stuck with Leakless, HTB, and to a lesser extent, Dinoco sets.

    I have a prototype version of the Easy Idle Crew Chief... I like it a lot:

    The Easy Idle team crew set was listed for sale on the Target website for months... but it was out of stock... and never showed up... Dadgum...

    Cars2 Crew Chiefs

    Crew Chiefs are also included in the Cars2 movie... there have only been 4 in the first 13 months that Cars2 toys have been released... they were Kmart exclusive items... and they've been very tough to find at Kmart stores to say the least.

    I first found these at one Kmart in June 2011...

    Race Team Fillmore/Lightning McQueen with racing wheels:

    Carla Veloso/Carla Crew Chief:

    It took months to find them at other stores and I've never seen them at many Kmart stores... Kmart distribution... leaves a lot to be desired... Come to think of it, a lot of Cars/Cars2 distribution and case assortments leaves a lot to be desired...

    I found the next 2 almost 6 months later... Francesco Crew Chief and John Lassetire:

    John Lassetire was also released in the Cars2 Director's Cut... the exact same John Lassetire as in the 2 pack:

    Here are the 4 currently released Cars2 crew chiefs, along with the Kmart exclusive Pit Crew Mater single:

    We hopefully will see other Cars2 crew chiefs... Miguel Camino's crew chief is on the 2012 collector's poster, and we've seen Raoul Caroule's crew chief on eBay... Other crew chiefs have been released at the Disney Store in the 1:43 scale.

    I'll probably add more photos to this article this week... I'm on vacation this week and am going to meet a friend in Fort Wayne early in the morning... I also will be adding some photos of custom crew chiefs from cvc1968 - Conrad has made some phenomenal custom crew chiefs and pittys in his custom Cars diorama (Don't forget about our Custom competition that is now under way).

    Hopefully we'll see more Cars crew chiefs soon... there are many from Cars that could be released - the molds exist... the are more from Cars2 that can be released... and I have hope that they will be in stores sooner or (probably) later...

    As always, thanks for reading and posting comments... Hail to the (Crew) Chief!


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

  • #2
    A great read once again Chris

    I really enjoy reading the articles you create, btu they do have one side effect..... I keep seeing cars I don't have!!!


    • #3
      Never bothered to start collecting the Cars 1 pitties or crew chiefs. When I started to collect seriously in 2010, it was clear that Mattel was not going release all 36 pit crews. That would have been a lot of customs to collect. With Cars 2 only having 11 racers, chances are good we will see all the crew chiefs. We have only seen 4 so far, but I'm sure the rest will come.

      signature courtesy of BomBom77


      • #4
        Another super article!

        We love the crew teams, They look great all displayed together with the racers/haulers.


        • #5
          These and the pitties are my favourites!
          I have almost made all 36 of the pit crew crew chiefs now; taken almost 2.5 years to find the time to complete


          • #6
            Nice article once again. I wish I had gotten more of those Crew Packs. I still need Nitro, Dinoco, and OG.


            • #7
              I'm not sure how I missed this article...I was even looking through all of them earlier.

              I find it such a shame that the John Lassetire released in the Cars dvd bundle is the exact same one in the Jeff Gorvette double pack. Even if he was metallic would have been even better.

              Why is bumper save in the other section? He looks like a small pickup. Or maybe harder to tell from the picture, but is he more like an El Camino?

              Transformers for Trade


              • #8
                Thanks for the comments, DeceptiCog72283... A lot of us were disappointed that the John Lassetire in the Cars Directors Cut was identical to the Kmart crew chief 2 pack... Up until the time I saw it at the store I was certain it was going to be a metallic finish... after all, the Walmart Blu-ray set featured a metallic finish Finn McMissile.

                I considered the El Camino body style to be different than a pickup truck... the body style is different - that's what I was going by... I also couldn't remember the name "El Camino" at the time I wrote the article... if I can find some of my back issues of the UK Cars Magazine, there are photos of a few other crew chiefs in a few of them.

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