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Carabo
Debut Series 1970 Hot Wheels
Produced 1970, 1974 - 1979
Designer Marcello Gandini (Bertone for Alfa Romeo)

Ira Gilford (Hot Wheels)

Number 6420
Carabo


Description

The Carabo is a Hot Wheels casting which debuted in 1970. It is based on the real-life concept car by Bertone for Alfa Romeo. 

The real-life Carabo was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone who later designed the Lamborghini Countach. It was built on an Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale chassis and was powered by the 1995cc V8 engine. It was inspired by the Carabidae beetle, known for its iridescent green and orange coloring. The Carabo featured iridescent green paint, bright orange nose highlight, copper-infused glass and vertical opening doors similar to the wings of the beetle. It debuted at the 1968 Paris Motor Show and still exists today.

The Hot Wheels version was designed by Ira Gilford and debuted in the 1970 Hot Wheels range of vehicles. It featured the orange nose highlight and vertical opening doors just like the real car. This was Hot Wheels' first and only time using this style of opening door, the metal on the door is very thin and if treated roughly will completely break in half. It is not uncommon to find Carabo's in poor condition with missing or broken doors. It came with a matte black painted rear engine cover and a gloss black painted base. It was produced at both the Hong Kong and USA factories and was painted in various 'Spectraflame' colors. Hong Kong produced cars came with blue tinted glass and USA cars came with clear glass. They are usually found with dark colored interiors (Hong Kong: Dark Brown / USA: Black) but some cars are found with the rare and desirable white interior. It was commonly packaged with a metal 'Collectors Button' but some came with a plastic Collectors Button.

Due to inconsistencies in the Spectraflame painting process, the existence of some colors receive skepticism by collectors. Some collectors believe that Carabo's in Spectraflame Light Blue are in fact the regular Spectraflame Blue which has faded. 

The Carabo was featured in artwork on a plastic drinking cup from Jack In The Box restaurants.

It was also produced in Mexico by CIPSA. These versions are very hard to find and are often found in poor condition (more information below).

The Carabo was released again in 1974 in the Flying Colors series. Gone was the Spectraflame paint which was replaced with enamel paint, so was the black painted base and engine cover. The 'Capped' wheels were replaced with the new style 'Through-Hole' Redline wheels, although some can be found with Capped Redline wheels on the rear. Commonly found in Light Green, it was also produced in yellow which is much harder to find. The green version was also released in Italy in a cardboard box marked 'Mebetoys Flying Colors' and in Japan in a red cardboard box #36. The green version was also produced with blackwall wheels in 1977 and 1979.

The Carabo has not been seen since 1979.

Hong Kong Versions

The Carabo has come out in the following versions:

Year Series Color Sticker Base Color / Type Window Color Interior Color Wheel Type Toy # Country Notes / Variations Photo
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Blue None Black / Metal Tinted (Blue) Dark Brown or White (Rare) RL 6420 Hong Kong Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Aqua None Black / Metal Tinted (Blue) Dark Brown or White (Rare) RL 6420 Hong Kong Hard To Find Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Green None Black / Metal Tinted (Blue) Dark Brown or White (Rare) RL 6420 Hong Kong Carabo green
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Light 'Apple' Green None Black / Metal Tinted (Blue) Dark Brown RL 6420 Hong Kong Carabo
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Yellow None Black / Metal Tinted (Blue) Dark Brown RL 6420 Hong Kong Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Magenta None Black / Metal Tinted (Blue) Dark Brown or White (Rare) RL 6420 Hong Kong Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Red None Black / Metal Tinted (Blue) Dark Brown or White (Rare) RL 6420 Hong Kong Hard to Find Image Not Available

USA Versions

The Carabo has come out in the following versions:

Year Series Color Sticker Base Color / Type Window Color Interior Color Wheel Type Toy # Country Notes / Variations Photo
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Light Blue None Black / Metal Clear Black RL 6420 USA Rare Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Blue None Black / Metal Clear Black RL 6420 USA CaraboBluLFc
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Green None Black / Metal Clear Black RL 6420 USA Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Light 'Apple' Green None Black / Metal Clear Black or White (Very Rare) RL 6420 USA Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Yellow None Black / Metal Clear Black or White (Very Rare) RL 6420 USA Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Red None Black / Metal Clear Black RL 6420 USA Hard to Find Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Pink None Black / Metal Clear Black RL 6420 USA Hard to Find CarboPnkLF2 - Copy
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Rose None Black / Metal Clear Black or White (Very Rare) RL 6420 USA Image Not Available
1970 1970 Hot Wheels Spectraflame Magenta None Black / Metal Clear Black RL 6420 USA Carabo

CIPSA Versions

In the early 1970's, the Carabo was manufactured by CIPSA in Mexico for the Mexican market. These versions differ from the regular versions in a couple of small ways. The interior is a stark white compared to the creamier white of the regular versions, the glass is a pale blue tint instead of tinted blue or clear. They also lack the black painted engine cover and black painted base. They have Capped wheels like the 1970 versions. Despite being manufactured in Mexico, they are still marked with 'USA' on the base.

The Carabo has come out in the following 1/64 scale versions:

Color Stickers Base Color / Type Window Color Interior Color Wheel Type Country Notes / Variations Photo
Enamel Yellow None Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Pale Blue) White RL USA Image Not Available
Metallic Red None Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Pale Blue) White RL USA Image Not Available
Metallic Blue None Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Pale Blue) White RL USA Image Not Available
Metallic Green None Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Pale Blue) White RL USA Image Not Available

Flying Colors Versions

The Carabo has come out in the following versions:

Year Series Color Tampo Base Color / Type Window Color Interior Color Wheel Type Toy # Country Notes / Variations Photo
1974 Flying Colors Enamel Light Green Orange & Blue Stripes Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Blue) Black RL (Capped Rear) 7617 Hong Kong Image Not Available
1974 Flying Colors Enamel Light Green Orange & Blue Stripes Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Blue) Black RL 7617 Hong Kong Also released in Italy 'Mebetoys Flying Colors' Cardboard Box and Japan Red Box #36 Lt Green Carabo 1974
1974 Flying Colors Enamel Yellow Orange & Blue Stripes Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Blue) Black RL 7617 Hong Kong Hard to Find Alt color yellow carabo 1974
1977 Flying Colors Enamel Light Green Orange & Blue Stripes Unpainted / Metal Tinted (Blue) Black BW 7617 Hong Kong Also released identically in 1979. Image Not Available

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