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Luis Rodriguez and his 2JetZ open-wheel jet car was named the winner of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour. Meet Rodriguez and see the winning car in the above video.
The 16-stop Legends Tour celebrated Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary by scouring the nation in search of a custom car worthy of being made into a 1:64 die-cast toy. The tour landed at the recent SEMA Show with an outdoor booth that hosted all 15 vehicles competing for the final prize.
Rodriguez's 2JetZ, an open-wheeled jet car, was chosen among the 3,600 custom cars entered into the Legends Tour contest. It was selected for its originality and arresting design, according to Hot Wheels.
"All our Legends finalists on display at SEMA are winners — each custom build embodies originality, authenticity and the garage spirit," said Chris Down, senior vice president and general manager of Hot Wheels. "The 2JetZ looks like it performs and everything about it was built from the ground up. Its forward design aesthetic will add variety to the Hot Wheels line and is a car that both adult fans and kids will love."
The 2JetZ design honored American veterans with a design inspired by a classic U.S. fighter plane. With more than 600 horsepower and a driver's seat in the middle of the vehicle, the car is crafted with a focus on high-performance and high-end design.
"Hot Wheels has crowned me as a winner, and I get the chance to represent some of the most creative and beautiful designs that I've seen," Rodriguez said. "With my car, I wanted to create something from scratch that tested my ability as a builder and I am happy that the 2JetZ has taken me on this journey."
A team of judges, including Hot Wheels designers and automotive influencers, chose the Legends Tour winner for its authenticity, originality and garage spirit. The final team of judges included Jay Leno, YouTube influencer Tanner Fox, legendary Hot Wheels car designer Larry Wood, and car enthusiast Magnus Walker, among others.
"Hot Wheels has always been about variety and this year's 15 Legends finalists are a perfect example of that," Down said. "While 2018's winner is an open-wheeled jet car, who knows what we will see from next year's Legends challengers."