Is it really possible to turn a beloved childhood toy into a real-life automotive machine? While many people would undoubtedly say no, the experts and contestants of “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” believe there’s nothing impossible when it comes to cars.

Whether contestants modify a muscle car, SUV, or truck, “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” left no doubts that there aren’t any limits to what creativity and skills can create, especially if the final prize for achieving those childhood dreams is thousands of dollars in cash.

While the show’s concept fits every gearhead’s dream idea for a car-flipping competition, it also left us wondering what happens to the modified cars after every episode, and what the fate of those which don’t win is.

Do you also want to know the answers to these questions? Stay here to know all about “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge”!

What Happens To The Cars?

Each episode of “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” is full of everything which makes a car show great, including a great cast, memorable restorations, and heartwarming personal stories. Even so, no one can fault the audience for wondering if the cars featured in the show are kept by the contestant, or if a different fate is awaiting them.

Regarding this very common doubt, the show’s host, Rutledge Wood took to Twitter in early June 2023 to affirm in response to a fan, that ‘no one gets to keep the cars afterwards’. Not much later, Rutledge also told that the cars rebuilt in the show are kept in a warehouse, but didn’t give further details, except for the fact that he wishes to keep them for himself.

Though it’s unclear if it’s NBC or Mattel which keeps these cars stored with unclear plans for the future, the cars built in “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” are in no way fit to run the streets as average ones would do, meaning that automotive fans with big budgets are the best potential buyers to turn these machines into a street-legal cars, and show them off for everyone to see, as Rutledge affirmed in the same interview.

All in all, it’s surprising to know that the cars from the show aren’t kept by the contestants, but hopefully someone will put them to good use.

What Are The Show’s Prizes?

Even though contestants don’t keep their car creations, they certainly get a lot out of “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge”. While it’s unclear if the contestants are paid for just appearing in the show, the winner of every episode gets $25,000 in cash, and the chance to compete against the other winners in the season’s grand finale.

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The contestant who wins the show’s final prize not only receives $50,000 in cash, but gets their design converted into a Hot Wheels diecast for sale, which is a dream come true for any fan of the toy brand. Nonetheless, having such extraordinary prizes goes hand in hand with the message the show wants to convey: ‘So much of this show is really about other people’s dreams coming true,’ as Rutledge Wood told Distractify.

The unique and rewarding experience to turn dreams into reality is what makes the show so interesting, and fitting to virtually everyone’s taste.

How Does The Show Work?

Though competition shows aren’t a new concept at all, there are many things which make “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” stand out from others. It’s not only the fact that contestants get to build the toy-looking version of the cars of their dreams, but going through the process of designing and working with an expert team, is what makes the show so worth watching and often exciting.

The first thing to acknowledge about the show is that the contestants don’t just choose to build a car they like, unless they have a special connection with it. Whether that has to do with their family, the place they grew up in, or another emotional aspect of their lives, the truth is that it needs to mean something important to them.

Afterwards, it’s time for the contestants to design the car they dreamed of, using an existing car as a base to build from. Then the experts work with the design provided by contestants, but the catch is that it needs to be ready in a week, making the work process quite exciting, as every team rushes to finish in time.

In the end, the show is more than just choosing a winning car which represents what Hot Wheels is, it’s a compelling experience for both fans of the toy and car enthusiasts in general.

Who Is Rutledge Wood?

While “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” might be a new show, its main host, Rutledge Wood isn’t a new face for gearheads. His beginnings in the entertainment industry date back to 2009, when he appeared in several NASCAR-centered shows as a racing analyst, steadily undertaking further features in shows such as “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “Off The Grid”, until he took one of the three hosts spots of the American edition of “Top Gear”, produced by the History channel, and which aired from 2010 to 2016.

Though “Top Gear” was the show which made Rutledge a known name in the industry, it also opened more professional doors for him, such as hosting “Lost In Transmission”, which took him around Georgia as he fixed classic cars. Other memorable TV moments in Rutledge’s career include automotive shows such as “Shotgun”, and as a host of Netflix’s “Hyperdrive” and “The Floor Is Lava” in 2020.

Rutledge is also well-known for his role as an NBC sports reporter, making him quite a trusting voice when it comes to cars and automotive projects. Alongside him, Ford designer Dalal Elsheikh and car enthusiast Hertrech Eugene Jr. are the “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge”s experts, in charge of choosing winners and making it a memorable experience.

Reception & Future

“Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” is not only a show for enticing car fans who want to revive some childhood memories through the show, but it’s also a success for audiences in general. According to Deadline, the show attracted almost five million viewers on its 30 May 2023 premiere, by far surpassing its pilot screening by 144%, and reaching the top three position for the network.

The show also premiered the spin-off “Hot Wheels: Best Builds”, which offers complimentary comments from the judges and behind-the-cameras scenes. Though there are no audience reports about this second show, there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of effort behind the show to make it as exciting and educational as possible.

The fact that “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” gained such a huge audience results from the joy at seeing a TV with such a novel and exciting concept, added to the fact that it featured big celebrity names such as Jay Leno and Terry Crews, which surely increases the inherent attraction factor of the show.

As confirmed by Rutledge Wood on Twitter, it’s yet unclear whether a second season of “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” will see the light of day, but there’s no doubt that the premier season of the show has been a success so far.

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As a Freelance Writer at Biography Pedia, I manage every aspect of our content creation, from rigorous research to narrative excellence, ensuring precision and integrity in our work. Our comprehensive editorial management includes deep investigation, narrative development, and maintaining high standards of quality.

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