V8-powered Radio Flyer roadster is Hot Wheels Legends Tour finalist

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The Hot Wheels Legends Tour has found one of its wildest finalists yet. The winner of the Phoenix, Arizona, stop is a 2017 Radio Flyer Wagon Roadster that's fully custom-built, street-legal, and powered by a V8 engine sourced from the General Motors parts bin.

Unlike some of 2022's previous winners, the Radio Flyer isn't based on an existing car. It was built from scratch by San Tan Valley resident Mitchell Elsberry. It features a boxy body and a black pull handle reminiscent of the red wagon it's named after and not much else in the way of body panels and trim pieces. There's no hood or fenders, so the engine is part of the design, and the Radio Flyer sits on massive wheels.

Elsberry built the Radio Flyer for his family so the interior is capable of seating five. He also installed a three-spoke steering wheel, cupholders, and a cluster of analog gauges on the center stack. Hot Wheels notes Elsberry has put over 6,000 miles on his roadster.

What's even more impressive is that Elsberry, a plumber by trade, learned how to design and build hot rods on his own. He started with a blank slate and chose to power his Radio Flyer with the proven LS1 V8 engine bolted to a four-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower, torque, and weight haven't been released yet but we bet that this red wagon is as loud, quick, and fun to drive as it looks.


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Elsberry's head-turning roadster will move on to the semifinal round scheduled for the fall of 2022. It will compete against other one-of-a-kind builds (pictured above) for the chance to join the Hot Wheels catalog of 1:64-scale models. Earning first place won't be easy: the 2022 finalists includes a V8-powered 1973 Toyota Celica, a turbodiesel-powered Dodge rat rod, a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle with a five-cylinder Volvo engine shoehorned where you'd expect to find an air-cooled flat-four, and a 1927 Wayne Ford school bus.

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