Die Cast Diaries – Chapter 3
Hello WA family, friends and followers!
It has been a long time since I have posted some good content here, but as you all know, life gets in the way sometimes and you have to just go with the flow. I’m going with the flow and I am happier than I have been in a long time thanks to some changes that needed to be made in my career. So, now that that is all sorted out, I can get back to blogging and building my customs. Speaking of customs, it is time to give you all another peek behind the curtain of the customizing world of Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks. The next chapter of the Die Cast Diaries is here! Without further ado, I am pleased to introduce you to the man behind @baris21diecastcustoms on Instagram.
Me: What is your name and where are you from?
Alvaro: Hi, my name is Alvaro Gonzalez Jr., and I am from Mexico City.
Me: How old were you when you started playing with Hot Wheels?
Alvaro: I remember I was 11 years old when I owned my first Hot Wheels car. It was a Jaguar XJ220 chrome
Me: How old were you when you started collecting Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Alvaro: I was brought to the US when I was 13 years old and as soon as I got here my father took me to a Toys R Us store to buy me Hot Wheels. From then on, I started collecting them and some others I would open them to play with.
Me: When did you start customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Alvaro: I started getting interested in customizing Hot Wheels when I got some Racing Champions Nascar trucks that had rubber tires and I would take them off to paint the wheels with markers. Also, I would paint the wood panels on the Hot Wheels 40’s Woody and painting headlights and taillights.
Me: Who was your inspiration or influence that got you into customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Alvaro: My inspiration to customize Hot Wheels was and still is my father because he became a graphic designer just to customize Hot Wheels and that’s something that makes our custom cars unique because the technique he uses to design them.
Me: Do you have a background in working on cars and trucks which helps make customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks easier and helps with your creativity on them?
Alvaro: My background in customizing Hot Wheels comes from back in 2000 when I was helping my father complete thousands of cars for different conventions. He was painting cars for their dinner parties and other events they had for the convention. I would help him from opening the cars, strip the paint, mount them, paint, decals, clear coat them and more stuff during the process on finishing them.
Me: How long have you been customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Alvaro: I’ve been customizing Hot Wheels and other brands for about 23 years and now I’m teaching my kids the process of what a car takes to look nice.
Me: What is your specialty in customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Alvaro: My specialty in customizing Hot Wheels and other brand cars is different tone paint jobs, flames and real life fire paint jobs.
Me: What makes your customs stand out from most of the other customs out there?
Alvaro: My customs stand out from others in the way my designs are made. I haven’t seen yet someone do the same type of flames with a blue or white outline and also the real fire designs to that real.
Me: Is customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks a hobby or a full time job for you? If it’s a full time job for you, what is the name of your business? If it’s a hobby, what are your social media outlets where people can view and possibly buy your customs?
Alvaro: Customizing Hot Wheels has always been a hobby and also a way to keep up with the expenses of materials. My work of customs can be found on my Instagram page @baris21diecastcustoms
Me: How much success have you had selling your customs?
Alvaro: It’s been good selling my customs. I’ll probably sell from 10 to 15 cars a month online and some for local customers.
Me: Is selling your customs a second income stream or just a way to fund your customizing passion?
Alvaro: Selling my customs is hard for me sometimes because all the time and passion I put in them, it’s hard to let go of them, but it’s a way to fund the expenses that take to make this happen. So, that makes me happy as well because I know that they go to people who would enjoy having them on their display as do I with the ones that I keep.
Me; Which casting is your favorite to customize?
Alvaro: My favorite casting to customize is the 55 Chevy Gasser because it is the most popular car that people are looking for at the moment.
Me: Finally, what are your top 5 Hot Wheels of all time?
Alvaro: My top 5 Hot Wheels is going to be hard to choose because I know I have more than that, but here is a list of them: Dairy Delivery, 55 Chevy Panel, VW Drag Bus, 83 Chevy Silverado and 67 Chevy Camaro.
Me: Thank you for participating in my blog and helping spread the world of customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks to the general public. I appreciate you, your time and your customs are wicked cool. I’m proud to own so many of them.
Alvaro: You’re very welcome and thank you for your support.
What a great story from a great customizer. Alvaro’s customs are nothing short of spectacular. I am the proud owner of many of them. Please enjoy this small collection of some of his customs. For your viewing pleasure….
If you have any questions or comments about this interview, please feel free to contact me at SRQ Diecast, my page on Facebook. Also, please continue to follow and support srqdiecast.com for all things die cast.