Life Size S1E2 Script

1960's Hot Rod Fantasy: The Twin Mill (2020)

(upbeat music)

There are some car designs that are so crazy, they were never meant to be built, and this time, I've got a car that is so outrageous, it stands out even in Hot Wheels Garage of Legends, so I'm hopping out of my drag car, and into a car that's set the stage for 50 years of Hot Wheels, a car that was never supposed to drive.

(engine revs)

(upbeat music)

(upbeat music)

On this episode of Life Size, we've got one of the most iconic Hot Wheels in history.

In fact, it's so loved that for 34 of the last 51 years, some version of it has been produced.

That's over 12 million models, and you've got to admit, it looks pretty good for being over 50, not to mention this Life Size version has 1400 horsepower.

This right here is the Twin Mill, and I get to drive it.

(upbeat rock music)

The Twin Mill is known for two side-by-side engines.

This one right here has two 502 Big Blocks.

You heard me right.

Two 502 Big Blocks, putting out 1400 horsepower.

Both are supercharged.

We have two, four-barrel carburetors on each motor, screaming horsepower here.

Each engine has its own torque converter, and they're linked together with a jack shaft, just like a drag boat would be.

This car is not built like any other car out there.

The chassis was custom-built.

Lots of love, lots of flavor in this ride.

One thing I do know about Hot Wheels, they come in all types of cool colors, and this Twin Mill has been multiple colors prior, but I am loving the metallic blue wrap that's on it now.

I know there's a question on everybody's mind, and that's how to get in.

There's three ways to get in.

There's a remote switch, my favorite.

There's a switch in the license plate, and a window switch.

(upbeat rock music)

Here's a fun fact.

You see these Redline tires?

All Hot Wheels had Redline tires back in the day.

To learn a little bit more about that, I'm going to go speak to an expert.

(upbeat rock music)

This is Bryan Benedict, the current head of die-cast design for hot Wheels.

He grew up with a Twin Mill, and knows firsthand how it's inspired kids and designers alike.

So I know you must have a ton of memories when it comes to the Twin Mill.

Can you share some personal memories, one that really stands out to you?

The Twin Mill was one of the most influential cars for me as a kid, growing up, so, in fact, here's one of the original 1969 castings of that car.

Wow.

I just remember thinking, as a kid, just how amazing that car was, and it really inspired me to become a designer, and so, I ended up pursuing a career in design.

I actually wrote a letter to Hot Wheels.

Really?

Yeah, when I was 8.

They sent me a nice legalese letter back saying that they couldn't take unsolicited design ideas.

(Bryan laughs)

Ha. Which is funny.

And now, look at you.

(both laugh)

In three words, how would you describe the Twin Mill?

Oh man, that's tough.

I'd have to say, iconic, legendary, and fast.

Can you give me when and how it was created?

Yeah, so it was actually designed by Ira Gilford in 1968 for a 1969 model release.

Ira was the second Hot Wheels designer, basically, and designed a lot of really iconic castings like Terrero, and Splittin' Image, and, of course, Twin Mill, Twin Mill being probably the most iconic, definitely the most iconic of his designs, probably one of, the most iconic Hot Wheels design, really.

Why was this the first full-sized design built by Hot Wheels?

Yeah, so Hot Wheels commissioned this in 1998 to celebrate our 30th anniversary of Hot Wheels, and because this was considered one of the most iconic Hot Wheels castings, we thought, what better way to celebrate our 30th anniversary?

Of course, there were some delays along the way, and so, it wasn't actually unveiled until 2001 at SEMA.

[Nicole] Please, we have to walk around.

[Bryan] Pretty cool, huh?

(Bryan laughs)

I am like, oh my goodness.

Check out that blue.

(Bryan laughs)

[Nicole] Crazy, so it's a metallic.

[Bryan] Yeah, we call it Spectraflame.

[Nicole] Nice.

Yeah, our original die-cast cars back in 1968 began with this Spectraflame paint, and it's really reflective, a chrome finish, so we celebrate that with this car.

[Nicole] This is amazing.

I'm loving these huge vents here.

Yeah, you mentioned the vents.

You'll notice there's a lot of added details on the full-sized car that aren't necessarily in the toy.

A lot of that has to do with just making it a real car.

[Nicole] In addition to vents in the hood, making this toy a drivable car means it needs headlights, reflectors, and a gas cap on the back, since unlike the model, these engines actually need fuel, and when you've got superchargers like this, it requires a particularly intricate cooling setup.

Those hood vents lead to a massive radiator that was modified so each engine has its own reservoir.

Phew, talk about a custom build.

What made the Twin Mill so iconic?

I mean, first of all, it's just amazing looking, right?

Absolutely.

It's such a cool, cool design.

That, in itself, I think makes it special, and sought after, but I think that, really, the two most important things, to me, are one, it really is timeless.

The design itself, it doesn't really feel stuck in any particular era, right?

The other thing is, the design feels so authentic to the car world, so Hot Wheels really is the only toy vehicle brand that has successfully created its own vehicle designs that truly feel authentic to the real automotive world.

I mean, Twin Mill, in its original form, as a toy, felt like a real car, and as you can see, we built it as a real car, and it's legit, right?

It is definitely legit.

I've never seen anything like it.

But now, it's time for the true test.

For a car as beloved as this, I knew I had to be extra careful while driving it.

Also, I was told out here in the desert heat, cooling those engines would be tough, so I'd probably only get one pass.

Had to make it count.

The inside of the car is just as outrageous as the outside.

It feels like an airplane with all these gauges.

That's right, we've got two oil pressure gauges, two oil temps, two for boost pressure, and even two tachometers.

(dramatic music)

We good to start up?

[Bryan] Standby, one second.

All right, you can fire it up.

(engine roars)

All right, Twin Mill, let's see what you got, baby.

(engine roars)

(upbeat rock music)

Oh my gosh.

When you get up to speed, it definitely doesn't want to hold.

I'm glad we've got this long, straight road because there's almost no visibility.

I could tell that those two big blocks had a lot more power to give.

Loud!

Loud!

But I didn't want to be the one to blow an engine on such a beloved car.

Even though I was holding back, they still got hot.

We got to get her back, and a bit of oil hit the block.

It's fine if you're cruising, but as soon as I slowed down, the Twin Mill tried to smoke me out.

Phew!

Okay, Twin Mill.

It definitely has some horsepower.

While I was a little too nervous to really floor it in the Twin Mill, I've got to say, what a monster.

It's almost too ridiculous to drive, but even if I couldn't push it to its limit, it's still a complete thrill to hop in the driver's seat.

The steering wheel is vibrating so much.

I mean, you can hardly hold onto it.

Of course, the visibility really isn't there.

You cannot hear yourself in this car.

(engine roars)

I feel like I'm probably screaming now because it's still ringing in my ears.

It's not your Sunday driver, but is it radical?

Yes, was it crazy, yes.

Am I insane for being in here, probably so, yes because this is the craziest setup I've ever seen in my life, and ever been behind the wheel of, just to have two 502s in front of you, having to look like this because I've got, not one, but two superchargers, this has been a ride of a lifetime, I'm going to tell you that right now.

Hot Wheels, you picked a winner.

(upbeat music)

So next time you see a sweet ride rolling by that can hit zero to 60 in three seconds, remind yourself that while it may be fast, it's got nothing on the Twin Mill.

Some days are so crazy that they were never meant to hit the road, but Hot Wheels, I'm glad this one did.

(engine roars)

Can I just tell you that I've trapped in

80 flies when I shut that door.

(Nicole laughs)

I was like oh, ****.

(Nicole laughs)

There was a million flies in here.

(Nicole laughs)