Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge Winner Jerzey Jim Introduces Us to Ole Yellow


No matter how confined you might be for space, there’s always room for one more Hot Wheels in your collection.

For “Jerzey Jim” Farrell, the newest Hot Wheels in his collection might require its own garage.

Although, if you ask the Forked River, N.J., native, that very same Hot Wheels is more of a trusty companion than just another collectible for the shelf.

“‘Ole Yellow’ is an old friend at this point,” said Farrell, 59, his voice trailing off as it stretches back through decades of memories.

The real life car in question is “Ole Yellow,” a 1969 Dodge Charger and the champion of the first episode of NBC’s reality build television program “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge.” With the victory, Farrell netted himself a cool $25,000 and the chance to see Ole Yellow become a 1/64 scale Hot Wheels model.

Image via @jerzey_jim

For Farrell, the show was the marriage of two of his life’s biggest passions…customizing cars and collecting Hot Wheels.

“Hot Wheels showed me that I can think outside of the box,” said Farrell.
Or blister card, in this instance.

Jerzey Jim, the Customizer

Ole Yellow was a lot more than just Farrell’s first car. What he remembers most from his days as a teen in 1981 was the bond that working on that ‘69 Charger forged between him and his father.

So when it came to choosing which car to customize for NBC’s Ultimate Challenge, the answer was pretty obvious.

Over the course of four days, Farrell and his amazing team set out to create what a full scale version of Ole Yellow would look like as a Hot Wheels model. Click below to see images of Ole Yellow

Specifically, with a never-before-done HEMI engine positioned in the rear, which he has toyed with creating for years.

Did we mention the 28-inch pop-a-wheelie raise? The original plan called for the car to stand straight up, but safety concerns brought that number lower.

Moving the engine, it turns out, was the easy part, as opposed to the hydraulics, which presented the toughest challenge. Had the engine been placed a foot more forward, the hydraulics would have lifted the back of the vehicle.

And what is a reality show without a curveball or two? For the Ultimate Challenge, that would be the Inspirationator 5000, a vending machine that would spit out (often unpopular) features that teams were required to incorporate into their cars.

It’s safe to say that Farrell was not a fan of the Inspirationator 5000.

“I am not putting wings on this thing,” laughs Farrell.

Click below to watch him get his first glimpse of Ole Yellow –

NBC still has Ole Yellow, but Farrell enjoyed the build so much that he’s begun work on a second version for himself.

Although he got the win, it certainly wasn’t easy. Ole Yellow was tasked with fending off the gorgeous and ultra modern 2009 Chevrolet Camaro created by Jadejha Edwards, 24, of Houston.

“As excited as I was to win it,” said Farrell, “I hated that someone had to lose. Jadejha was amazing. I loved seeing her work.”

Jerzey Jim, the Collector

Farrell doesn’t just build the cars of his past, he also collects them in Hot Wheels form…and then some.

His collection begins with the ‘68s that his father bought him when Jim Jr. was just four years old. The Red Baron, of course, being his favorite.

From there Farrell continued to collect through the 70s, amassing what he describes as “beaucoup” amounts of Hot Wheels. As he got older, he passed along the tradition to his own children. And the Hot Wheels continued to pile up.

Today you’ll find them proudly displayed in his dedicated Hot Wheels room, on the hallways walls…and perhaps spilling out into other rooms of the house, Farrell admits.

His wife’s “No Hot Wheels in the Bedroom” rule has become slightly more relaxed since he won the NBC show, he admits with a chuckle.

These days you’ll find Farrell, his custom cars, and his entire family out on the road, traveling to Hot Wheels and other car conventions throughout the country.

Farrell still finds the passion of going on Hot Wheels hunts with his son by his side, just like his father before him.

That joy is evident when he describes with a hearty laugh the recent discovery of the Hot Wheels’ version of Biff’s Car from “Back to the Future,” replete with road apples.

As for seeing Ole Yellow magically transformed into its very own Hot Wheels diecast? That remains to be seen and is still very much the dream. You can hear the excitement in Farrell’s voice.

“I want that 1/64 model, man.”

*all images via @jerzey_jim instagram

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Jerzey Jim
Jerzey Jim
9 months ago

Thank u so much for this beautiful story…… I love how you have told my story…… Thank you

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