A CAR built in Somerset is burning rubber on the road to global fame after winning a global competition to be made into a HOT WHEELS toy car!

The 1969 Volvo P1800 - named Ain't No Saint in homage to the Roger Moore TV show - was built by Lee Johnstone of JD Racing, with Steve Wright and Steven Spiller.

JD Racing stands for Johnstone and Daughters Racing, a family racing team lead by Lee, with his daughters Eleanor, Sarah and Victoria, as well as wife, Sue, based in Bridgwater.

Now, the team is set to achieve global iconic status after being crowned the winner of the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour during a global livestream event at American TV superstar, Jay Leno.

As the winner of the annual search for a custom vehicle to join the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends, the Somerset creation will now be forever immortalised as a 1:64 Hot Wheels die-cast toy.

The Volvo P1800 Aint No Saint Gasser was originally registered as new in 1969.

Mechanic Lee acquired the vehicle as a rusty rolling shell before thoroughly restoring, modifying, and transforming it into the quarter-mile monster it is today.

Sporting a Chevrolet 454 big block, its new power plant is capped with a 671 GMC supercharger and dual four-barrel carburetors.

Finished in a fitting shade of Volvo green, it is a true culmination of more than 50 years of ‘race it, break it, build it better’ experience.

Perhaps most importantly – and in true challenger spirit – Aint No Saint" is also a family affair, with Lee's three daughters sharing in the driving duties, and wife Sue on standby to help crew.

“Having my family here with me for this moment was so special,” said Lee after winning the competition.

“I am excited to have my car become a Hot Wheels die-cast toy and to be able to share my passion project in 1:64 scale with the world.

"It’s amazing to be the first UK winner.”

Bridgwater Mercury: CELEBRATION: The Johnstone family when the result was announced. PICTURE: Hot Wheels Legends Tour
CELEBRATION: The Johnstone family when the result was announced. PICTURE: Hot Wheels Legends Tour

Finishing its fourth year, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour is a worldwide competition spanning 11 countries and five continents, making it the world’s largest international travelling car show.

Thousands of builds were submitted to compete in a series of in-person and virtual stops, which began in April 2021. Over the past seven months, some of the most unique and inspiring custom creations went head-to-head, all for a chance to become the next Hot Wheels die-cast toy sold – and played with by fans of all ages – across the globe.

This year’s global Grand Finale was co-hosted by celebrity car enthusiast Jay Leno and motorsports ambassador Jarod DeAnda during a virtual livestream event, where they were joined by an array of automotive and design experts from around the world to complete the task of choosing the 2021 winner.

Joining them on stage were Ted Wu, global head of design for vehicles, Mattel; Bryan Benedict, director of vehicles design, Mattel; Brendon Vetuskey, vehicles designer, Mattel; Henrik Fisker, automotive design icon; Elana Scherr, senior editor of Car and Driver; car customizer and automotive electronics guru Mad Mike and automotive content creator and drifting enthusiast, Sara Choi.

Bridgwater Mercury: WINNER: The Volvo P1800 Ain't No Saint Gasser, built in Somerset. PICTURE: Hot Wheels Legends Tour
WINNER: The Volvo P1800 Ain't No Saint Gasser, built in Somerset. PICTURE: Hot Wheels Legends Tour

“The Hot Wheels Legends Tour has truly become a global celebration of custom car creations,” said Mr Wu.

“With the addition of five new countries in the Tour, we have been able to reach and interact with millions of new fans and builders from around the world.

"The Volvo Gasser is a wonderful expression of authenticity, creativity and, most importantly, garage spirit.

"We look forward to welcoming Lee Johnstone and his 1969 Volvo P1800 into the Hot Wheels family and presenting the world with our newest Hot Wheels Legends Tour die-cast toy.”

For more on the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, visit hotwheels.mattel.com/explore/en/legends-tour.