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Nvidia RTX Swapped Classic Hot Wheels PC is a Restomod With Hard Drives
Custom gaming PC builders and custom car modders have more overlap in their fanbases than some of us may realize. There's just something about throwing a new graphics card or CPU into your system that gives the same satisfaction as fitting a turbo to the engine in your car.

Nvidia RTX Swapped Classic Hot Wheels PC is a Restomod With Hard Drives

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So when one YouTuber happened upon the much sought-after Hot Wheels Patriot PC, we knew it was only a matter of time before it was gutted and filled with top-of-the-line modern PC components. Say hello to Shank Mods, or Shank, as we'll call him from now on. He's the certified mad man who decided to take on such a challenge.

For those non-computer-geeks among us who may not be in the loop, allow us to fill you in. For some time, from the late 1990s until the early 2000s, a startup company named Patriot PCs manufactured a line of Hot Wheels branded Windows personal computers.

These Windows 98 and 2000 operated computers with modest performance under the hood, but all the looks to make a red-blooded American young boy drool. One particular younger autoevolution staff writer included. (Me, guilty as charged)

These PCs were less like Hot Wheels and more like Matchbox knockoffs made in a sweatshop 25 years ago in terms of build quality. Meaning, of course, they were built like rotten garbage. Their power supplies would short without warning, and the tiny case with almost no airflow meant the internals would barbecue themselves after only a few years. No wonder Liberty PC went bust after a few years. Liberty? More like tyranny.

So then, if you thought this PC might be an absolutely terrible platform to turn it into a modern gaming rig, you're not wrong. Evidently, Shack didn't care. Because stumbling upon an example in a Texas liquidation site inspired him to do just that.

In fairness, it was pretty easy to part with the internals inside this particular unit. As the corrosion on the motherboard and power supply was doing its best impersonation of barn find 1960s muscle car as it could. Best to leave this job to old Camaros and such, so it all went in the recycling bin.

With the junk hardware that was antiquated by the time it hit the market 23 years ago gone, a modest mini ITX motherboard, seventh-gen Intel i5 processor, and an Nvidia GTX 1650 from a few years ago took its place. Squeezing all of this new hardware into a space not sufficient for a Pentium III was like shoving an LS V8 into an old Mini. Hilarious and awesome, but not very practical.

Shank had every intention in the world of going even further with the build and showcasing it at the LTX 2020 Computer Showcase in front of thousands of spectators. But then, as you all know, the current global health crisis put a stop to all that. To compound issues, another computer-oriented YouTube Channel called Linus Tech Tips put a bounty of $5,000 on the complete Hot Wheels Liberty PC with all the accessories.

As you may have guessed, the prices of these components on eBay promptly shot into the stratosphere. Such a dramatic uptick in value is all too possible with an audience of ten million subscribers as LTT does. It appeared like the project was dead in the water. That was until the PR team from the American computer store Micro Center contacted Shank with an offer he couldn't refuse.

That offer was a blank check for whatever top-of-the-line components he wanted to take the Hot Wheels built to the next level. We're talking about a 16 core, 32 thread, liquid-cooled AMD Ryzen 9 processor, 16 gigabytes of DDR4 memory, four terabytes of NVME SSD storage, and 14 terabytes of hard-drive space.

Oh, and not to mention an Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card. Shank would have gone even higher up the RTX tech ladder, but none of these would have a hope in heaven of fitting this puny case. At least without breaking out the reciprocating saw and welding kit. 

As it happens, modern hardware in such a cramped space soon becomes an oven under load. This was fixed by a four-amp PC fan that spins at 11,000 RPM or the same as the engine in a Formula One car. That did make the build quite loud, but that was fixed by cranking the bass up on the Hot Wheels branded speakers to the max.

The end product was a triple CRT screen leviathan using three Hot Wheels Liberty PC monitors donated by fans along with most of the accessories and a custom Xbox controller painted to match the computer.

It may have cost an arm and a leg, taken dozens of hours if not more in labor, but heaven above, the end product looks positively marvelous. In strictly automotive terms, this PC went from a barn find to a fully custom restomod right before our very eyes.

Congrats to Shank on his marvelous build. Check out his video below if you want to learn more. Stay tuned for more wacky and vaguely auto-related gadget profiles and so much more right here on autoevolution.


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