'Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge' Host Rutledge Wood Wishes He Could Keep the Cars (EXCLUSIVE)

What happens to the cars on 'Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge'? Distractify spoke with host Rutledge Wood to get all the details.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 13 2023, Published 4:20 p.m. ET

'Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge'
Source: YouTube/NBC (video still)

'Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge'

Nostalgia is a real driving force behind NBC's reality competition show, Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge. Car-loving competitors who are passionate about these iconic toys, go head-to-head via their own full-scale Hot Wheels-style designs. The winner ultimately drives away with $50,000 and the opportunity to create their own Hot Wheels die-cast car.

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These contestants are incredibly creative artists whose canvases are cars. Each vehicle could be its own exhibit in a museum, but unfortunately, the Life-Sized Hotwheels Carseum has yet to be built.

In the meantime, we gotta know what happens to the cars on Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge. Distractify spoke with host Rutledge Wood to get all the deets.

Monster Bug
Source: YouTube/NBC (video still)

The Monster Bug on 'Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge'

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What happens to the cars on 'Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge'? They are so cool.

Host Rutledge Wood wants what any art-lover wants, to possess beauty in all its forms.

"Well, what we hope is that they all end up in my house one day. That's my real hope," he told Distractify. "I think most of them are sitting in a warehouse, kind of wondering what their fate is going to be."

Who hasn't sat alone in a cavernous room wondering what else is in store for them? We have never felt more seen.

Actually, Rutledge believes some of the cars will be recycled for parts while others could end up getting a third chance at life.

"Certain cars that have a higher value will probably end up in the hands of someone who can fix them to be more street-legal," theorizes the host. "Because again, the whole idea is that there are no rules in our garage. So that's why we don't put them out on the street."

Reminder, as amazing as these cars look, most of them are more about fashion than function.

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The cars that we see on the show are fantasy-based and were never meant to cruise the open road. But, that's the point after all. The contestants get to tap into their childhoods in order to bring something to life that they weren't capable of doing as a kid.

Rutledge says that the real point is, "holding that 164 scale card in your hand and then translating that into real life." Regarding where it ends up? "Basically I have no idea," he said.

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How long does it take the contestants to build the cars?

Cue the Barenaked Ladies because the competitors only have one week to design their cars. To no one's surprise, every second counts and every person takes full advantage of the time they have. What makes this process even more difficult, is the twist that always comes halfway through the week.

"You're marching down this field, this one direction, and then all of a sudden it throws this complete right turn and you go OK, well, I guess we should go over here," said Rutledge.

This plot device is called the Inspirationater, and it can really throw a monkey wrench into the entire design process. One example of this is when the designers had to incorporate a moving element into their car. Figuring out how to make this work has the potential to be time-consuming.

The final day is devoted to painting and decorating, as well as revealing the final product to the superfan. "It's wild how much this team crammed into such a tight space," said Rutledge. Those wheels are indeed quite hot!

Watch Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on NBC!

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