Georgia grandfather wins Hot Wheels car competition

Image 1 of 4

A Georgia grandfather's custom car will have the chance to possibly be a Hot Wheels miniature car sold worldwide.

Cartersville resident Robert Graham's "RatRod" won Saturday's Hot Wheels Legends Tour in Dawsonville, Georgia. He'll be one of 15 finalists whose cars will compete at the SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas. The winner's car will be transformed in a Hot Wheels die-cast car.

For Graham, who was choking back tears during his victory speech, the inspiration came from his grandson Landon.

"My grandson drew a picture of it on a paper towel," Graham said. “He said, ‘Papaw, we need to build this car.'"

For six years, Robert and Landon saves a little money each week to help build the car into something they could both be proud of.

“The car was actually built on a $25-a-week budget and I made sure that he saved that money to build this car,” Robert said.

Saturday started with a rocky start from Graham, after the car accidentally ran into a light pole when arriving at the competition. He wanted to leave, thinking his shot was over, but he was convinced to stay.

The "RatRod" beat 275 cars at the event, which was drew a crowd of over 2,500.

Now he and Landon will head to Las Vegas in October to see if their car will win the national championship. 

Robert's win had our own Ken Rodriguez awash in a wave of nostalgia for his love of Hot Wheels cars as a kid!