The King of Toy Cars Lives Right Here in Central New York
Meet Mike Zarnock, the Jim Boeheim of Hot Wheels.
If the Syracuse University head coach is our most famous Central New Yorker in the world of basketball, then Zarnock takes the checkered flag when it comes to the realm of toy cars. The 61-year-old Deerfield resident was born in Utica. He's considered to be THE authority on Hot Wheels, the toy cars and accessories made by Mattel. He's also a Guinness World Record holder, with the largest collection of different model cars (8,128) and more than 20,000 toy cars overall.
He's written books, collector's guides and magazine articles, and regularly appears at schools, conventions, toy shows and Hot Wheels club functions all over the world.
In 2009, Zarnock was among the inaugural inductees into the Diecast Hall of Fame (now the Model Car Hall of Fame), an exclusive membership that includes comedians Tim Allen and Jay Leno, racing legends Mario Andretti and Richard Petty, and rock star Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
You can go kick the tires of Zarnock's website, which gets a lot of...um...traffic.