What does the Year on the Baseplate mean?

So you’ve found an old Hot Wheels car at a garage sale. You tried to find out more information but nothing matches the year on the base. This is a very common issue with all Hot Wheels.

Baseplate Year
The year is not an indication of when it was manufactured. It is the year that the casting design was copyrighted.

In the example, the ’57 Chevy has 1976 on the base. The first Hot Wheels ’57 Chevy wasn’t released until 1977. Most ’57 Chevys, regardless of when they were made, have 1976 on the base. In most instances, the date is one year before it’s initial release. The example above wasn’t produced until 2009 and was part of a 10 pack release.