In the 1980s, Hot Wheels had gotten into a controversy with . In 1982, the had ended the curvaceous Mako Shark body-shape design that had been in production for almost 15 years, and GM announced that the Corvette would be redesigned. In 1983, Chevrolet did not produce the Corvette, but Hot Wheels saw what the Corvette was going to look like and they designed a die cast version of the 1984 Corvette. GM was angered and almost pulled its licensing with Mattel, but this controversy helped Corvette buffs see what the new Corvette was going to look like.
In 1997, Hot Wheels signed a sponsorship deal with NASCAR driver , and thus began making replicas of NASCAR race cars. Hot Wheels signed another deal in 1999 with five Formula One teams to manufacture scale model Formula One cars.