PLAINFIELD (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Plainfield resident James Konopka was a finalist for the 2020 Virtual Hot Wheels Legends Tour — a global search for the next fan-made custom car to be made into a die-cast toy.
His 1994 GMC Yukon has been a work in progress over the last 10 years. It features massive tires, a 6-inch suspension lift, a 3-inch body lift and a 2-inch torsion key lift in the front.
Konopka tells WBBM Newsradio behind every single modification was approved by his late wife.
“She was kind of like my advisor. She’d be like, ‘This looks good, leave these on,’ or ‘Don’t do that,’ and I respect her decisions,” he said.
His wife passed away in 2018 from ovarian cancer; the SUV remains as is.
“The truck hasn’t changed since then, and it’s something that I don’t want to change because she was a part of that,” Konopka said.
The Yukon did not win the Hot Wheels contest, but Konopka, a lifelong collector, plans to keep reentering his SUV.
The reason is simple: “I would love to walk into a store and see my truck hanging in a Hot Wheel packaging. That would be a really cool honor.”
The winner of the Hot Wheels Legends tour was 1958 Chevy Apache from Los Angeles, California.