Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Santa Fe man makes it to Hot Wheels semi-final competition

SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – A new Mexican man’s handcrafted car has received a lot of attention lately. On Saturday morning, the final of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour was up against nine other cars, in which Jay Leno was one of the judges.

Retired engineer Paul Kalenian says it took him about seven months to build his 2020 aluminum racer named Lulu in his garage in Santa Fe. On Saturday morning, Lulu was introduced to a seven-person jury in Jay Leno’s garage for the Hot Wheels Legends Tour finale. The winner of the competition will be added to the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends and the car will be immortalized as a Hot Wheels toy car.

Kalenian says there’s more to it than that. “I hope Lulu will inspire young children who collect these,” said Kalenian. He never thought his car would make it this far in the competition, but he was excited that Jay Leno would see all of his hard work.

“I always thought, ‘Boy, it would be nice to get you ready, put you in a trailer, take you to Leno’s garage, pull into the driveway, beep the horn and say,’ Hey Jay, I am it, Paul. Come out and have a look at my car, ”said Kalenian.

Although Kalenian was unable to attend the final in person, Leno was very impressed with his car and even said that it is the entry he would most like to drive.

However, Kalenian did not win the competition. The winner was a UK-built Volvo.

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