Most of the car-models we see these days are very small. But there is much in favour of larger scales and the Alfa Romeos that are a product of the Italian man-and-boy concern of TOGI, whose Signor Lorenzini has been model-making for 25 years, are to the sizeable 1/23 (approx. 20 cm) scale. He began with the 159 Alfa Romeo which is still being made in the Milan workshops. His latest is a fine Zagato 1750 Alfa Romeo, available in both GS and Mille Miglia forms. It really does capture the atmosphere of these elusive vintage sports-cars and the finish is superb, the light-alloy bodies being sprayed in batches of about 20, starting with etching primer and being completed in authentic, original Alfa Romeo colours, rubbed-down by hand between coats. The accuracy of this 1750 Alfa Model, which is 7 in. long, with a wheelbase of just under 5 in., is ensured by making use of measurements supplied by the Alfa Romeo Museum, these TOGI models having been used for some years by Alfa Romeo for promotional purposes. Thus you get a model that has a centre-hinged bonnet opening to reveal a scale twin-cam blown engine, the correct 1750 windscreen, steering wheel with long ignition-lever, correct instrument panel, opening doors, twin spare-wheels, central gear-lever and so on. The “wire” wheels are detachable, as are all the model’s component parts, and the radiator stoneguard, Motometer, Alfa badge and script, etc., together with treaded rubber tyres, detailed exhaust system, etc., complete a most realistic model, which should greatly please enthusiasts for the famous Milanese make. The doors had gapped somewhat on the model I examined, but they do that on real cars! The perfectionist may perhaps want to glaze the instrument panel, add shock-absorbers, etc. and the front number-plate is a trifle small. Otherwise, what a splendid miniature, of a sensible size. It costs £16.75 as a kit, £18.75 as an assembled model in a strong plastic showcase, the latter desirable for these bigger models, which are not necessarily kept in the bookcase.
The supplier in this country is “Wheels”, the shop in the Totnes, Devon, Motor Museum, which claims to be the best-stocked model-car emporium in Britain. They have a big range of Alfa Romeo and other models.- W.B.