by Karl Schnelle and Koen Beekmann
In Part III of this series, we looked at the #5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS. Now, we will examine the Alfa Romeo Giulia Berlina. This is the 4-door sedan (or berlina) made by Alfa from 1962-1978. This must have been when Togi stopped numbering the baseplates on their new releases. From online photos, the baseplate only reads 7/63 with no #6 anywhere.
NOTE: Koen Beekmann took the photos or acquired them from other collectors, unless otherwise noted.
Some Togi History
The original founder and owner of Togi, Alberto Lorenzini, sold the company in the early 1990s; he passed away about 1995. An article on Togi in the Italian magazine, Quattroruotine N°206, Nov. 1997, stated Togi had a new owner, so it was definitely sold sometime before 1997. The original company used some small local factories to make all the casting for them. The new owner, Alberto Lanzani, was one of them (he made the Alfa 164 castings) and took two years or so for him to find all the molds and tools for all the toy cars from all the other factories. The tools of the Giulia Berlina were lost, because the small company who produced the castings was long gone by then.
In 1963, Togi brought out the Giulia TI Berlina model as a toy car with four doors, bonnet, and boot lid that all opened. That was quite special at the time. Mr Lorenzini had to find out for himself how to make all the openings work and how the hinges attached. Was this the first toy car with all opening parts? Edil Toys did not make their 1/43 Giulia with 6 opening parts until 1966.
The early hinges on the Giulia look very different than later models. The doors were hinged at a single point that was clamped between the bottom of the door and the floor of the interior, perhaps a strange way to do it, but Mr. Lorenzini was covering new design territory! After the Giulia, a different method of hinging was chosen. You can see the low hinges on the disassembled early version below.
These models had a steerable front axle and front and rear suspension. A wheel key was supplied so the customer could disassemble the wheels; with a screwdriver you could easily disassemble the whole model and then hopefully reassemble it.
Rampini (Automodelli Alfa Romeo 1910-1993, 1993) reports that Carabinieri, Polizia, and Vigili Fuoco (Fire) versions came out in 1965. Here is a catalog page from that time:
Then in 1967, the mold was modified to improve the lines of the model. After that, two new grills were available with clear headlight lenses: Giulia 1600 Super (4 headlights) and a year later the Giulia 1300 (two headlights). The rear lights were no longer cast as part of the aluminum body but attached using separate red plastic parts. Rampini also says the Super version has the two police and one fire versions as well.
Here are the three versions: cast front lights, 2 headlights, and four headlights:
The second author found this proof sheet for the Giulia TI kit several years ago – a collector had acquired it in the 1970s:
Here is the box it was for, as well as the box for the assembled model:
Finally, the Giulia TI came in a rare gift set with 2 other Togis, shown here from a 1960’s catalog:
Next time in Part V, we will continue the Togi story with the Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint.
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