Alfa Romeo – Back to the US with the 4C!

by Karl Schnelle

 

4C 3 times

3 of the 4C’s Described Below

Post-war Alfas were sold in the US for many years up to 1995 when they stopped importing the 164.   Then,  in the 2000’s, rumors started about their return to the US market.  Every year it seemed it was the same story:  next year Alfa will be back ran the headlines!

In 2008 finally the low volume, high cost 8C was imported in very low numbers.  I have never seen one so far!  But the real return happened in 2014 with the US launch of the more ‘affordable’ 4C. Then the Spider was launched as a 2015 model in the US.

If you backup a few years, the 4C Concept was introduced at the Geneva and then Frankfurt auto shows in 2011.   I saw it first at the Chicago auto show in 2015, and by then, both production versions were shown.

4C

The Spider was shown in bright yellow (Giallo Prototipo) to contrast the Alfa red coupe!4C Spider

 

The Models

After the European introduction in 2013, the scale models and toys have trickled out from various manufacturers.   Starting with the big boys, AUTOart makes them in six colors in 1:18 scale.  At more than twice the price, BBR has both the coupe and Spider in multiple colors.   They also have the coupe in red or white in 1:43 scale.  More my size, but not my budget!

With other  1:43 resin makers at half the price, I can not justify a BBR at this time.  So the following are now in my collection!  First up was the Spark coupe in red.

Spark 4C

If you can see the detail, the Spark is a model of the original concept car with exposed projector beam headlights and a different side vents.

More recently, TSM introduced their Spider version. Their website labels it a 2014 concept but the box says 2015 concept and the base says 2014!  So I am very confused (not too unusual!)…

TSM 4C

But they are great models and nice to compare.   Both come in an outer box and inner clear plastic display case.  The  red Spark has the projector beam headlights of the concept car.  The wheels and mirrors are also different on the two 1:43 cars.  The edges of the Spider’s grill seems to be less defined when you examine it closely.  Overall, they are both great models of this new Alfa.

Going down in size is the 1:55 scale SIKU, which is really more of a toy but very nicely done.  SIKU does weird scales but are very nice toys, I think.

Siku Alfa 4C

And finally, the small 1:64 scale 4C from Matchbox:  another fine toy Alfa.  The overall shape represents the real car very well, but those generic wheels do bother me a little.  Much less detail than the others is present, but at this scale it still looks very nice.

4C Matchbox

If you’ve seen other models of the 4C or would like to comment, let us know on FaceBook!