Category Archives: Alfa Romeo

News from the Continent – M4 Model Car Group March 2018

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs provided by the manufacturer.

All the models listed below are made in diecast metal to 1:43 scale in Italy unless otherwise stated.

ART Models

ART381 Ferrari 500 TR

Winner SCCA Laguna Seca 1957 – Pete Loylely #125

 

ART382 Ferrari 250 California LWB Spider America 1958 – red

 

ART383 Ferrari 860 Monza

3rd in Mille Miglia 1956 – Luigi Musso #556

 

ART384 Ferrari 625 LM

8th in GP Venezuela 1956 – Pierro Drogo #36

 

ART385 Ferrari 860 Monza

2nd in Mille Miglia 1956 – Collins/Klementaski #551

 

ART386 Ferrari 500 TRC

12 hours of Sebring 1957 – 1st in 2.0 litre class – Hively/Ginter #28

 

BEST Models

BEST9694 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

Test car 1967 (new resin)

 

BEST 9695 Porsche 550 RS

Le Mans 1958 – 5th Godin de Beaufort/Linge #32

 

BEST9696 Jaguar E-Type Spyder

Elton John´s personal car.

 

BEST9697 Simca 1150 Abarth Rally 1963

 

BEST9698 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

9th in Targa Florio 1969 – Munari/Aaltonen (new resin)

 

BEST9699 Ferrari 250 LM Spyder

Test car 1965

 

BEST9700 Ferrari 250 LM Spyder

Pernis von Innsbruck/Tirol 1965 – Heini Walter #2 first in class

 

BEST9701 Porsche 550 RS

2nd in Targa Florio 1959 – Mahle/Strähle/Linge #118

 

BEST9702 Ferrari 330 GTC 1966

light blue metallic

 

BEST9703 Porsche 908/02 Flounder

Interseries Norisring 1970 – Niki Lauda #39

 

Image of car – no model shot available
BEST9704 Abarth 2000 SE

Mont Ventoux 1969 – Arturo Merzario #49 – 2nd – 1st in its class

 

BEST9705 Alfa Romeo TZ2

Pergusa Jolly Hotel Rally 1965 – De Adamich/Lini #148

 

RIO Models

RIO4560 Fiat 238 Tetto Alto

Service Van Lancia Racing 1975-1977

 

RIO4561 Volkswagen Beetle with skis 1953

This is again a very strange looking model. This Beetle has an oval rear window from 1953, but lacks the quarter lights in the doors and has the bumpers of a 1948 car. In between the windscreen wipers  there are air intake slots like those fitted to the Beetle from 1968 onwards. The rear lights are round, in original it were oval to this time. The model has been put together with no regard for accuracy.

 

RIO4562 Fiat 1500 6C

Police 1950

 

RIO4563 Fiat 519

Italian Red Cross 1932

 

RIO4564 Fiat 128 Rally 1971

Green

 

RIO4565 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 De Luxe 1953

Bordeaux red

Once again a very strange looking model and unauthentic. Oval rear window from 1953, but no quarter lights fitted at that time.bumpers of a 1948 car. In between the windscreen wipers  there are air intake slots like those fitted to the Beetle from 1968 onwards. The rear lights are round, in original it were oval to this time. The model has again been put together with no regard for accuracy.

 

RIO4566 Fiat 18 BL truck 1918

Italian Army


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Togi History – Part VII

by Karl Schnelle and Koen Beekmann

In Part VI of this series, we looked at the  Alfa Romeo 2-door Giulia GT.   Now, we will examine the two Togi convertibles: the Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider and Kamm-tail Spider.  Here is an early catalog page of the Duettos.

Rampini in Automodelli Alfa Romeo 1910-1993 (1993) actually lists four Spiders and their release dates:

  • Duetto 1600 – 1969
  • Duetto 1300 Junior – 1969
  • Spider 2000 – 1972
  • Spider 1300 Junior – 1975

The first two versions are the Duetto designed by Pininfarina  and are often called the “Osso di seppia” (cuttlebone in Italian) because of the shape of its long, round tail. Alfa made them from 1966 to 69 before modifying the design to the Kamm-tail or “coda tronca”.   Togi produced the Duetto for 2 years only, and thus it  is very rare. Alfa introduced the Kamm-tail in 1970 so Togi had to soon follow suit with the other two, simply called Spiders.  The Junior versions of each are just a name change, so the same main castings are used for both.

The original, very rare Duetto spider is shown below.

The old Togi catalog shows the Duetto in both kit and built formats. The mustard version has headlight covers and should be the 1750 version, while the red one probably is the lower spec 1300 Junior.  Togi made these two different versions by using big headlights without covers or smaller headlights (so the covers would fit over it) with transparent covers.  Here is the kit version from that same catalog.

The current Togi company has reissued the Duetto in limited production, so it is not so hard to find any more.   This re-issued Duetto is slightly different from the original, so as not to confuse the two or reduce the value of the original!   Current prices for original, mint boxed Duetto’s are now very high! Therefore Togi made new badges for the  boot (trunk) in photo echoed metal, whereas the original ones had it molded in.  These new badges don’t seem to fit  the rather simple style of  Togi‘s any more, but at least it’s easy to tell the difference.

Below left is the new Togi reissue in white; on the right is the silver Kamm-tail spider that Togi produced for quite some time.

Next is another top-up Spider Kamm-tail, in Alfa red this time, made from a kit.  One can see the parts do not fit very well and there are some large panel gaps!  But we think this is charming none the less.

And finally, here is a printed sheet of the older Duetto kit box found just a few years ago.

Next time in Part VIII, we will continue the Togi story with two Alfa show cars introduced by Togi in 1970 and 71!


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Togi History – Part VI

by Karl Schnelle and Koen Beekmann

In Part V of this series, we looked at the Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint.  Now, we will examine the Alfa Romeo 2-door Giulia GT series.  The Giulia GT coupe first came out in 1968 as the GT 1300 Junior, (Rampini, Automodelli Togi, online Dec 2017).  Rampini lists four  versions of this Coupe :  GT 1300 Junior, 1750 GT Veloce (1970), Giulia Sprint GTA Competitizione (1972), and Giulia GTV 2000 (1976).  [All photos are by Koen or his colleagues.]

The Giulia GT Coupe story is probably the most complex of all the Togi Models.  Rampini listed four versions, but we have identified six historically! Some seem to have overlapped in the market so even an exact release order might not be possible.  The current company is currently selling 8 renditions!!!

In contrast to Rampini, the authors believe the first “Giulia Sprint GT” came out earlier, in 1965. Togi made good commercial use of this GT model because, to make the different versions, all they did was to alter the grill.  In the 1960s, the first three types were produced:

  • 1300 Junior with 1 horizontal strip in the grill
  • 1600 with grill without a strip (not mentioned by Rampini)
  • GT Veloce with 3 horizontal strips in the grill (not mentioned by Rampini)

Here is a better shot of the green GT Veloce – with 3 strips:

Up until that point, this might have been the Togi with the best fit and best lines.  Perhaps that was because, as was customary with model car manufacturers at that time such as Mercury, the factory drawings were used.  On all the versions,  the doors, hood, and trunk open.

Here is the Giulia GT from the 1968 Togi catalog (it’s hard to tell how many strips are on the grill!):

Togi opted for its own solution for the door hinges, though. They hinge around a pin: a  very nice system with which the door turns like the real car inside the body, more beautifully done than with almost all other toy cars. There is almost no resistance and the doors always neatly open and close.

On the baseplate shown below,  you will find the end of the door pins behind the two small screws.  These screws are used to attach the the bottom baseplate.  All versions of the coupe use this baseplate so it does not help identify which one you have.  Additionally, the baseplate shows a date of 8/65!

The build instructions that comes with every Togi shows the door construction. As with other Togis, many of the details are very similar to other model cars from that era.

In the next photo,  an unsharp line up of early 1750 GT Veloces are shown with rare Veloce grills with 3 horizontal bars and their very rare little round stickers behind the window, that over the years fell of and disappeared after the glue dried out. As far as we know, only the first series of the GT Veloces had these little stickers.

Here is a red 1300 (1 strip) next to a green GT Veloce (3 strips):

A mustard GT Veloce is pictured below with no headrests on the front seats.

Later in the 1970s, three or four more versions were released:

  • 1750 with double headlights, one smaller than the other
  • 2000 GTV by using a sticker to rename the 1750
  • GTA  that is missing all the specific GTA details
  • Cabriolet or convertible version.

Togi released the 1750 GT Veloce version in 1970.  While the real 1750 was a restyled model with many new details such as the hood design, Togi just reused the 1300/1600 molds. The ugliest detail was the 4 headlights that did not fit into the recess for the previous two large headlights. This poor detail you would expect from a small Matchbox and not from such a large, expensive model!

In 1976, this model was renamed the 2000 GTV simply by means of adding a sticker.  A much too easy choice because the 2000 had a lot more updated details in real life.  We were very disappointed to see the 1750 grill used (on the 2000 GTV) with the strange design again underneath the double headlights that did not fit in the body.   The lower round cutouts below are left over from the single headlights of a 1300 GT.

In 1972, Togi produced the GTA Competitizione, always in red and with racing numbers, and with wheels from the 2000 Berlina.  This “lighter and faster” version is more rare than the rest of the Togi GTs and is shown in the photo below. (The other coupes in the photo are a white 1300 Junior with 1 horizontal strip in the grill and an ocher yellow 1750 with the double headlights.)

A GTA from a kit is shown next to the green Veloce GT below.  the racing numbers have not yet been applied since it is a kit.  Notice the double headlights, headrests, and different wheels from the 2000 Berlina.  Of course, Togi calls this a GTA but in reality it is nowhere near to the actual light-weight Competizione version.

A Togi catalog page from the 1980s shows that they were selling the 1300, 2000, and GTV all at he same time.  The photo seems to show a GT Veloce on the kit box that should have been obsolete by then!

In 1977 the last Togi version came out, a model that was converted from the Coupe to Cabriolet (with the roof sawn off) in a very limited edition.  See the light  blue example in one of the photos above.  Not a very attractive conversion but because of the low production numbers, this is now very popular and expensive model. The interior was provided with some stickers to represent the side door panels. The folded back hood came from the Alfa Spider.

Finally, a  scan of the ultimate Togi set: a Veloce, a Giulia Berlina and an ‘Osso di Seppia’ (Duetto) Spider are together in a rare dark red and yellow box.

Next time in Part VII, we will continue the Togi story with the Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider and Kamm-tail Spider.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Togi History – Part V

by Karl Schnelle and Koen Beekmann

In Part IV of this series, we looked at the Alfa Romeo Giulia Berlina.  Now, we will examine the Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint.  The Giulia first came out in 1963, and the 2600 Sprint followed in 1964 (Rampini, Automodelli Togi, online Dec 2017).  Others report that the 2600 Sprint may have been introduced as early as 1962. [Unless noted, all photos are by Koen or from his colleagues.]

Short History of the Real Thing
Alfa Romeo introduced the 4-cylinder 2000 Sprint in 1960.  The 2000 coupe was one of the first commercial designs by Giorgetto Giugiaro, then employed at Bertone. This 2000  was succeeded in 1962 by the 6-cylinder 2600.    The most notable exterior difference was the small air intake on the hood (bonnet), no doubt needed for the larger in-line 6-cylinder. This 2600 remained in production until 1968.  Two 2600s are shown below, in Chicago USA, 2008. [Photo: Karl Schnelle]
The Togi
Togi made a very nice model of the 2600 Sprint.  At that time, it was the 6th Togi.   The rear body sides seemed a bit short, but the overall impression was very good.  In any case, the clean, simple design of the toy made it one of the authors’ favorite Togi cars!
As with many previously released Togi’s, nothing opens.  However,   the steering works the front wheels, and there is suspension front and rear.  This was the model that made both authors decide to search out more Togi’s and  start collecting them;  what a wonderful 1960’s era toy automobile. And of course a 6-cylinder Alfa is always nice to have!
The very first release (see two photos above) is recognized by the lack of the chrome strip under the doors, while the second series has the chrome-plated plastic strip clamped and glued between the two halves of the body.  When the chrome strip was added is not known.  See two photos below.

In addition to the regular coupé, there was a Polizia (Squadra Mobile Pantera) and a Vigili del Fuoco (Fire) version. These two came out in 1965, a year after the plain version (Rampini).  As with other toy brands, these designs were created simply by adding decals, a flashing light, and an antenna.

The 1967 catalog (below) shows the two emergency versions with the lower side strip , as shown by the snippet below, so the older version without the strip only lasted a few years.

The Polizia  and Fire versions are much more rare than the civilian one, the Fire version is almost never seen.  Probable reason: These versions were just less popular and therefore did not sell as well.

Besides the ready-made models, Togi kits were also sold. As with all Togi kits, the owner could screw the parts together with the supplied screwdriver, and they are set!

Are the later Togi’s with many open parts “a  pain” to put together? (Yes, you actually need 4 small hands all at the same time!)  Even with no opening parts, the 2600 was one of the first Togi’s with a realistic, but simple, interior that consisted of two separate front seats, a back seat,  a rear shelf, and steering wheel. The plastic interior parts were always painted.

Details about the Police Version

Many of the 1960’s Alfas in Polizia guise for the Mobile Squadron had a ‘pantera’, a panther, in the front wings.

The early Togi versions without chrome side strips had the panther printed in one direction only, so the driver-side was facing backwards!  See the photo below.

The newer chrome strip versions had the panther facing the correct way! See photo below.

Next time in Part VI, we will continue the Togi story with the Alfa Romeo 2-door Giulia GT series.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Togi History – Part IV

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.

Giulia Berlina

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.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Neo’s baby Alfa Romeo GTV6

By Maz Woolley

Photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

I recently review Neo‘s model of the Alfa Romeo Alfetta in 1:87 scale.  Here is another of Neo’s Alfa Romeo models the GTV6.  The Neo 1:87 range is obsolete but a limited number of models may still be in stock at some suppliers.

The GTV6 was built on the same Alfetta bodypan as the more conservative saloon and was introduced two years later in 1974. The fastback coupé style started with the Alfetta GT using a 1.8 Litre four cylinder engine and extended up to the top of the range GTV6 fitted with a V6 2.5 Litre engine. The GTV 6 is easily identified as the bonnet had to have a bulge pressed in to clear the larger engine. The GTV6 in stripped touring car form won the European Touring Car Championship four times which undoubtedly helped encourage sales even at a time when Alfa Romeo’s reputation for reliability was poor.

The Neo model captures the shape of the car very well and has a lot of fine detail modelled and printed. The 1970s were a period where matt black finishes replaced chrome and the black printed window frames, air inlets and outlets, windscreen surrounds and wipers are all very neatly done. The wheels have also been well modelled and nice rubber tyres are fitted.

The rear lights are painted which is a pity as plastic lenses might be more effective. The rear badging is printed in some detail but is slightly wobbly. However this only shows when heavily magnified as it is so small you can scarcely see it with the naked eye.

The front end is very good with indicators printed into the bumper, a neat German number plate, lovely small headlights in plastic and the Alfa grille neatly made but slightly crooked. Again a defect scarcely noticed unless looking at enlarged photographs.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @ gmail.com.

Neo’s baby Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1.6

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The Alfetta saloon was Alfa Romeo‘s answer to BMW, Mercedes-Benz and other makers of Executive class saloons. The 1.6 modelled was the base engine in a range that also featured 1.8 and 2.0 litre engines. The Alfetta lasted in production from 1972 to 1984 selling over 400,000 cars. It was well used by both the Italian Police and Carabinieri,  and also as Government Ministers and Officials transport. The car’s classic Alfa Romeo De Dion rear axle with gearbox in unit helped balance the weight across the chassis and went on to be used in the later Alfa 90.

The model is by Neo in their now obsolete 1:87 range. Model Car World has now stopped making Neo 1:87 models but still have a few obsolete models in stock at the time of writing. All their 1:87 models are now released in the Best of Show (BoS) range to a lower standard of finish, with less photo etching for example. This was presumably because the Neo 1:87 models were considerably more expensive than even the top of the range Brekina or Herpa models. Curiously although Neo made an Alfetta in 1:43 scale that was a of the later version of the Alfetta with black bumpers. Here we have the car with the chrome bumpers fitted until a facelift later in its life.

Neo did the car in a number of colours: grey, beige, and very dark blue.

The use of Photoetch on this model is limited. The front and rear window surrounds are etched with the front wipers modelled into the screen etched sheet so they are quite small and discrete even in this small scale. In addition the Alfa grille central section at the front, the drivers door mirror,  and the ventilation grilles on the rear three quarter pillars are also photo etched.

Inside the seats and door cards are a tan leather colour and the dashboard is a mix of black and brown components with some instrumentation moulded in and a delicate steering wheel in left hand drive position.

As the photograph above shows the rear badging, lights, and the number plates are finely printed. All over-riders on the bumpers are picked out in matt black. The door handles and the tiny indicator repeater on the front wing are also printed delicately. The wheels are neat moulding capturing the wheels fitted to many Alfettas.

There are virtually no base details apart from a somewhat overscale partial exhaust system.

This is a nice model of a car which is seldom seen nowadays as it, like many vehicles of the 1970s and 1980s, has not been widely preserved, as it takes a lot of upkeep and was out of fashion until recent years.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Togi History – Part III

by Koen Beekmann and Karl Schnelle

In Part II of this series, we looked at the #3  Giulietta Sprint and the #4 159 Formula One car.  Now, we will examine the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS. NOTE: Koen Beekmann took the photos or acquired them from other collectors, unless otherwise noted.  He also conducted all the research which we are compiling here. Without his enthusiasm for Togi, these articles would not have been possible.

The fifth car in the Togi lineup, the #5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS, or Sprint Speciale, was introduced right after the 159  in 1960 or so (see advertisement below).  As with the previous Togi’s, the number is cast on the baseplate (No 5).  Rampini says it was based on the 1957 model, so perhaps it also took several years to develop as with the previous Togi models.  However, it is not quite clear which model was the starting point for the Togi: 1957 was the prototype and the first production series was 1959-1960, with a re-introduction a year later.

Here is an un-dated Togi catalog illustration.  As with other Togi’s, both built and kit versions were available:

This model car went through three generations (listed in order):

  1. Without bumpers and with smooth wheels. Very rare and short lived.
  2. With bumpers, closed side windows and cast-in rear lights.  No interior, just a deck that hides the rear axle.
  3. With bumpers, open side windows, a real interior and separate rear lights. As with other newer Togi, these are made of zamac and much heavier than the previous generations.

The three versions are shown below in a scan from an old Quattroruotine magazine (No 206, Nov/Dec 1997): left is the very rare and oldest bumper-less version, in the middle is the  version with bumpers and side windows, and on the right is the latest version:

Incidentally, the bumper-less version is not just a model without bumpers; the two body parts lack the front and rear holes for mounting the bumpers.   The lack of bumpers suggests that the oldest Togi model was based on the first Giulietta production version, but why was there no back bumper while the 1: 1 had one?  Or was it meant to be a sports car version where the ‘sportiness’ was enhanced by leaving the bumpers off?

Also, the wheels of the first version do not have any round holes. These wheels are made especially for the SS and no other Togi, for some reason.

Both the authors love the Sprint Speciale, so here are photos from the 2016 Alfa Romeo Owners Club meeting in Nashville, TN, USA:

{Photos by Karl Schnelle.]

The last two are Giulia SS’s, which were produced for a couple years right after the Giuliettas (same car with a bigger engine).

The 1st generation car is very rare in comparison to the other two.  Perhaps this bumper-less version did not last long at all.  It does seem to look a bit more like the 1957 Alfa prototype.  The photos below show that there were no holes for the bumpers in this version.

Here is a 2nd generation where you can see how the bumpers are attached:

The  older version (2nd generation) with box is shown on the left below;  the current version (3rd generation) with nickel-colored chrome parts on the right. The key for the wheel hub was standard on many Togi’s.  Notice that SS is spelled out on the box as Sprint Speciale!:

The older model (blue) has cast rear lights, while the later version (red) has the separate, chromed lights:

Here is a closeup of the blue one, the 2nd generation:

Maybe the windows were deleted so one could see the new interiors?  🙂   Here is a rare green version with interior; the wheels are silver colored but not chromed so it’s a later 3rd generation:

With three generations, many colors, and with and without race numbers, someone could collect a large number of just these Alfa Sprint Speciales!


Postscript – A French advertisement from September 1961 shows the Togi SS.  In France, Togi’s were imported and distributed by Safir, another toy car company.  The SS pictured below looks to have bumpers so it is not the first version!  This seems too early, so perhaps the Togi model was introduced in 1960 or 61, and not in 1962 as commonly thought?

Next time in Part IV, we will continue the Togi story with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Berlina.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

 

Togi History – Part II

by Koen Beekmann and Karl Schnelle

In Part I of this series, we looked at the founding of Togi and its first 2 cars.   #1 Cursor and #2 Turbo Special were introduced around 1958.  NOTE: Koen Beekmann took all the photos unless otherwise noted.  He also did all the research which we are compiling here.

Here is a little more information on the Turbo Special. They are still made today and accompanied by a drawing in the box.  The current castings are diecast using zamac alloy, but the original ones were  aluminum or some other light-weight alloy. Two versions of the drawings are shown below with the different front steering mechanism. The curved arms are the earlier design on the left are Photoshopped from the original on the right.   To determine if the original design could easily fit into the newer drawing, Koen tried it (and it does)!

And here is the mold for the Turbo Special; it looks like the earlier casting before the wrap-around windshield and is from the original owner, Mr Lorenzini.


The rest of Part II will concentrate on the next two models that came out.

After the first two cars, Togi moved on to reproducing actual automobiles.  All were Alfa Romeos in 1:23 scale (except for a Lancia).  Perhaps to keep the cars in the same size range as the first two, Mr. Lorenzini  chose the unusual scale of 1:23.  In the late 1950’s, there weren’t any 1:24 or 1:25 scale cars, so why not 1:23?

Thus, the third model was a 1:23 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint. The development of this first Alfa model was delayed due to funding until 1959 or 60 and was finally on sale by 1962 (Rampini).  The earliest casting might not have Togi in the bottom and could in fact be a Trilor, Mr Lorenzini’s first company.  An Italian collector has one in his collection that he thinks is a Trilor (no name on the baseplate).   If this is the case, then Rampini could be mistaken and perhaps the first three cars were all made as Trilors first?   We may never know for sure…

Two generations of the #3 Giulietta Sprint are shown below.  The box calls it a Sprint Veloce (the higher horsepower version):

The first generation (in green on the left) has no interior, tight side windows, large wheels and metal headlights. The second generation (white) has interior, no side windows, silver lower side body trim, clear headlights, and smaller wheels with wheel nuts. Look and compare.  That beautiful box belongs to the old model.  Here is the green model again:

This first Alfa seems a little toy-like and rounder than it should be,  maybe that was the influence of their first two streamlined cars.  Here is a drawing included in the box of a later version:

The Giulietta Sprint was really not a very accurate model. Perhaps this was the best that Togi could do at the time.  The next Togi models will get better and better as they learned how to create more accurate model cars and still keep the toy characteristics (take-off wheels, suspension, and steering).  Togi was the abbreviation of Tonino GIocattoli  – Little Tony’s Toys –  after all!


According to Rampini, both the the 159 Formula One car and Giulietta SS  were introduced in 1962.  These two Alfa Romeos are beautiful model cars and a big improvement on the Sprint.  We will examine the 159 next.

The 159 ‘Alfetta’ raced in Formula One and a few other races during the 1951 season.  Coming out 11 years later did not matter, as this was an iconic race car.  However, Koen believes the #4 Togi 159 was developed earlier than 1962, sometime in 1959 or early 1960.  After the Corsar, the Turbo Special and the Giulietta Sprint, this was the fourth model from the Milanese manufacturer.

Simple spoke wheels were developed for this model, which were then carried over to the first two Togi’s.  Furthermore, it is still evident that it is just an old-style toy car: the design has been carried out very broadly, with some remarkable details such as operating steering wheel that moves the front wheels and working wing nuts on the wheels. The Togi, like the real 159, was only made in red, although the color differed over the years. The three 159’s below each have a different red color (and different wheels).

Like the other Togis, this Alfa was also available as a kit: nice for a model from the early 1960s but very simple as a kit!  What’s more fun than having a copy of the famous Fangio’s race car with racing numbers?  However, this model used fantasy race numbers, placed in the correct location on the body. The oldest versions are shown below:

The old 159 has never disappeared from the Togi range and is still being produced. Somewhere in the early 1970’s, the model was fitted with new open spoke wheels. These chrome wheels were still very simple and similar to the spoke wheels on Dinky’s at that time. In fact, the much nicer Revival race cars, from back then, still do not command the high prices that these Togi’s do now.  Here are closeups of the two older ones:

Apparently, Togi looked to see what low-cost improvements could be made to the 159.  A new perforated protective plate was added to the side exhaust pipes, but the metal exhaust was no longer chromed. The new spoke wheels were changed to black as well.  A unusual choice because the wheels of the real 159 were always silver.   Here is the newer version, bought in 1995 (photo by Karl):

Also, here is the original mold for the 159 from Mr Lorenzini; no reason for Togi to update that!

In 2011 or just before that, Togi announced a chrome 159, actually a nickel-plated model.    The prototype is shown below.

Several years later, it came to production and is listed on their website currently.  Three versions are shown: gold, ‘black’ nickel, and ‘white’ nickel.  This is a photo from Togi before it was released:

Many of the later Togi came with a plastic display case inside the outer box.  Similar to the Turbo Special,  a nice drawing was also included in the box, in case an enterprising kid wanted to take apart the 159 and hopefully put it back together:

Koen did an internet search and found at least five box types (not in any particular order):

  • nice red drawing of the 159 (original silver wheels)
  • color stripes on cardboard box (black wheel version)
  • yellow box with small window on the edge (silver or black wheels)
  • Styrofoam box with red/yellow sticker, inside is a clear plastic display box with brown base (black wheels)
  • Togi in white letters inside a red stripe on a sticker on a thin cardboard box (silver or black wheel versions)

Next time in Part III, we will continue the Togi story with the Giulietta SS.


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Togi History – Part I

by Karl Schnelle

All photos by Koen Beekmann, unless otherwise noted.

NOTE: Six years ago, I ran into a fellow Togi collector online and joined a conversation with him about the history of this small Italian toy car manufacturer.  As an Alfa Romeo fanatic, I discovered Togi many years ago because they mostly make Alfas, in a strange 1:23 scale. The fellow collector, Koen Beekmann, had amassed many of them and gathered their history.  That was a while ago, and he has since then sold off all his collection. So I thought it was time to gather together in English the history he had pieced together.  Most of the story was posted on alfabb, planet diecast, and in his native tongue, Dutch, on modelautoforum.nl.

In the 1950’s, Alberto Lorenzini was an engineer at Alfa Romeo in Milan, Italy.  He also started to make a  streamlined toy race car of his own design.  The company name for his futuristic model car was called Trilor, which is very rare today.  The well-known Italian collector, Rampinisays Trilor started in 1954.    Koen did find a photo of it online. Note the smooth wheels with take-off hubs!  Rampini also shows one with smooth hubs in his pdf book.  Then in 1958 or so, Lorenzini changed the name to Togi and modified this racer to be a Corsar, #1 in the Togi lineup.  The new Corsar now had a side exhaust and restyled windows.  Early ones are seen without the window glass. The name is a contraction of  Tonino (his nickname) and Giocattoli (Italian for toys)! He setup the company in Bareggio, an area just west of Milan center.   At some point, he must have stopped working for Alfa because many models were designed and sold after #1.

A yellow Corsar is shown below. (Photo by the author.)

From a Togi poster, this photo shows Mr. Lorenzini in the back of the workshop , circa 1970.

At some point in the late 1960s or 70s, the Corsar was discontinued. The tooling must have been lost or discarded at some point because, when Togi was sold to new owners in the early 1990s, the Corsar tools were not found (along with the Giulia Berlina).  The parts were cast for Togi by an outside company.  More on this in Part II.

Here is the Corsar in an undated Togi catalog. Most  if not all Togis came as factory-built or as kits, as illustrated by the two box types below.

The #2 Turbo Special came out soon after the Corsar.  This was  a similar streamlined race car but had a more detailed casting.  Both early Togi’s had the smooth wheels from the Trilor, which were improved upon to represent wire wheels around 1960.  Both models had front suspension and steering though!  No scales were mentioned for these two fantasy cars.

The red Corsair is on the left and the silver Turbo Special on the right. A typical box is shown.

Here are the two Turbo Specials with both smooth and later wire wheels.

In addition to the newer wheel style, the front suspension/steering was also redesigned on both the Corsar and the Turbo Special. The curved arms on the right are the older style, shown on the Turbo below.

The red Turbo below has the older smooth wheels below. The glass was broken in this example.

Finally at some point, the Turbo was modified slightly to give it a ‘modern’ wrap-around windshield and separate rear bumpers!  A 3rd wheel style was also produced. (photo by the author)

And here is a rear view with the added bumpers!

The revised Turbo also came with a driver, just visible through the windshield (above and on the left below).

This is only the beginning of the Togi story.  In Part II, we will begin to see their 1:23 Alfa Romeos appear!  Stay tuned.


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