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.