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.

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