Friday, 19 August 2016
Modern Alfa Romeos are Cool Too...
Everyone loves an old-school Alfa Romeo. Classically beautiful Italian Alfas from the 1960's and '70's in diecast form, like the Matchbox Giulia Sprint GTA, are hard to ignore. What about the new Alfas though? Under Fiat/Chrysler parentage, the Alfa brand has been churning out some impressive cars recently. Mattel has done an excellent job replicating two recent Romeos through the Hot Wheels and Matchbox Brands. While some might accuse me of working for Sergio Marchionne after featuring Jeeps, Fiats and Alfas this week, it's pure coincidence.
The first Modern Mattel Alfa worth looking at is the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, a 2014 Hot Wheels New Model. The 8C is a really underrated Hot Wheels casting. We've only seen it in clean decos and with great color choices. Plus, it's a really nicely cast Hot Wheels of an insanely rare 1:1 scale car. A whopping 500 8C Competiziones were produced between 2007 and 2010. The 'Competizione' moniker pays tribute to Italian racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio. In other words, the 8C is an incredibly rare car with rich heritage. The car featured a Ferrari-assembled Maserati (as you guessed, V8) engine and powertrain. Clean decorations and nice proportions are the hallmarks of the Hot Wheels version of this car.
The 2nd modern Mattel Alfa that warrants discussion is the Matchbox Alfa Romeo 4C. Released in the 2015 basic line in classic red and a charcoal/slate/goldish/black color and again in white for the 2016 basic lineup, the 4C is the first mass-produced Alfa Romeo available to the US market in decades. The real car is an ultra-light weight, 4-cylinder sports machine a-la the Mazda Miata, but with some Italian flair. The Matchbox version is good, but not great. The clean sides with front/rear only tampo work and good wheel choice make the 4C's a no-brainer to pick up off of the pegs. However, I find the casting is a little too chunky. It feels too wide for the length of the vehicle. While the 4C isn't a long vehicle in real life, the Matchbox should've been made a little narrower for accurate scale.
Overall I prefer the Hot Wheels 8C Competizione to the Matchbox 4C, but both are well-done. clean, modern Alfa Romeos and winners in my books.