Legacy Motors Presents List & Reviews George Dill
New News New Releases Car List & Reviews Legacy Motors Auctions Forums Features Register FAQs Clubs
  Full Car List & Reviews  ·  New Releases  ·  Upcoming Releases  ·  1:43 Maker List  ·  Mr. Magneto Site Map
 
Read Review
Photography
Customers Rating Read
 
 

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951

Reviewed by:   Rusty Hurley
     
  Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car
 
 
 

Every car has a story and so does every model. The story behind the Alfa Romeo 159 Alfetta has the makings of an old fashioned Hollywood blockbuster. And since this is arguably the finest diecast model ever produced in 1/18 scale for under $1,000 it's a story worth telling.

The Alfa Romeo 159 Alfetta’s development cycle crosses three decades, beginning in the late 1930‘s. Alfa Romeo and Bugatti had been the dominant cars earlier in the decade, but mid-decade the Auto Union C and D Types and Mercedes Benz Silver Arrows with their superior engineering and brute force horsepower ruled GP racing. So, in this era as in any other in racing the same law applied: if you can’t beat’em, outlaw ‘em and in the fall of1938 the Italian motorsport association did just that, declaring the following season that all single seater races on Italian soil would be run for “Voiturettes” (small cars).

Alfa Romeo’s racing works, Scuderia Ferrari (yeah, that Ferrari), later renamed Alfa Corse, constructed the 158, a voiturette with half the displacement of the 3.0 liter German engines. The displacement is what gave the car the first two digits of it’s numeric designation “158”. It was quickly nicknamed the Alfetta. Engines were supercharged to 350 bhp and combined with lighter weight, the cars had immediate success.

To avoid losing all their assets in a single disastrous military action during WW II, Alfa scattered parts, pieces, tools and plans all over Milan. Miraculously the cars survived and as motor racing reemerged the Alfas proved dominant.

For 1951, the Alfetta featured two distinct improvements; dual superchargers, cranking out nearly 425 bhp and a DeDion rear axle reducing unsprung weight. The new found power meant a larger fuel tank was needed for the thirsty engine which in turn extended the body. Add to this cocktail the savvy and skill of driver Juan Manual Fangio, and the beautiful Alfetta won the first of his five world driving championships that year. Between the 158 and 159 won a staggering 47 of 54 Grand Prix races it entered.

Ultimately only four chassis built as 159s, with several 158 re-christened as 159’s. Exoto starts off this newest member of its XS series not with an anonymous prototype model but with the Alfetta everyone wants: the prized 1951 #22 Fangio championship model.

So, what’s the difference between XS and Exoto’s famed reputation for “furious detail”?

For starters the Exoto Alfetta is a metal model - yes, there’s some noble mixed media but the sheer volume of metal content ram-a-lams my ding dong. I could tell you about the 1,800 or so parts (with over 240 photo-etched) but the count alone is not really what it’s all about; it’s about achieving replica levels of quality and not giving a thought to compromise.

For example, if you owned a model company, there are paths to modeling an engine; the most expensive of which is to replicate the engine to scale, as Exoto has done here. So we’re not just talking about properly color coded wiring and machined valve covers or photo-etched radiators. We’re talking about modeling Gioacchino Colombo’s straight eight to a level where even the hidden parts like pistons are built to fit.

Once that’s checked off your list, add often overlooked sundry items like clamps, rivets, scaled machined bolts and innovations like a working throttle linkage. It’s that level of detail that makes the XS difference, and it accounts for why these models have a solid, put-together feel and execution which can only be described as artistic.

The Exoto Alfa 159 uses a unique multiple body panel design featuring separate bonnet (mounted with easily operated hood springs) and magnetic under panel that attaches in a snap. The gloss paint shimmers in such a smooth, lustrous way you would swear the model has been dipped in it like a strawberry into chocolate. The grill is a miracle waterfall of delicate metal (with a crank handle available for mounting).

The car presents out of the box like a racing tub with engine and suspension mounted. There is a clear engine cover (which you could keep on the model if you like displaying the engine x-ray vision style). Me, I like the bonnet and it’s precisely cut louvres.

I prefer this assembly approach with fine models; it is frustrating to take a fully built model that costs a week’s pay and try to figure out how to uninstall everything to see the detail (hood straps come to mind). Many collectors like to spend time with a model when they first get it ogling the detail, but once it’s on display it tends to stays there. The time you will spend assembling the Alfa Romeo 159 will enable you to experience the incredible complexity at a relaxed pace with none of the risk of trying to tear it down and then rebuild it with well crafted (aka vulnerable to unintended destruction) parts.

When you mount the Pirelli rubber, you’ll appreciate that the branded knock-offs are in left-right pairs (comes in separately marked packages.) The semi-pneumatic tires have extruded markings and properly sized front and back. As long as you're having some finger fun, check out the brake detail. Perhaps the signature hallmark of an XS model is the suspension and here it is a wonderment with transverse leaf springs supported by ball bearings,- it’s not merely “functional” - it works!

Selling an engine as a single piece isn't a new concept, but here even the seat is that special. It's loaded with detail - even underneath! By making it a removable component, there is room to work the functional pedals and gear lever. You can also get improved views of the gauges and all the structural accouterments of the cockpit capsule.

About this time last year I was winding up a review for Exoto’s Ferrari 156 and wrote “A line of demarcation in the world of model making has been elegantly and forcefully drawn”. Well now that line is a wall, and on one side is Exoto, and on the other is everyone else.

Yes, you will pay a premium for this level of magic but to paraphrase the Packard slogan, “Ask the Man who owns one” - check with anyone that purchased the Ferrari Tipo 156; they will agree it was an investment, but you’re not likely to find many that say “not worth the money”. I’m sure many of them will feel the same way once this brilliant Alfa appears on their doorstep.

(11/12/2010)
 
 
  Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951 diecast car

 
 
See this review in a printer-friendly format
 
 

Rate or Review this model
 
 
See this review in a printer-friendly format
 
 

Rate or Review this model
 
Exoto | 1:18
Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951

Exoto 1:18 1951 Alfa Romeo 'Alfetta' Tipo 159M #22- Fangio- Winner Grand Prix of Spain LE 1,951

 
This model is currently not available

View our selection of similar Diecast and Resin Scale Model Cars available for purchase

www.legacydiecast.com
See the huge selection of models at Legacy Motors Earn Legacy Points
   


     
     

New News  ·  List & Reviews  ·  Legacy Motors  ·  Auctions  ·  Forums  ·  Polls  ·  Features  ·  Register  ·  FAQs  ·  Clubs

Copyright © 2020 Legacy Diecast Models and Diecast Zone