page last edited: 28 December 2017
Alfa-Romeo 1900 Super Sprint - 185
Here we have a complete classic. A beautifully
modelled model of a lovely car. This went into the Dinky range in 1961,
46 years ago. Look again at the pictures and tell me that it looks like
a 46 year old design. It could have been made any time in the last 50
years, it is a timeless classic. A truly beautiful car.
This one was a real find. Its previous owner had been browsing the site and emailed me to see if I wanted to buy this toy that he'd found in the loft. Although it was worn and dirty I said yes because I thought it might clean up nicely. I sent him a cheque and he sent me this car. If you have models you think I might want please do like this chap did and send me a picture by email. I'm more likely to buy scruffy old ones than smart boxed examples.
The before pictures are below. It was very dirty and faded, looking as if it had been out in the garden for a year or two, it was full of soil inside and the paint was faded very badly, the tyres were perished away and the windows were completely opaque. Drastic action was required. It is a nice original example and repainting would lose that so I decided on a good clean. First, after photographing the car, I drilled out the rivets. The picture in the middle shows the parts.
Some big differences between Dinky & Corgi making techniques show up here. The springs are flat, sprung steel, not wire, and they are fastened to the base-plate with a single brass rivet. Instead of attaching the windows to the roof, like Corgi did, they are on legs which space them from the baseplate, which seems a hard way to do it. The seats are very shallow, only a few millimetres, and the unit is glued to the window unit. The engineering is poor, there is no integral strength in this arrangement.
My restoration was simple. I washed all the parts in soap and water using paint brushes, tooth brushes and cotton buds. The windows and the seats came up lovely straight away. To get the colour back in the paint I used T Cut, I'd only use this drastic and very harsh chemical on a car that was this badly worn and faded. Next I used Solvol Autosol and a toothbrush on the wheels with only partial success. Overall though It has brought a very sad and desperate example back to a reasonable condition. I'm pleased with it and it has a solid place in my collection now.