Words and photos courtesy of Wes Shakirov
I’m sitting here wondering how the engineers at CMC managed to stick 1800 parts into this little thing. It’s very diminutive and not all that heavy, but the more you twirl it around, you start to notice that all the parts that are usually molded together into one on other models, are all made of separate pieces here. But hey, that’s CMC for you, and I’m happy things haven’t changed in that department! A new CMC release is always an exciting occasion and I waited with bated breath for my little Alfa to arrive to my local diecast shop. As is usually the case, I didn’t know much about this car before I heard that CMC were going to produce it. It was driven by a chap called Tazio Nuvolari (now him I have heard about) to victory in the grueling Mille Miglia, in 1930. In fact, 1st to 4th places were all taken by these cars, as well as 8th-11th places. And umm, 15th. And 16th. You get the point, it was an Alfa day for sure. Some 135 cars were entered, so for 9 of these cars to finish in the top 15 meant that someone at Alfa Romeo was doing something right. So now that we know why CMC chose to recreate this car in 1/18 scale, we can get back to the model.
The paint finish is a sort of matt, or satin, burgundy, and I dig it. The tampo graphics on the hood are masterfully applied. Having said that, I honestly don’t know where to begin, or if I should bother at all. You know how it usually goes with CMC models. I’ll wax lyrical about the leather seats and the myriad of different noble materials used in the construction, basically telling you what you already know. Instead, I’ll try to explain what I love about this model, and, hopefully, that’ll help you decide whether you’d like to buy one or not.
First off, there are so many things to play around with! The red headlight covers, which kind of make the car look like a three-eyed spider, come off and reveal beautifully meshed lights. I particularly love the functional leaf springs, and never get sick of pushing the car down just to see them work. As always, you can remove all four wheels to get a good look at those rudimentary brakes, plus the two spare tires. It seems with every new model, CMC outdo themselves when it comes to wire wheels. First, they introduced nipples protruding through the rim, and now it feels like the spokes are more slender than ever, and the nipples crisper. There are two spot lights on swinging supports, on either side of the windscreen, that can be pointed forward or folded back. The windscreen can be folded forward. There are also two bolts that can be unscrewed, most likely to remove the windscreen, although I’m not brave enough to find out.
There are two caps to open – one for the oil tank, which is actually in the cockpit and looks eerily realistic – and the other for the fuel tank at the back, which can be seen if you flip the car over. It’s made of stainless steel and sprouts two copper wires – which I’m guessing are meant to emulate fuel lines – that snake all through the undercarriage. Opening the tiny “trunk” cover first doesn’t reveal much, but shine a light inside and take a closer look and you’ll see two metallic boxes – storage compartments, I’m guessing. This is why I love CMC. Who would think to look there? Even in the cockpit, deep underneath the dashboard are wires that you really have to crane your neck to glimpse.
It’s a shame that the folded top is not functional, but maybe one day CMC will implement that feature as well. Can’t imagine it’ll be easy though! The engine is not exactly a feast for the eyes, due to the fact that it’s not terribly complex. It was 1930, after all. But whatever part was present on the real car – you can bet it is faithfully recreated here. Every tiny wire and plaque is present and correct. The only criticism I have about this model is that the doors don’t want to stay closed. It seems that all you have to do is think it, and the doors will pop open as if they have a life of their own. I’ve never encountered this before and I’m not sure if it’s endemic to my model or other collectors have experienced this as well. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker but annoying nonetheless. Also, I should mention that recently collectors have complained of excess glue residue and finger prints on their CMC models. I’m not as bothered by these as some, but these issues should not exist on such a premium model. With ever rising prices, us collectors expect sharper quality control, so get on that, CMC! Please, and thank you!
I have to say, I quite like this model. It’s got a wealth of detail topside, underneath, and everywhere in between. I’m no longer surprised that it contains 1800 parts. Sure, it’s got a couple of flaws, but what model doesn’t? CMC hit another home run here, and you’d do well picking up one of their versions – be it the plain red, this Mille Miglia, or the unpainted body. I can’t wait for their next release, and with the recent reveal of the forthcoming 250 GTO, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.
Buy the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport 1930 Mille Miglia at Racing Heroes