I’m sure this has happened to many collectors before, a model that you passed on years later you see some photos and say what the hell was I thinking not adding this one to my collection. Well, that’s the story behind the Minichamps Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior. A few months back I was surfing the Internet and came across a few detailed photos of this beauty and decided right there and then it was time to find one. Only problem the red presentation model was no longer in circulation so the challenge was to find one.
Fast forward to today; the Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior was won on a recent eBay auction for $52. The model was supposed to be in excellent condition with box, but there was one minor issue, the strap on the front hood was damaged. My bad, I did ask all the pre-purchase questions one should when dealing on eBay; ‘any issues with the model’, ‘was the model on display and exposed to dust’, ‘smoke-free environment’, etc. You know all the basic questions one should ask. Nonetheless the obvious was there in available photos, which I failed to notice. I didn’t fault the seller either as she was selling the model(s) on behalf of her dad. I guess I chalk it up as another learning experience.
The Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior was released in 2009 with many other livery versions that preceded and followed. Just recently the presentation version was re-released in white too. I consider this model part of the golden days of Minichamps, and when I also measured Minichamps as my favourite diecast manufacture. The exterior lines capture the essence of the 1:1 nicely, though the paint is a little rough in spots. Decal work is good; the hood logo is a little rough around the edges for my liking but all in all these issues are only noticeable under high magnification. Some positives of the model include the perforated front grille. Very nicely done, the added detail behind the grille adds a good level of realism to the model. Accent lighting and turn signals are well executed, no paintwork here true lighting fixture throughout.
Wheels are nicely executed too, the scale of the tire and rim work well with the over presentation. Not much going on with brake detail, but when looked at from the opposite side you can definitely see the attention to detail. Minichamps includes the rotor and caliper in very good detail – the above photo will provide evidence. Well done Minichamps!
The motor is where the model starts to excel, lots of eye candy here! I’m no expert on Alfa Romeo but it seems Minichamps put in a lot of effort to ensure they replicated the engine to a tee. Bonus is the factory label and the added metalwork underneath the hood – see the above photo. Flip the model over and you’re treated to another feast. Highly detailed undercarriage from front to rear. I love the addition of coil springs to the rear suspension components, which definitely adds the authenticity all collectors appreciate. The presentation car we have here is based on the race/livery version so the rear detail does mimic her. The cut-out for the fuel delivery is very cool and the racing strap to hold down the hatch is a nice added touch.
The interior is sparse and all in black, something you would expect for a race-prepped vehicle. The only colour here is the wood replicated steering wheel, dash instruments, and chrome door bits. Overall all seems to be in place and respectful of the 1:1 car.
I understand this car isn’t for everyone, but I personally love the classic compact race cars. I’ve actually created a few scratch specimens for my personal collection. There is something about the look and feel which evokes emotions. I can’t really pull my finger on it, but I think you understand… What Minichamps crafted here is from their golden-era of replicas, where your dollar was stretched for maximum detail at a very reasonable price. Something they are moving away from today. Enjoy the pics!