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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bburago Alfa Romeo 159 Sport Wagon and Maisto Dodge Magnum R/T



Earlier this year I profiled the Hot Wheels Alfa Romeo 8C Competitzone, along with past Hot Wheels and Matchbox Alfa Romeo's, to preview the re-entrance of Alfa Romeo in the U.S. later this year with the mid-engine 4C (which Matchbox will also release later this year).  As much as that sound cool, what about a family version of an Alfa Romeo?  How would that work?  Well here's one answer I found from my online retailer one day from the Bburago Street Fire 1:43 line, the Alfa Romeo 159 Sport Wagon.


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The coolest wagon available???

Produced from 2005-2011, the 159 was the predecessor to the 158, this time sharing the sharp edgy styling with the Brera and Spider, both based on a 2003 concept car.  The front-end has a sharper look with tri-headlights like the 1989 SZ coupe, but rounder and features a chrome bar and the Alfa shield in the center.  The square front fenders then move to the smooth side ending in taillights that feature the same tri-bulb arrangement as the front with quad exhaust tips at the bottom.  The Sport Wagon was introduced in 2006 to add more versatility to the sedan body style.  The biggest change is the addition of a d-pillar and a slightly-sloping roof with rear spoiler above the rear glass.  The interior is nicely laid out with an emphasis on sport with three-spoke wheel ahead of dual gauges, with auxiliary gauges in the center stack below the round air vents and above the stereo an A/C controls.  Seats are nice and supportive with rear seats offering more room in the wagon, just as long as you remember to duck your head when you get in.  Nothing beats a wagon to carry all your gear and that's what this Sport Wagon offers.

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Now the downside is that the platform was designed alongside General Motors ownership, which planned to bring Alfa Romeo back to the U.S. with the 159 in 2004, but when G.M. dropped ownership of Alfa, the platform had to be changed at the last minute from the original Eplision (Chevy Malibu, Buick Lacrosse) to one of Alfa's own FWD platform, so what you got was a car that was too big for European roads but was perfect for the American roads.  The engine is a 3.2L DOHC V6 producing 260 hp. and 322 Ib-ft. torque through a six-speed manual to the front wheels; a Turbo I-4, six-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive was also offered.  The 159 will be replaced by the new Giulia in 2015, which may likely come to the U.S. as well.

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BBurago's cool wagon

Probably one of the best Bburago Street Fire wagon's I've ever seen, decked out in the metallic red color.  My favorite part is the front with the aggressive headlight look and shield grille.  The rest of the car look superb as well.  The interior is nicely done though I would like to see more door panel details.  The base looks underwhelming, but what do you expect with today's vehicle undershielding!  Note the way Bburago attaches the base to the body:  It uses plastic clips instead of screws or rivets.  The front shield and rear plate are the clips; while the front grille is flush, the rear plate seems to stick out a little bit.  Even the wheels are just snap onto the base, and the 5-spoke wheels look great with this car.

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But then again this Alfa is not the only cool wagon from the Street Fire series.

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The Dodge Magnum R/T

Ok a little discrepancy: This is actually one of the Maisto castings shared when Maisto purchased Bburago in 2006, so don't be surprised to see Maisto castings in the Street Fire series.  Then again, I was surprised by finding this series for the first time, briefly, at a K-mart six years ago.  The black look is stealthy.  The front end has detailed headlights and foglights, but not as clean as the Alfa.  The sides feature a chopped roofline that looks cool, while the 6-spoke wheels look ok, but not as best as the 5-spokes on the Alfa.  The rear features taillights and badging, and two cool features: silver exhaust tips and black plate with red DODGE logo.  The interior is not the greatest as the dash lacks further detailing, as does the door panels, but then again the actual car's interior wasn't the best-looking either!  The base features more detail than the Alfa, but Maisto's way of slamming their vehicles has a bit of a side-effect to the Magnum as it doesn't look as proportionally correct to the real car compared to the Alfa's correct stance.


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The Magnum was produced from 2005-2009 after the 2003 concept car, bringing back the cool of station wagon's to the U.S. as a hot-rodded look based on the 300C/Charger platform with a 5.7L HEMI V8 producing 340 hp. through a 5-speed automatic to the rear wheels; V6, SRT V8, and all-wheel drive was also offered.  On it's last year the Magnum revised it's front-end with a more square look before getting cancelled by year's end.  Right now Chrysler-Fiat is looking for a way to revive the Magnum on the next Charger/300C platform.  Hey, maybe you'll see these two finally come together as one someday!

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