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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Majorette Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and SRT Viper GTS

Now comes some sports cars from the Majorette brand that are more focused on the track and capture us with its exquisite styling.  Plus both share a common brand bond for a brief while, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and SRT Viper GTS coupe.

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Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

While there are quite a few Alfa 4C replica's out there, not many have done the spider so it was a golden opportunity for Majorette to make it.  The 4C is the first Alfa Romeo to return to the United States in 2015 since the Spider last left in 1994.  This is also the first Alfa sports car that is more affordable than the 8C.  While styling is shared with the 8C, the difference is a new monocoque platform that houses the engine in the middle, a 1.7L turbocharged SOHC I-4 that produces 237 horsepower through a six-speed automated manual transmission.  There is no power steering, no creature comforts inside, and if you opt for the special exhaust system it can be loud.  Plus there's not much trunk space, so this car is not for everyone else, but it is a pure track car that can be driven home.

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Painted in white with tan interior this 4C looks pretty good.  The casting is larger than the Matchbox version, sits a bit higher on chrome multi-spoke wheels, and also lacks the exterior mirrors as the Matchbox version.  The front has clear headlights that are part of the windshield, the V-shaped Alfa grille, and twin air vents.  The sides show the beltline that leads up to the side intake ducts for the engine, the spider's targa bar in black, and the rather upright windshield.  The rear has round taillights, duck lip rear spoiler, Alfa badge, and dual exhaust.  The engine cover now hides the engine with gilled vents in its place.  In this Majorette casting there is no rear window and the working suspension starts to impede the interior as it interrupts the seat details.  The seats are nicely done, as are the door panels, while the dashboard is just magnificient.  You can see the two-spoke steering wheel ahead of the digital gauges, the air vents and the radio, and even  the dashboard's center part drops down to the floor.  As for the performance it has that fun, nible feel of the 4C, but the working suspension and added bulk means that this car is not as neutral-perfect in handling as the Matchbox 4C coupe.  Still it's the only one to enjoy with the top off.

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I always like the Viper and I'm sad to see it go out of production again, but in the diecast world there's still plenty to come out.  The latest is from Majorette, a rather late arrival that has some character of its own.  painted in blue with chrome 5-spoke wheels this Viper GTS casting looks excellent for a 1:64 casting.  The front has clear snake-like headlights with the lower grille blacked out and detailed, a lower chin spoiler, and the Viper logo just ahead of the intake scoop and hood vents.  The sides have exterior mirrors, side exhaust, and beautifully crafted flow of the side scoops.  The rear has a lip spoiler, a dip in the roof at the rear window, and a blacked-out valence panel with detailed taillights.  Even with a working suspension this Viper is perfectly controlled and lots of fun to toss around.  That 8.4L V10 and 6-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels is a lot of power that requires good control and nothing else will be like it.  The doors open up to a dark interior where you can make out some of the details.  You have the detailed 3-spoke steering wheel, the flow of the dashboard around the driver, the shifter, and the supportive seats.  Once again the suspension starts to impede the interior as round humps just ahead of the seats.  Majorette's first Viper was based on the 1989 show car and was annonymous, but this new SRT Viper GTS is fantastic and proudly a Viper casting

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