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Alfa-Romeo P2 Tinplate Toy by CIJ
C.I.J. (Compagnie Industrielle du Jouet)
A first series example of the Alfa-Romeo P2 racing car toy by CIJ, with deep red/burgundy paintwork representative of Italy’s racing colours), and complete with filler caps, starting handle, handbrake, working steering and black painted spoked wheels with distinctive untreaded ‘balloon’ tyres, and all-original paint finish. French, circa 1925.
Note: this is a more ‘play worn’ example, and has undergone some repair work to the front cowl.
Length overall: 21 inches (54 cm).
Notes: Ranking among the best of the quality toymakers of the day, CIJ produced these child’s toys between 1924 to around 1935, starting with the coveted first series, distinctive by its un-treaded rubber ‘Balloon’ tyres. Originally produced as a celebration of the hugely successful Alfa-Romeo Grand Prix car evolved by the gifted Vittorio Jano in 1924, the original colours of the first series were intended to be representative of the racing countries - red for Italy, green for Great Britain, white for Germany and blue for France, amongst others. The second series of the toy was released in 1930, this time with treaded Pneu Michelin tyres.
To keep pace with the changing tastes and style of the era, new and exciting colour variants were produced – and the pursuit of these diverse colours has spurred present-day collectors to continue to seek out the vivid and unusual.
The third (and final) series was produced between 1931-1935, as a response to diminishing sales. The deluxe variants with working battery headlights were released and the hyper-rare two colour (or bicolore) versions, are excellent examples of this ‘swan song’ series.