Alfa-Romeo P2 Tinplate Toy by CIJ
Price Code: £££££
C.I.J. (Compagnie Industrielle du Jouet)
A very scarce example of the third series, deluxe model of the Alfa-Romeo P2 racing car toy, with original silver paintwork, complete with all filler caps, starting handle, handbrake, working steering etc., and with the additional features particular to the deluxe model including working headlamps which would be powered by a battery fitted beneath the car, and red painted spoked wheels with losange tyres. French, circa 1932.
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.
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