The Alfasud was one of Alfa Romeo’s most successful cars - even if it proved in many ways to be a problematic one as well. Built in the poor South of Italy - with help from the Italian Government in order to reduce unemployment in that region.

And as almost all Alfas, the Alfasud was also used in Motorsport. In 1976 the Alfasud Trophy began in Italy and Austria, and later France and Germany got their own competitions. In 1977 the “Trofeo Europa Alfasud” was set up, in which the best drivers from each country competed. The Trofeo Alfasud was equipped with the 1,286 cc engine with an Autodelta kit. Gerhard Berger is probably the best-known driver to participate in the Alfasud Trofeo.

This one here however aims to be a Group 2 Rally Car - as run by the “Jolly Club”.And as odd as the name is, “Jolly Club” was a real Italian Racing Team, which was active from 1963 all the way to 1996. Being proudly Italian, they mainly ran Alfas and Lancias. The pain scheme you see here is a bit fanciful, and only vaguely related to some real Lancia Rally cars run in about 1970.

Jolly Club did enter an Alfasud in the Rally Monte Carlo in 1980 - though that one had a completely different paint job.

But - this is a Polistil model after all, and these were much more toys than collector models - even in 1/43 scale. You can see that by the overall lack of detail, the “Superfast” wheels, the paper stickers and the rather strange roof lights that would look more at home at the front of the car.

But you do get a proper Italian licence plate at the back - nice!

And while many Italian cars of that era were known for their odd seating position, the placement of the steering wheel in the Polistil model makes things look rather more awkward than they really were.

But it’s all part of vintage diecast fun and I enjoyed taking this old piece for run in the great outdoors - even if the terrain was probably a bit too rough 1:1 Alfasud as well - they did have a reputation for being fragile. I once worked with a guy who had owned one in the past - he had stories to tell.