Single File was almost built for my collecting habits, and recently I’ve come across some wonderful items during my frequent Ebay trawls. One of which is this Polistil Penny Romeo van, a diecast that has been high on my wanted list for some time. And in keeping with the Single File philosophy, I don’t think another Romeo exists in the three inch world.
The Alfa Romeo Romeo range was a successful line of light vans produced by the Milanese company between 1954 and 1966. By the time the line was replaced by the F11/F12 series of vans in 1967, 23,000 had been made. Several versions were available, including a minibus as replicated by Penny.
This diecast version is a an early product of the Polistil/Politoy company, sold under the “Penny” brand. You may recall me mentioning Penny diecasts in my look at fellow Italian brand Mercury a few months ago, and fellow writer @dougbreithaupt has just covered Penny in fantastic detail. Now I finally have my hands on one I can safely say it’s a brilliant little thing. It might be missing the drop down rear door but I got it for a song, and quickly stripped it down to gently clean the window piece and remove 40 odd years of grime from the paint and interior.
It’s rather heavy, and wonderfully simple in it’s construction. No rivets at all, just a snap together body and chassis. It has a rustic and simple charm to it that really appeals to me, one that older toys often possess. No bells and whistles, just plain and simple. Detail really only extends to the front, with the iconic Alfa Romeo grille and “ROMEO” badging. But it doesn’t need any more.
I love these pieces of diecast history, long gone brands from all the corners of Europe, and this little bus is brilliant addition to my collection.