I posted to Instagram the other day that I was pleasantly surprised to find the new Hot Wheels Boulevard ’69 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale hanging on my local Walmart’s pegs. Actually, I made no such mention of the location, but rather that it was a better value than the same Kyosho model already in my garage (change my mind, as they say).
It’s rumored that only 18 33 Stradale chassis were built, with two of them used as prototypes and six (or was it just 5?) set aside for prototypes. Remember the Alfa Romeo Carabo? That was built by Bertone using a 33 Stradale chassis. In the end, just 10 (or maybe only 8) were clothed in Franco Scaglione’s sensuous design, yet I can only find information on four.
A real race car for the street, most were painted red, Alfa’s race color, save for one in blue, which was recently revealed to the Internet. But I’m losing focus here as this topic is too exciting to stay on point. Let’s get back to the attainable Hot Wheels version.
As an Alfisti, this is certainly in my top 5 new models for 2020, but something was a bit ‘off’ on the card art, designed by the ever-talented Julian Koiles. The rear wheel of the Alfa was a tad meatier than I had ever seen on a 1:1. I wrote it off to artistic license, however when I was reading up on the Alfa IRL, I came across something that I felt may go unnoticed by a vast majority of collectors: Julian’s artwork, as well as the car itself, appears to be modeled after chassis 75033.110.
That car, currently owned by a prominent Swiss collector Albert Spiess, captured the Coppa d’Oro [People’s Choice] at the 2018 Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. After looking at countless pictures of numerous 33 Stradales, I’m almost certain Spiess’ car was the inspiration for Mark Jones’ Hot Wheels miniature. The chrome strip that travels across the entire front end seems to only be featured on 75033.110, its purpose was to reduce lift at speed. It’s also listed as being built to Competizione specs, which I have no idea what that means without diving deep into the research realm, a place from which I may never resurface. It may have something to do with those massive rear meats that are poking out on the card art, again, something I’ve only seen on 110. The only point for arguing the contrary – Mattel says it’s a 1969, yet 110 was completed in July 1968.
So with all the evidence presented, I would love to implore the talented Hot Wheels Dream Team members for a bit of clarity. Unless of course Mark and Julian want to keep their cards close to their chest to preserve the mystery. But Insight or not, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is a welcome addition to the Hot Wheels’ portfolio, regardless of chassis number.