New wheel, great casting, terrible paint – the Hot Wheels Alfa Romeo GTV6 3.0 and a rant.

Compared to other collectors and even some of my Lamley brothers, I don’t buy many Hot Wheels Mainlines. There’s just not many of them that fit in with my collecting habits. Not enough old Fiats or weird and wonderful relics from brands only 4 people have heard of. Not enough to get my cogs whirring for customs. But what that means is a Hot Wheels model has to be special to catch my eye. It has to hold my interest or hit that urge to just grab off the pegs. It has to be love at first sight, or at least not leave my thoughts. And with the Alfa Romeo GTV6 it was love at first sight. I mean look at it.

The GTV has to be one of the best looking Alfa Romeos of all time. Based on the Alfetta saloon, the Giugiaro designed GTV  was introduced in 1974. Initially the only engine choice was a 1.8 litre DOHC four-cylinder but more powerplants were added until the fabulous 2.5 litre “Busso” (after engineer Giuseppe Busso) V6 was added to the range in 1980. The pairing of the V6 with the GTV chassis was a match made in heaven and the contemporary motoring press were full of praise. The handling was sweet with almost perfect weight distribution, excellent steering and plenty of shove to back it all up with 160bhp and a 130mph top speed. And all of that accompanied by the V6 symphony of what is widely accepted as one of the best sounding engines ever. The car wasn’t just good on the roads either; competition versions became very successful race and rally cars with a GTV6 winning an unprecedented 4 European Touring Car Championships between 1982 and 1985 and taking a class win (and 3rd overall) in the 1986 Tour de Corse rally.

And it’s from race roots that the V6 3.0 appeared. Built via collaboration between Alfa Romeo South Africa and Autodelta, the 3.0 litre GTV appeared in 1983. The model was developed with South Africa’s Group 1 touring car category mind and 212 were built for homologation purposes. Power jumped to 183bhp and the top speed increased to a whisker shy of 140mph. On the track the model was instantly successful, winning its debut race in the Lodge Group One International two-hour race at Kyalami in 1983.

A fitting and rather niche subject then for a Hot Wheels miniature, and apart from an annoying issue this is one hell of a diecast.

With a car that is such a looker in real life it was imperative that Hot Wheels nailed the design and proportions and thankfully they’ve managed incredibly well. The livery isn’t too fussy and could pass for a race car or track day toy/canyon carver. It’s very pretty indeed and designer Fraser Campbell deserves all the praise possible for this. It’s boss.

The casting also debuts the L4 wheel which is just superb. A wheel which would probably look good on just about anything and has sent wheel swappers and customisers into a frenzy.

And speaking of customisers, the GTV 6 has one little Easter egg under that gorgeous body, as my fellow Lamley brother Mark Rogers (@baughtandbuilt) found when he opened his up….

Image courtesy of Mark Rogers

There’s a Busso engine hiding under the bonnet! How cool is that?! Hot Wheels are definitely aware of the custom scene but it’s always nice to see these little nods to let us know they’re embracing it. A really neat and super geeky touch.

But it’s time we addressed the elephant in the room. And an elephant’s rough skin may provide a great comparison to the paint job on my Alfa. “Orange peel” doesn’t even come close. “Mashed potato” or “pineapple peel” might be more appropriate. The paint on this is to be brutally honest, crap. The decals are pretty damn good give or take a bit of flaking, but it seems where Hot Wheels QC gives with one hand, they take with another. I’ve had a look at a few others on the pegs too and the paint issue isn’t unique to my example. You can also see Mark’s open GTV in the pics above is riddled with a bad case of shingles as well. Those of you rushing to claim “IT’S A TOY!” may want to take a look at what Majorette, Siku and even Mattel stablemate Matchbox are capable of. They’re a world apart. This is rough.

And it’s not as if it’s been exclusively a problem with this model; my Mercedes 560SEL AMG is also blighted with an awful paint and decal job. And I’ve lost count of the bad decals and paint on the mainlines I see on the pegs. And whilst we’re at it, who’s been signing off on the QC of decals on the Hot Wheels Boulevard cars? The other week I picked up the Impala SS or the “Icruths23”, “IammMb33”, “IanosssSS” or whatever else the hieroglyphs on the side say. I’m remarkably disappointed. Hot Wheels had the opportunity to really hit the West Coast custom look they went for on this but the end result is just…. flat as a fart. The decals are rubbish. My example has a wonky eye along with the illegible badging. For a car that cost me as near as makes no difference £10, this is totally unacceptable. And especially if you remember this is supposed to be a premium line. I was going to do a full feature on it but I’ll wait until I get the Johnny Lightning version.

What does this even say?

A sad and frustrating note to end on but it’s definitely an issue that needs raising. It’s testament to just how strong the Alfa casting is though that even with the Somme trenches for a paint job that in my eyes it’s a strong contender for Hot Wheels Mainline of 2023. Needless to say it’s already on my shortlist for the Lamley writer’s best of 2023. Stay tuned to see what else makes the cut.

Instagram: @alex_the_hoarder

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(find the Hot Wheels Alfa Romeo GTV6 3.0 on Ebay)

11 Replies to “New wheel, great casting, terrible paint – the Hot Wheels Alfa Romeo GTV6 3.0 and a rant.”

  1. I agree this is a fantastic model. Maybe model of the year. Your paint doesn’t match mine. My model is a deep glossy red. It looks like yours got a light coat and is too thin showing the casting imperfections.

    Now that Impalal is garbage with those ink jet prints. I have yet to see a model they looked good on.

  2. I could not agree more. I find myself returning Hot Wheels cars on a regular basis due to the utterly abysmal quality control issues that plague them. Even their premium models have the same issues. I frequently see them with paint chips, casting imperfections, black spots in the paint and a multitude of other issues that are becoming increasingly, unacceptably common. Even their new 1/43 scale models have QC issues. This Alfa Romeo is a perfect example of what’s wrong with Hot Wheels nowadays; beautiful models ruined by a complete lack of quality control. I’ve also seen people reporting their RLC models having particularly egregious QC issues, which is unbelievable. Bottom line, it’s time for Hot Wheels to live up to the lifetime guarantee Mattel prints on the packaging.

  3. I’m wondering since you’ve seen multiple with paint issues if it’s a batch run issue that is unique to your region? I’ve got 12 of this casting now (two for the car, 10 for the wheels). I bought one from eBay because I couldn’t wait and this is THE most anticipated mainline for me, and currently my landslide best casting of the year nominee. And the others from three different stores over the past few days. Other than one minor tampo flaw in a single example, the paint is flawless on all of mine and perfect Tampos on 11/12 of mine. Not posting this to be defensive, but the opposite. I was actually quite surprised as I’ve become so accustomed to bad paint and Tampos with HW that this one truly surprised me and I hope mine aren’t the exception with such a nice casting.

  4. First off, just wanted you to know I very much enjoy reading your posts on obscure little finds! Keep on hunting!
    While the GTV I recently found luckily sports a decent paint job, I fully agree that in general, less care appears to be taken. Bent axles, chipped paint, poorly applied tampos. And the 560 SEC in what I take is an approximation of “Astralsilber” is unacceptable. Finding a decent one yesterday reminded me of what a friend of mine told me about picking up a (real) Trabant in 1980s East Germany: On the assigned day (after years of waiting) you went to some dingy parking lot and picked the one with the fewest visible defects, regardless of the color you might have ordered for yours.

  5. I noticed the same paint issue on a couple of my new mainlines as well. I was going to do some photos of the black mercedes, but it had major paint problems like that on the hood and roof.

  6. The first Alfa I found was pretty good. The second one I got about 2 weeks later at a different store has a heavy issue only on the hood.
    It also is almost impossible to find an I.D.Buzz without any flaws in the bodywork, especially above the rear wheelarches and the back door. All 5 I got until now are no good. Let´s wait until I can see the 2 my son found. Anyway, I believe these are no paint issues. It seems as if the Zamac didn´t fill the die properly. Maybe not enough pressure?
    And yes my silver 560 SEC looks as if the guys at Earl Scheib painted it, or someone with a rattlecan fixed the fender himself.

  7. “relics from brands only 4 people have heard of” This is certainly one of my criteria for making me buy mainlines too these days lol! (well, unless I really like the model otherwise) The GTV6 is amongst my favourite castings of this year, it looks neat and has mirrors (it’s almost become a thing to celebrate these days), although I’m disappointed that they didn’t do it in plain red (but I’m willing to forgive that because the casting itself is on point), I hate the 4 spoke design of the wheels and I’m not keen on the plastic bumpers part of the base – because I know in the future HW will do some weird colour bases and it’ll ruin the whole look (as it has for many models in the past; only matte or gloss black are acceptable base colours in this case). I’m eagerly waiting for this to go premium in a “factory fresh” look and I’m surprised they didn’t use it in Modern Classics this year (major missed opportunity). But hopefully, whenever it does, it’ll be the one to have imo.

    Also agree with the QC issue, it’s got so bad in recent years that I’m afraid to order certain cars online in fear that they’ll have paint issues, misaligned tampos or misfitting axles. I’ve never had these issues of this magnitude in the past (i.e. pre-2017) so I’ve no idea what’s going on with HW. I can only hope I’ll find a good GTV6 (if I find one at all).

  8. I think my Alfa and Mercedes have good paintjob but in store I saw many isssues with tampo. Headlights in Merc are off centre very often and my SEC is SEL really because this little signature at rear is screwed. Alfa has better luck with this. ID Buzz also has bad taillights.

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