31 August 2022
Ixo 1976 Fiat 673 Racing Transporter
REF NO: TRU037
As we saw in the August 2022 issue model reviews, the 1976 Rallye Monte Carlo was the almost perfect result for the Lancia Alitalia Rally Team. The mighty Stratos HF was clearly in its element on the twisty, challenging roads in and around the principality.
As promised at the end of that review (pages 8 and 9 of the August issue), Ixo has now released the appropriate transporter for its three works Lancia Stratos models from the event. Just a quick clarification here - the trio are shown for illustration purposes only, this is not sold as a set, the cars are all available separately.
The Fiat 673 is a medium-duty, versatile truck that was manufactured by the Italian manufacturer from 1970 in Italy, from 1974 to 1983 in Argentina, and 1976 to 1985 in Brazil. The truck replaced the Fiat 643 and was the first in the mid-range 600 series to get the 'American' Fiat cab, rumoured to be so nicknamed because it was launched as a preview by Fiat in Argentina first. The 673 utilised the same robust chassis structure as the Fiat 643, but inherited the OM CP 3 engine with its 7.4-litre displacement. Its features made it a popular truck due to its versatility, and its very light and comfortable cab.
No doubt these features made it the ideal choice for the new truck to support the sister company's rally programme. With a bespoke body commissioned in-house, featuring a small store/workshop on the lower deck with room for one car, and a further two cars on the top deck, the new truck was ready to start the 1976 season carrying its regular load of a trio of the attractive Stratos.
Not long into the season the transporter would receive a green and white Alitalia livery to match the cars, so this is particularly relevant in red (and correct) for the Monte Carlo entries that year. Naturally, Ixo will be making the most of its tooling and the later-liveried truck is next up on the production line as TRU038 - due on sale towards the end of the year.
It certainly makes for a great model, particularly when 'fully loaded' and the model feels robust thanks to its sturdy and well-produced diecast cab and chassis. To keep weight down (and no doubt cost) and to allow finer detailing, the rear decks and body are all moulded in plastic, but this doesn't detract from the model at all. This great combo is now in pride of place in the editor's office!