Koen de Groot has been the owner of a beautiful Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super for many years. His father Frans spent a lifetime working on his Alfa Romeo passion. He will equip his son's Giulia with a new heart: a two-liter Alfa Nord engine with modified specifications. We will follow this motor transformation and share the stories with you online and later in the magazine.
Saturday May 22. The weather forecasters are unfortunately right on their side. This day is all about getting to know the sons of Frans de Groot. I have known Frans for years, I meet his wife and his sons Koen and Jochem for the first time today. Later Durk Tinga still joins. I have known Durk for a long time, and just like Frans and his sons he comes from the school of Rinsma, once the oldest Alfa Romeo dealer in the Netherlands. A great company, which I will spend more time with in the near future. It is already buzzing.
The meeting has a reason. Koen's Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super gets a new, bigger heart: a 2000 Nord engine. We will follow this transplant closely. Today is the start, which is immediately filled in with a series of wonderful stories and anecdotes from Frans's professional Alfa career, which comes to a standstill when the German premiums come to the table. Alpha love runs deep. We are on steam, and we continue the day in the orderly furnished garage of Frans. It is a delight in this workshop, where you are immersed in pure Alfa Romeo passion and technology. Here it also becomes clear that the transplant of the 2000 engine will not be an issue just swap a block.
Frans would like to involve his sons in the composition of the new power source. Frans' technical experience will soon be at least partially transferred to his sons. This experience is an important ingredient in the choice of engine configuration and related specifications. A choice too, which is made in consultation with Koen. Because: his car.
This will not just get another source of power, it will be meticulous customization, the final interpretation of which is still being determined. We are among the parts that will soon turn the Giulia 1300 Super into a superior Giulia 2000. Frans explains what is possible. We do not reveal all those opites yet, but it is pleasant food. This is illustrated by the under-skin and often modified parts, which excel in variety.
A few examples. Do you opt for a crankcase plate for more engine stiffness? Do you use high compression pistons? And axles with sharp cams? These are just a few things from the much bigger picture that will soon lead to a jewel of a motorcycle. But the current stage with tech is French deliberation. And that includes discussion with prominent suppliers of classic Alfa Romeo parts. However, following feelings is an important indicator for Frans. In the meantime, he teaches us the finest tricks of the trade. This is feast. And the knowledge that the 2000 engine will soon have more power than standard.
Over lunch we talk about the old Alpha, which casts its shadow over the present and the uncertain future with mixed feelings. Within that shadow there are still points of light, the new Giulia from Koen still proves the seductive power of the Milanese brand. But today history triumphs, and I triumph when Koen and I drive his old Giulia for a first impression. The sight of his classic Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super is the prelude to that feeling of victory. The Giulia design, the Grigio Medio, the beautiful brown leather upholstery and the original and very expensive magnesium GTA rims tell why a car can enchant.
The first impression of Koen's classic is accompanied by that beautiful Nord sound of the 1300 engine. That sounds even more beautiful in a tunnel and occasionally gets extra brilliance thanks to a tuft of intermediate throttle at a gear change. In a while I will be taking the Giulia with me for a longer period, so it is nice to get to know the car now. Koens' copy feels a bit liner, a bit heavier than the previously ridden Giulia van Frans, a bit stiffer too. Every Giulia ripens in its own way, Frans knows that. He owns a few more of these beautiful classic Alfa Romeos.
The Alfa communicates as the best, there is a nice interplay between gearbox, clutch and operation of the gearbox. The suspension and damping are firm, and only in a sharper corner does the carriage lean nicely. The steering can be operated firmly and fairly directly via the beautiful large steering wheel. Without electronic aids, this Alfa Romeo requires a nice effort. You get pure mate pleasure in return. This is driving a car. Again I know: steering in a classic Alfa is a privilege. With a 1300 engine it is already enjoyable on board. And soon, with the modified 2000 engine, the party will be complete.
This Giulia exposes the result of build quality and years of care. In everything you feel the love that was put into this by Frans and Koen for years. The Giulia goes the miles without a trace of resonance and vibrations. Despite the relatively relaxed throttle response and the relatively modest cylinder capacity of this Giulia, you can easily reach a speed above 100 km / h. And then the Giulia still has a lot left, and the classic Alfa never gets restless. The Giulia is still very suitable for everyday use today. It is not without reason that Koen used the car as a lease car for a while. The car kit and Nokia in the Alfa are the silent witnesses that tell how quickly the years pass.
The day does that too, it flies by. We have done a lot, and so much not yet, that will come. Now it is well past 18.00 pm, time to go home. It was nice to get to know people, to talk to old acquaintances again, to improve technical knowledge and to get to know Koen's Giulia. The Giulia, which will also be a bit of my car in the near future, because this impressive day is only the beginning of an illustrious series of reports. And it will be beautiful, you bet.