The National Police Alfa Romeo Giulia 2000, the Italian veto and the prelude to a report

ER Classics Desktop 2022


Sometimes owners of a classic Alfa Romeo Giulia give their classic an engine upgrade with their own hands. Replacing the 1300 or 1600 engine with a 1750 or 2000 Berlina (or GTV) copy is a popular modification. Frans de Groot has far-reaching plans to give a Giulia with 1300 engine a 2000 upgrade. That is fodder for a future multi-reportage, which has much more to it than the transformation of the Giulia alone. Because Frans de Groot also plans to give a glimpse into his career, which has been linked to the beautiful brand from Northern Italy for a lifetime. That career was accompanied by many beautiful stories, one of which we already share.

In contrast to the owners of a classic Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Italian manufacturer itself never saw any benefit in offering a series-produced Giulia with a 1750 or 2000 engine. Frans de Groot was active for more than thirty years as sales manager Rinsma in Berlikum. The former Alfa Romeo dealer was long the oldest Alfa Romeo dealer in the Netherlands. Frans was also active for Alfa Romeo in other areas, including as a service inspector for Alfa Romeo Netherlands. And at that time Frans also experienced a lot, which leads to astonishment and wonder at the same time.

“Porsches fast, but not practical”

During a report in 2019, he told us a story from the XNUMXs, in which it becomes clear how the Italians served the market at the time, and sometimes did not. “I'm a little less adept at remembering years, but I do know that our 2000 Berlina was already in the showroom. The Berlina was closely related to the Giulia, and the latter had really made a name for itself, also with the National Police. At that time, it mainly had Porsches in its fleet. Of course, those responsible found the cars very useful for enforcement in terms of speed, but in a practical sense they missed a lot. ”

Surprise effect for speeders

At Alfa Romeo in the Netherlands they heard about this, and the sounds about the Porsches saw a great opportunity to do business with the National Police. The idea soon arose that the Giulia 1600 Super would be a good alternative for the Porsche brigade. Frans told the following about this in 2019. “The 1600 Super was very fast, and would offer a lot more comfort than the Porsches. In a practical sense it was also more useful, attributes and coats could be carried much more easily. Another thing was the inside height, and the desired dimensions of it were excellent for multiple police purposes. Engineer Caltanisetta, closely associated with Alfa Romeo Netherlands, wondered whether the Giulia could also get the technology of the 2000 Berlina. This would make it even faster, and the road users in violation could be extra surprised. ”

Police impressed

No sooner said than done. A test model was prepared: a Giulia with Berlina 2000 technology. The result of this construction was handed over to the police for a test. Frans remembered that this test would be carried out by Mr. Krol or Knol (“It was a long time ago, I don't remember exactly what his name was”). That happened. “The police became more and more enthusiastic, they liked such a construction. And eventually we held a meeting about the test results. Director Molaski, Mr. Caltanisetta and I were present. Molaski wondered if that request at the factory had a chance. Engineer Caltanisetta said literally, and with an unadulterated Italian accent: "If we are strong at the factory, it should be possible."

To audience and the veto

The manufacturers of Alfa Romeo Netherlands believed in an opportunity and with the necessary optimism and conviction they went to an audience in Northern Italy. There it turned out that Italians viewed market opportunities slightly differently than in the Netherlands. Because in Italy, the proposal was firmly rejected, it was not even tested. Frans explained how the management reacted in Italy. “They said that they already had the Berlina 2000 at home, and that it was pure nonsense to convert Giulia's. There was absolutely no need for this. Nor of the effect that a police Giulia would have on the regular models. I do know: if any German manufacturer had been given this opportunity, it would have pulled the order book right out of the bag. Come on. But Alfa Romeo refused. No, we already have the Berlina. That way of doing business was typical Alfa Romeo. Take it or leave it. ”

In Italy there are special versions

It is also striking that quite special police Alfas have been built. The carabinieri liked to drive Giulia's, and more police versions of the Giulia were built. For example, the border police had a version with an armored front and a dome on the roof. From that perspective, too, it is a shame that the Dutch importer was unable to convince the Italian management of what a Dutch police could have meant for Giulia.

On the way to a nice report

We are going to write down these and other stories, and Frans himself is going to put the conversion of a Giulia Super into a Giulia 2000 into practice. We will follow this extensively, and we will be driving one and the same Giulia with both the 1300 engine and the 2000 engine. Because of course we also want to assess whether Alfa Romeo has missed a historic opportunity by ignoring the Giulia 2000. We combine these experiences with beautiful stories that provide a wonderful insight into the Dutch background of the historical Alfa Romeo sales force. That will be fascinating anyway, so keep an eye on the news in the near future.



Give a reaction
  1. Where there is smoke… .. quite plausible story. There was a time when Fordjes 'raced' on the country's roads. The 2.0L Sierra was not up to the task by default. The suspension was 'stiffened' to keep the road holding and the violent vibrations somewhat within bounds. Set of brake discs / pads per 2 months,… pfffff. The Sierra engine was the renowned 2l pinto, also used in the RS2000, some marketing sauce from Ford NL, and the order was in. I would have opted for an XR4i at the time, but yes….

  2. Beautiful stories and I would rather have seen those Alfas than those boring Porsches.

    By the way air cooling when standing still ?? No dude, the idea was that he would cool better when reversing.

  3. This Alfa story seems unlikely to me. In those years I was working in Driebergen myself and I can say that the Porsche was very good.
    However, other vehicles were looked at, purely for financial reasons. Porsche was not cheap, but they got a hefty trade-in price back. In those years, all kinds of things were tried, just for the sake of money. Alfa romeo spider, Triumph TR 6, Citroen DS chapron, Fiat 124 sport, Fiat Abarth ... and I will have forgotten something ...
    Why Porsche: they want an open car, a convertible so where it turned out to be possible while driving to make (eye) contact with fellow road users. Another very big plus was the air-cooled engine. In those years, the Netherlands was confronted with a new phenomenon: Traffic jam… in those years the oncoming traffic was still alerted to a stationary traffic jam. The result was that the Porsche was sometimes idling for hours on the hard shoulder….
    And whether Alfa mentioned in your story could have accomplished this, however nice that car was….

    • A great-uncle of mine Mr. A. Blokzijl was head of equipment of the white Porche brigade and together with A. Vogel stood at the cradle of the white Porche event, he had scrapbooks full of it

      • Dear Wilbert,
        back then there were (probably?) (n0g) no tendering scandals… seem to quickly forget where our tax money goes… .or should we just call it “convenient marketing”? whizzing within the lines? It remains of course that the Italians unfortunately do not think “across the border”, (does ego also play a role?), And unfortunately there is not much left of the car industry there. Also think of GM, Saab, Opel, but it's a different story

      • I have read your article with interest. I doubt it is entirely correct. Especially the part under the heading “impressed police”. There has never been an extensive driving test for a longer period of time with this type / prepared Alfa. And it is very unlikely that at that time a closed surveillance car within the AVD gates would have been accepted by the commander and staff of the service. The competing car brands only gained a foothold in the Drieberg area when they came up with a convertible or targa model.
        Perhaps a short driving impression has taken place. But also not in the AVD trim that belonged to this service at the time.

        Not too long before his death during an interview for my book “Boss of the highway”, AVD commander Vogel told me that if the calculators had gotten him down at the time, he might have wanted to exchange the Porsches for Alfas.

        There have been some Alfas within the AVD. But both installments were open vehicles.
        And they were soon served because the driving capacities were noticeably more limited than the first six-cylinder 911s that then began to trickle into Driebergen.
        His surveillance officers were not away from the few Alfas who did test and the brand soon died a silent death for the motorway surveillance.

        Vogel did use one of the test Alfas to drive to Pon in Leusden, to have this vehicle waiting pontifically with driver in front of the door and to indicate to Pon that this was the new surveillance vehicle that the AVD was going to drive, to replace the Porsches.

        Then for the costs. Time and again, Vogel has anticipated the Ministry of Justice that the Porsches were expensive, but not impossibly expensive.
        He negotiated substantial discounts, his vehicles were delivered for considerably lower prices than a private individual would have to pay for them.
        In comparison: the Mercedes where the then municipal police in The Hague monitored had a kilometer cost that was a cent higher than that of the Porsches.

      • Installing an extra cooler was zero percent useful. No matrix signaling portals. What the invigilators did to the Porsches was sprint to the scene of the accident. Take the first measures and then reverse back over the emergency lane to secure the tailback there. The co-driver standing in his place. It was reversed for miles at a time with large tiles. The so-called tailback protection. And for that the Porsches were perfect, because of the placement of the engine block in the back. Your suggestion of an additional cooler was attempted in the 20s with the tranche of 323 BMWs 190i thrown into the fleet for service. But with none of those vehicles, that adjustment was adequate. Boiling engines were common. Only when more matrix portals appeared above the motorways and traffic jam protection became less necessary did this technical problem become less. One of the reasons why the Mercedes 1985E made it later (from XNUMX). Incidentally, by the crews of the AVD called “taxis”.

      • Porsche was just a good car… .definitely… and of course it costs money. But the kilometer price in comparison with the later BMW and Mercedes was not that bad….

  4. If you want to know what the experiences are with a Giulia with 2000 technique. Ask Ton Roks. Editor and publisher of Octane magazine Nederland and former editor-in-chief of AutoVisie. He has had several and, if I am not mistaken, now also owns one.

  5. That will be interesting!
    Will the story also be included in the mailing? Or at least an entry that cannot be missed? Then I can buy the edition somewhere.
    I live on my boat without a letterbox, so getting a subscription is a bit tricky.

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