APC started by gutting it completely, removing all sound deadening material and bumpers, and added Lexan lateral and rear windows and a fiberglass trunk. A six-point Autopower roll bar and Halon fire suppression system went inside. The factory dash was replaced by a custom aluminum unit by APC, using Autometer gauges left over from Project M3 Turbo. Mazlumian secures himself in the Corbeau racing seat with a five-point Deist Safety harnesses system, and shifts crisply through gears with a relocated aluminum short shifter. An Odyssey battery was placed in the right rear passenger compartment for better weight distribution. The end result was a featherweight 1,944 pounds with a half tank of fuel.
To edge the competition, APC supplied a fully built 2.0-liter motor, including a ported cylinder head with oversized valves and Megacycle cams, and a bottom end with JE Pistons high-compression slugs and Carrillo rods. The SPICA fuel injection system was replaced with dual 45mm Dellorto carbs. The engine exhales through a 4-2-1 equal length header sans muffler piping for maximum flow. A lightweight aluminum flywheel helps the engine rev quicker, and since the factory clutch wouldn't hold, a Spruell clutch using a Porsche pressure plate was installed.
When the 110,000-mile original engine was dyno tested on a Dynojet 248C, it registered 91 hp at the wheels. The APC-built motor puts down 145. Combined with the significant loss in weight, the GTV now enjoys a power-to-weight improvement of 80 percent over stock. And it's instantly evident. The stock engine never needed to go much over 5500 rpm, but this engine revs freely past 7000 rpm, and the sound is nothing short of sweet.
But it's by far the loudest car I've ever driven. I only lasted two laps around the Streets of Willow road course without ear plugs, which my dad is always sure to wear. Unfortunately, during the drive I also couldn't hear my screaming passenger who was begging me to come in well before that.
While the steering might initially feel sloppy by today's standards of power-assist, I found myself enjoying the extra input needed to throw the car around. The more comfortable I got muscling the wheel, the more responsive the handling became. With just a hint of oversteer that got more radical as the throttle is squeezed mid-turn, it was like driving a big go-kart.
Dad has had a blast nearly every time he's time-trialed and raced at Alfa events. Although he'll kill me for saying it, he just finished first in his class for 2008 in the AROSC Alfa Cup Race and Time-Trial events, with a best official lap of 1:39 at Willow's big track.
Success doesn't come without some heartache, however, and he's sometimes reminded of the fact that he drives an old Italian classic in another way-frequent visits to the shop for maintenance or fixes. Like any vintage Italian racecar, the GTV can be a tad temperamental at times.
Still, there's no other car he'd rather drive on the track than his own. The seldom bad times are vastly overshadowed by the frequent euphoric moments, reminding him why he bought it. He loves it dearly. Could be it reminds him of another passion in his life: his Italian wife.
1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
2.0-liter I4, JE pistons, Carrillo rods, Megacycle cams, oversized valves, ported cylinder head, open exhaust, 45-mm Dellorto carburetors, Griffin aluminum radiator, Fuel Safe fuel cell, ITG air filter, 4-2-1 equal length headers, Redline fluids
Five-speed manual, aluminum flywheel, Spruell modified clutch
Bilstein shocks, Alfaholics (U.K.) springs, Alfaholics anti-roll bar, polyurethane bushings, Panhard rod
Porterfield race pads, ATE Super Blue fluid
*Wheels And Tires
Panasport alloys, 7x14Kumho R-compound, 205/55
Fiberglass trunk lid, Lexan windows, bumpers and side markers removed