Owning Italian cars is an emotion. While each may add to what ticks the box for them, it largely comes down to the combination of their quirky nature and an almost-certain ability to connect the driver to what they are up to behind the wheel. And it’s said that the best possible way to experience this connection is from behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo. Twins Iliya and Nikita Bridan along with Kira, who’s married to Nikita know all this a bit too well. For them, the journey with their 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 has been an extreme one that almost took the life out of their dearly beloved machine.
Iliya and Nikita are both automotive designers currently working with Honda and GM respectively, while Kira is a Senior Art Director for Garage Team Mazda. The Alfa has been the car that had been putting a smile on their face every time they head for a spirited drive around the coasts of Southern California, or into the mountain roads where the favourite playtime would be chasing 911s and BMW 2002s. The GTV has been a part of every memory for the three who have taken it literally to every extreme. One weekend it would be a Camping trip car while the other, it would be a companion at Monterey Historics.
As one would expect, the more the three drove the Alfa, the more they felt sucked in by its Italian charm. While the car came into their garage fairly stock, the three wanted to give it a personal touch. It started with light upgrades to the tyres and exhausts, and a bit of weight reduction, things soon started to look more serious. The September 74, sliver, US-spec Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 soon went through a complete engine rebuild where new high compression pistons, camps, lightweight pulleys were added. The fuelling was switched to Weber 45s sourced from Italy. Suspensions were upgraded, included race springs and shocks plus new bushings all around. The Alfa’s character had completely transformed. Sadly it wouldn’t last for long.