A New Modus Operandi – Jason J’s SR20-Swapped Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV

-May 8, 2015-

A New Modus Operandi – Jason J’s SR20-Swapped Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV

Mike Burroughs

The Alfa Romeo 105, host of the GT, GTA, and GTV, is soon to find itself beside the likes of the 911: a layman's car that is definitive of an era in sports coupes. Its lines are quintessentially Italian, its history is rich, and its soul captivates enthusiasts around the world. Alfa Romeo aficionados are of a certain breed, and it's easy to see why each of them is enamored with the classic coupe. However, that doesn't mean the Alfa 105's tenor isn't open to interpretation.

Given its age, the GTV is astoundingly less common to see in contrast to other comparable cars. Although BMW made four times as many '02s, they seem a dime-a-dozen in comparison. Conversely, half as many Triumph TR6s were produced, but instead of aging with grace, they've faded into obscurity and are left for "quirky old men who adore strange British cars and self-loathing." In spite of the GTA/V's rarity, it was hardly a deterrent for Jason J. After a stint with a Ducati motorcycle, his desire for a classic Italian sports car was unwavering, but his methods were a bit unorthodox.

Jason's path to automotive enlightenment goes against the Alfa grain to some degree. As it turns out, Alfa fanatics are rather fond of their twin-cam naturally-aspirated inline-fours. Be that as it may, even with the largest engine in the Alfa 105 lineup, the 2000 GTV's 130 horsepower was never once expected to be enough output for Jason's plans. Hailing from Australia, he claims that Nissan's SR20 platform can be found on nearly any street corner, and by producing 200 horsepower in factory trim, and easily built to support 350-400 with similar reliability, the Nissan power plant fulfilled Jason's desires far more than the Alfa lump could.

Within hours of purchasing the car, Jason had the build underway, and a slew of factory Alfa Romeo parts, including the original engine, hit the used market.  A suitable SR20 was sourced and lowered into the engine bay, and custom mounts were fabricated to mate the beast with its heart. The firewall and trans tunnel were cut out and rebuilt to make room, and the engine was moved back substantially from its original position, offering a better distribution of weight and allowing ample space for the required intercooler setup.

The engine itself was cracked open and fitted with rocker lockers, mild cams, and adjustable cam gears, giving the engine's top end a mild bump, but it's all that was needed. A custom exhaust manifold was fabricated to move the turbocharger forward, making room for the dump pipe within the Alfa's petite engine bay. Plenty of details further hint at the car's manner; a number of AN fittings and braided lines run throughout the engine bay, and even make an appearance at the nose of the car for the oil cooler. Underneath, a 3" stainless exhaust pipes out the hot air, and at the tail of the car, a custom surge tank and Link computer help keep the 85% ethanol fuel mixture flowing.

Jason's extensive modifications and the foreign heart were in lieu of his promises to the car's original owner. "The owner was passionate about keeping things period with the car.  I had to keep my mouth stitched well shut about my future plans, lest I offend.  I knew my plans wouldn't find too many ears keen to know about my build," Jason says. He had the man thoroughly convinced that his GTV was in a purist's hands, but it couldn't have been further from the truth.

To be fair, the previous owner may have approved of some changes, such as the suspension, for example. For the car's running gear, Jason turned to Alfaholics, whom he insists provide the best suspension solutions, bar none. GTA-R spec suspension was fitted to the chassis, and for stopping power, GTA-R 6-pot billet calipers paired with big discs, braided lines, and an adjustable balance box were sourced.

With Jason's power figures, the 15x8 GTA replica wheels many Alfa owners seek out wouldn't have been wide enough to keep contact with the tarmac. Instead, Jason searched near and far for a set of 15" steel wheels with a "chaser" style pattern in the center and the elusive 4x108 bolt patter. Eventually, a set of Saab wheels fit his needs. The wheels were then welded into custom barrels, widening the fronts out to 15x9 and the rears out to an impressive 15x10 inches, enormous for such a tiny car.

To fit the wheels, Jason passed on the go-to GTA-M rivet-on arches, deeming them "played out" as well as unacceptable on a step-nose car. Although unbefitting to most, the obvious answer of classic 240Z flares was perfectly suited to the irreverent spirit of the build. Furthermore, the minor clearance added from the arches was all that was needed to fit the Yokohama semi-slicks.

The result of his efforts is a car that mimics the karts he drove as a kid. "I grew up in a family where going to the race track, watching, and following the Aussie greats was the norm," Jason says, attributing his early years in karting to his love for speed as a whole. "Going fast was all I could ever think about." Now, fast is little more than the press of the pedal away. And, after selling a HG Bathurst Monaro he knows he shouldn't have, he insists the GTV will be sticking around for years to come. That's one we've heard before, but we're keen on believing it this time around.




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Comments on A New Modus Operandi – Jason J’s SR20-Swapped Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV

  • Spaghetti

    Is that positive rear camber or just appears that way due to such negative front? Lovely car and well executed, but I just can’t deal with that fake carbon coating in the engine bay….or wonky rear number plate mounting.

  • floridabmx

    Spaghetti Good thing he didnt build it for you then. This bitch is BAD.

  • JakWhite

    I like it, though I would probably have skipped the liquid vinyl in the bay. Bet the alfa purists are reeling!

  • ianklb

    car looks amazing ,what transmission/gearbox was used ? where can i get some more info if possible ?

  • tcworley

    This car is pure sex. Hands clapping, sir.

  • Spaghetti

    floridabmx Spaghetti Cool reply, but you’re right, good thing, hey! You can’t honestly like the only 2 things I said were negative, fake carbon and wonky number plate? Did you miss the part where I said it was a lovely car and was well executed?

  • JeronHoly

    Awesome looking car – just feel it’s ruined by stickers.

  • LuisPedroSilva

    Love the alfa
    TBH, since i deal with this kind of Alfas a lot, far from being an Alfa Lover, it hurts to see that banal Nissan engine. Its possible to get close to 200hp with the original one, which gives the proper charisma to the car.

  • JohnLyons

    I wonder if the owner pulls the front plate off. It makes no sense to externally mount an oil cooler and then block half of it with a license plate.

  • safe Alex

    The colour is so nice, yet, i cant quite decipher what shade it is. Black or dark navy… Can anybody help?

  • EvanoGucciardo

    Wow! :D

  • Cloudbank

    Oh my god.

  • Powertech

    immaculate engine bay = wayyyyyyy too much time on your hands!

  • oswaldh

    Super build! 
    There’s only one I have to mention: I know that an SR20 is much more reliable an way more powerful than any N/A Alfa. Bu come on, an SR20 cannot sound as sweet as a Weber carb’d Alfa Nord engine right?

  • bgrant570

    Dude, I just have to say that you have an amazing eye for photographing these machines!  Well done!

  • AR1993

    awesome build ! probs

  • TagZen

    Nice car and build… we need the video or it never happened! Gratuitous tire punishing included.

  • PLopez

    One of my most favorite vehicles and it looks SO mean. I love it and wish it were mine.

  • v

    Well, there really is no substitute for taste is there. What a disgrace this car is.

  • drivetastefully

    This is awful – a classic completely ruined. Shame on you.

  • http://www.benzingarage.com/ Tatiana Noel

    I was totally in love reading this article until the part where he lied to the guy he bought it from about keeping it pure. Now I dislike it (though it feels weird to say it).

    I’m all for building your car the way you want it (as much of a disaster as that can be at times), and this car is very well executed – but it’s not ok to make a promise to a fellow enthusiast, who is obviously trying to save the car even though they have to get rid of it, then toss your promise out the window. Not saying that we, as enthusiasts should get to dictate what happens to our cars once they leave our hands, but we do get to control who we sell them to. Misrepresenting yourself and breaking your word (the only thing you really have in this life and in this community, IMO) is a shitty and shameful thing to do. Jason J should’ve kept looking for a car that either needed to be rebuilt and cut into anyway, or at least be completely honest with the seller so they could decide to hold on to their car for someone else.

  • Andysss

    Datsun engine in Alfa just lol

  • http://www.dodgysurfer.com/ Dodgysurfer

    My thoughts for what they’re worth are that while I love these cars in original form, I also particularly liked the track modified versions too, and they weren’t exactly ‘stock’ either. For me I’d have loved an Alfa twin cam in there but I get where this was going. It keeps the looks alive and takes it where he wants it, and underneath it has all the stuff to make it go just how many would have loved them to go, probably more safely and reliably.
    Taking the best bits out of one car and putting them in one of the best looking shells made, what’s wrong with that?
    I love it.
    To Each His Own.

  • vstrabello

    Nice looking car! I just disliked about not keeping the promisse the keep the car in original form as requested from former owner and it will weight less with some less stickers… So far, that would be a lot of fun keeping some modern cars away in the mirror.

  • Vekyy

    Thats a beautiful car, but whats the story behind the Croatian (Hrvatska) boxing gloves?


    this is completely despicable, really.  an Alfa deserves an Alfa engine…..and ‘stancing’ it is like the equivalent to taking a steak and using it as a mop.

  • JasonBlair

    Haters always gonna hate, so either gotta kill ’em with kindness or just blow them the hell away. Peace man, beautifully done.

  • CarltonH

    Jason, I’m guessing you haven’t heard of Scuderia Non Originale.  It’s the group for owners of modified Alfas:  http://www.gwandrw.com/how-to-join-sno/
    It’s free to join … and worth every penny!

  • CharlieJoiner

    @IEDEI No mass produced 4 cylinder Alfa engine can deliver as much horsepower or torque at inexpensive cost. I would not hesitate doing the same. Having owned 7 Alfas in the 1970’s, this SR20DET is the right choice. twin Weber / Dellorto / Solex can’t match fuel injected SR20DET

  • ergonomic mats

    I know that an SR20 is much more reliable an way more powerful than any
    N/A Alfa. Bu come on, an SR20 cannot sound as sweet as a Weber carb’d
    Alfa Nord engine right?

  • http://crown-mats.com/ ergonomic mats

    I would probably have skipped the liquid vinyl in the bay. Bet the alfa purists are reeling!

  • horrified

    Absolutely feral. That goes for both the lie to the previous owner and the ruined car as it is now.

  • worstnightmare

    Lies, lies and more lies, this is what the whole Jakovac family is all about.

    Don’t believe a word these people say.

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