The Big Giulias: Alfa Romeo 1750/2000

Arese, Milan, 1968.

The new Alfa Romeo factory is busy building the Giulias that Italians can't get enough of. To better attack the export markets, which favored larger cars, the company prepared a new model with an old name: the "1750".

Chapter One - A Big Giulia

The "1750", also known as the "Berlina" in some markets, was a new model but not a new car. To save time and money, the "1750" was a close derivative of the Giulia, retaining its running gear and most of the underlying structure. Even the windscreen was carried over.

Under such circumstances, there wasn't much Bertone could do to differentiate the new model from the Giulia it was based on. Still, the end result is perhaps the least inspired to ever come out from the famed design firm. Mind you, it's well proportioned, restrained... but let's face it, if we take the Alfa shield off, it could be anything.

The "1750" was equipped with a new "stretched" version of the classic inline-four cylinders twin-cam engine that had made Alfa Romeo's success. Fed by two double-barrel 40mm carburetors like the Giulia Super, it produced a healthy 118HP, with the lovely burbly noise and the generous torque the Alfisti had come to love.

Chapter Two - New car, old name.

The attentive viewer might have already noticed the "1750" name did not match the engine's actual capacity.

That's because, shortly before the new model's presentation in the coastal town of Vietri Sul Mare, the Alfa management decided to honor the pre-war 6C 1750, which won the Mille Miglia three consecutive times.

Chapter Three - 2000

In 1971, the "1750" became the "2000": On the outside, the changes were minimal, as most of Alfa's efforts were concentrated on upgrading the car's interior to counter the competition from BMW on the international markets. The two liters engine was the last possible "stretch" of the Alfa Romeo twin-cam four, which started life as a 1.3 liters engine on the Giulietta in 1954.

The Alfetta's launch in 1972 didn't spell the end of the 2000 Berlina: in fact, the model's life was indirectly extended by the 1973 oil crisis. The hostile socio-economic climate threw a spanner into Alfa Romeo's plans, delaying the two-liters version of the Alfetta until 1977.

Chapter Four - Last, but not least

Both the 1750 and 2000 Berlinas could be ordered with a three-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF, instead of the standard five-speed manual. Very few buyers did so, making automatic Berlinas pretty rare nowadays.

The USA enacted the first antipollution regulations in 1966. For this reason, on the 1750 and 2000 Berlinas exported to the USA, a mechanical fuel injection developed by SPICA replaced the usual carburetors.

This system consisted of an electric fuel pump near the tank that sent fuel to a timed injection pump derived from Diesel engine applications, which was belt-driven by the crankshaft.


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