Ollie Cowap - 2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta
When people think of modified cars, the 1st thing that comes into most people’s head is either VAG or JAP platforms, not an Alfa Romeo
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I am 24 years old and from Cheshire
This is my 2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta (Sprint Speciale)
Growing up as a kid I was always into cars but it wasn’t until my second car and a decent job that I started to express myself through modifying my car and here we are now, nearly 3 years since I took the keys and an amount of money I don’t dare think about!
When people think of modified cars, the 1st thing that comes into most people’s head is either VAG or JAP platforms, not an Alfa Romeo – this is one of the main reasons I picked this car. I wanted something different, at the age of 21 insurance was still sky high so something fast and powerful was not an option, I wanted to stand out at the local events with a car you didn’t really see, a bit of an outsider you could say. What’s less likely to see at a supermarket car park on a Sunday night surrounded by Corsas, fiestas and golfs than an Alfa Romeo!
Everyone knows the best thing about an Alfa Romeo for the 2nd hand market is the depreciation! I feel for anyone that not only buys a car new but buys an Alfa new! I got this car with 8k miles on the clock less than 18 months old for a whopping 60% off what the original owner paid.
Funnily the one thing I told my parents when purchasing this car is that like my last one, as much as I love cars and the whole car show scene is that I wasn’t going to modify this one as it only decreases the value of the car & it was already great to look at – sorry mum and dad! I lasted about 6 months before I travelled down to Bicester for a custom cat back made by @Wizard Exhausts & @Ryan Edwards Fabrication, one of my top purchases to this date for sure!
This is without a doubt where the modifying bug bit me! I didn’t go all out and cover my car in stickers, whack a sound system in the boot and some eyelids; I have always tried to keep it a clean build that turned heads without screaming look at me.
It would be false of me to say I have built this car myself, if it wasn’t for my friends a lot of this car would not be as it is, my knowledge is basic at best and as willing to learn as I am, sometimes it’s best being left to the professionals, especially as a lot of this car is custom.
For me, it has always been about looks with this car, We go to shows every year to look at cars parked up, it doesn’t matter how fast it goes, and if it isn’t visually appealing we wouldn’t attend these shows, Please don’t assume this means the car’s engine has been untouched, it was never the plan too but after some bad ownership on my part the turbo died and well who needs an excuse to upgrade?! The little Garrett GT1446 went hybrid, the Cat came out, an @Multiair Tuning & Developments front mount intercooler went on, a K&N air filter, mapped in by the guys over @The Vehicle Tuner the car made a healthy but reserved 203hp 297nm (150hp stock).
I always wanted to keep that OEM + Clean vibe with this car, although I wanted it to stand out I don’t want it to be a ghastly looking thing, that’s not what Alfa Romeo’s are, they are meant to represent sophistication and style – I know I’ve messed with that a bit but I hope you agree I haven’t made a total mess of it?!
I always dreamed of dropping the Giulietta on air, unfortunately I can not say I was the 1st in the country as I know there was one before me that lasted a few months before being split and sold but there was not an off the shelf product, I knew of no other Giulietta’s on air in Europe and with the one in the UK no more, I needed to be next!
A kit was sourced from Italy however this was a disaster as it did not work and they would not refund, this meant the build was all but put on hold for a year whilst we fought to get my money back, once the bulk of this was recovered I handed the car over to Aaron @FocusFiveAutoworks to make one from scratch and the boot build was designed and built by Jake @FocusFiveDesigns, nothing too fancy but a perfect balance between function and form.
There’s a million Clubs/Groups in and around the scene at the moment, I even started one up called AutoVibesUK nearly2 years ago, mainly to get myself and my friends to shows under a “club name” a lack of time and funds stunted any growth of the club and it was pretty much forgotten about, current clubs/groups I have to mention though are the @Giulietta Enthusiasts on Facebook, no question is too much and there is so much knowledge on these cars within this group, they have been a great help and are always attending shows.
Another I have to shout out to is @Uninvited – I haven’t been a member for long and due to the pandemic have yet to link up with them in person at a show but I cannot wait to get out there on the show circuit with them, makes it all the more special they aren’t an open Club so I am honoured to be a part of it!
Also a big thanks to @AlfaFamilyStanceCleanTop based in Italy, their members are on a selection basis too and I was fortunate enough to be selected, hoping to link up with them on the European circuit soon!
Top 3 Modifications?
- OEM Carbon Backed Sabelts – Air suspension was always the party piece of this build however those amongst the Alfisti circles will know how rare these seats are! These were optional extras for MiTO QV owners (an expensive extra of course), I know of 2 Giulietta’s with these fitted in the world so after @FocusFiveAutoworks built the rails to make these fit, I am nearly adamant I will not see these in a Giulietta again
- Air Suspension – I know every Tom, Dick & Harry has it nowadays, but not on a Giulietta and knowing how unique that is, brings a smile to my face every time!
- EtaBeta Venti-R Wheels – Now I’ve actually sold these, may sound daft with them being in my top 3 most favourite mods but the 2 years I have had them, they are what has brought the most attention, I’ve dreamed of owning 3 piece wheels for some time, not that I could ever a forward a new set! An opportunity has arisen so the EtaBeta are sold and the new ones are being collected Mid-November ready for next year.
I was hoping to run the car through all the shows in 2020, I was even meant to be popping my worthersee cherry, unfortunately RONA put a stop to that, I suppose it has given me time to catch up and get it even more show ready for next year (got to be positive!).
Below is a breakdown of the modifications currently on the car:
Engine & Exterior:
- Hybrid Garrett GT1446
- Front Mount Intercooler
- Performance Air Filter
- Facelift 2016 Grille
- Linear F Side Skirts
- Alfisti.net Rear Diffuser
- Smoother Front Bumper
- Short Shifter
- 19” EtaBeta Venti-R in Anthracite (8.5J 5x110) – SOLD!!!
- De Cat Downpipe, Resonated centre pipe with back box delete
- OEM Carbon backed Sabelts (out of a MiTO)
- Custom made air suspension (using Bilstein Shocks & air lift bags)
- 3P Airlift Management powered by 2 Viaair 444c Compressors & TA Technix 5 Gal Tank
As above the splits are being collected Mid-November, I have a RaceDesign.PL splitter to fit! A fresh map should see it at 220-230, I’d happily finish it off here as it is my daily so to speak so reliability is key, a custom steering wheel would be great for Christmas if the Mrs reads this, then just getting the car in tip top condition with a paint correction etc. ready to hit the show circuit next year!
I know a lot of people moan that the scene is toxic and it’s all about chasing clout nowadays and not appreciating builds, I can’t say this has been my personal experience as it is where I have met the majority of my best mates and I live for these shows every year, always been Good Vibes, Good People and Good cars! I hope to catch up with old faces and meet some new ones at the next proper shows next year – hell I hope to be allowed to display at some!
Worthersee has been re-booked for 2021 so that is the main thing to look forward to next year. I'd love to do some more shows in Europe in the coming year/2 before I even think of starting with a blank canvas on a new build!
If you want to follow the build my Insta is @Giuliettair (Clever I know!).
Jamie Simpson at @cheshirewestCustoms
Phil Bateson & Tom Allen at @MADCOW for keeping my car always looking shiny
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