“Project Alfatar” On The Road

A little bit of a side project here as it is not nanomaterial related (yet).


I have been working on developing a rear wheel drive powertrain for “RestoMod” classic cars using the Alfa Romeo “Busso” 24 valve engine.  To those unfamiliar with this, it is one of the iconic performance engines of our time, originally a 12 valve V6 and later developed into a 24 valve engine.  In all its forms it looks, sounds and runs beautifully and in principle would be an ideal choice for producing modern performance interpretations of cult retro cars.

Busso engine on Wikipedia

Unfortunately, there is (practically) no direct fitting rear wheel drive gearbox for this engine because the modern Alfas have been front wheel drive, and the rear drive cars that used this engine had a rear mounted transaxle for a transmission.  There is one exception, the Alfa 6, but it is rare and it shared it’s gearbox with some models of Maserati so you will not find one.

I have developed some parts to mount this engine to the 6 speed Aisin gearbox as used in the MX5 and some other Japanese sports cars.  This summer, with a bit of a push, I completed the installation of the first prototype powertrain into my trusty old Reliant Scimitar GTE which you see here.  It had its first outing at the Goodwood Revival earlier this month.

This is just an example of what could be done, I believe the powertrain could also be installed in cars like MGB, Ford Escort Mk1 & 2, Ford Cortina, Capri, as well as all kinds of kit cars such as the Caterhams, Westfields, LoCosts etc.

Exactly what I can realise from this will depend on available time, but most of the key parts are produced from CAD drawings using readily accesscible laser cutting methods so although this took me more than a year to develop and build, it can be replicated quite readily.

There is some more information on this project on the Scimitar Website: Project Thread


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