Some interesting comments, thanks for the thought that everyone has put into this thus far. We're most likely just going to do a stock rebuild of the engine, although we're focusing on suspension choices right now, since the car will need to be a roller when it gets completed at the body shop. Just wanted to comment on some of the thoughts that people brought up.
Keep it Stock.
Now that I'm firmly in the second half of my car-guy life, actuarially speaking, I am coming down harder every day on the side of originality. My rationale is pretty simple: it seems to me that the ultimate goal of any connoisseur is to develop an epicurean appreciation for a 'artist's' best work within his historical period, and relative to his peers. I view your Guilia as a kind of time machine that transports you back to what was state of the art in the mid sixties. You can align your perceptions with the journalist reviews, race results, styling comparables of the day, and it teaches you about the car's place in history from the perspective of taste, performance, engineering/manufacturing standards, and, really, automotive anthropology (how driving enthusiasts 'encountered' the car in that timeframe). The moment you begin to 'modernize,' 'update,' 'improve' the car, you deny yourself that opportunity. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy the car, of course you can, and it will be wonderful, but it won't be a connoisseur's experience of the maker's art.
I thought this was an interesting opinion and I appreciate you sharing. From my experience of driving vintage cars, it's evident that they're all flawed. They all have problems and short-comings that are evident from the factory, and even more so today in comparison to modern cars. Sometimes those flaws and shortcomings can be mitigated or even eliminated, but at the end of the day those flaws and shortcomings are some of the appeal of owning and driving a vintage car. Driving a vintage car is an immersive experience, and the good can't be taken in isolation, it's the whole experience. All the little characteristics and idiosyncrasies that bring out the character and spirit of the car and differentiate it from everything else.
We live in a time of highly boring, very similar looking cars with different badges but not different engineering background. Cars of today are machines and computers on wheels, but don't have any soul or any own character.
If performance would be enthusiast's only choice, we all should drive F1 cars or Superbikes. Your wife's Benz has not even 5℅ of emotional potential of an 105 series Alfa.
I completely agree with the sentiment you describe here. Modern cars are bland and un-interesting. They remove the driving experience from the driver and transfer it to a computer. You can drive a modern car pretty much anyway you want, because they'll cooperate and adapt to your driving style. Vintage cars require a particular driving style to get the best out of them, and impart their own soul and character on the driver as you put it. Also in addition, modern cars are over-powered and over-weight and as a result hide the bulk of the driving experience.
But a daily or fun car that the factory might have put out if they weren't held back by bean counters or the reality of the times, a car with modifications that can be un-done, would be a lot of fun, and we see them every day. Example: the sweet Giulia sedan that Our Man had featured on Petrolicious. Is that car wrong? I don't think so. Can it be reversed when it's the last one left? I think so.
I agree. When I was refreshing the suspension on my RX-7, I saw fit to make changes here and there to improve the handling. With the exception of modern shocks and polyurethane bushings, I don't think I made any modifications that your average enthusiast could not have done in the early 80's. I could return the car to stock over a weekend if I wanted to. I think this will be the route we go with my father's GTV. Nothing that violates the spirit of the car, and nothing that isn't easily reversible.