A while back, I picked up a Fiat 500 Sport in Mocha Latte, 5 speed from Orange Coast FIAT... Around the same time, I decided to put together the SoCal Fiat Club (www.SoCalFiatClub.com). Seeing that I have been active in the european car "modding scene" for some time, I decided to try put together a very mild project to help steer people in the right direction... "Project 500" came to be.
Up to this point, I had made the decision to give the little car a bit of a bump in the performance/fun-to-drive category so Road Race Motorsports had installed their Corsa Intake as well as the Magnaflow cat-back exhaust; both of which I absolutely loved and made the car a blast to drive!
For the next step, I decided to deal with the suspension. KW Suspensions has always been an industry leader in coilovers and handled great and looked the part, so I decided to jump on a set of Variant 1 coilovers. Road Race Motorsports, the only shop that has laid a finger on the car, was called-upon to do the installation.
After an hour or so, we got to adjusting the height. Because of the way the solid beam rear suspension is setup from the factory, there wasn't a whole lot of lowering capabilities in the rear. So the short version is that we went as low as the rears would go and then matched the fronts to that height.
Here is the fronts on their lowest setting (keep in mind that they'd settle a bit from here)
After adjusting the fronts to the right height, the car came off the lift and looked great!
On the drive home I was so impressed by the way the car rode and excited about the whole experience that I decided I wanted to "debut" the car in a much more glorious at California Car Cover's event the next day. I thought for a bit about what companies would POSSIBLY have a wheel in stock that is made in Fiat's weird bolt pattern; 4x98. I remembered talking to ESM Wheels in Northridge, CA (a few miles from home) about their wheels and decided to make a visit. Sure enough, they had a set of their "004" wheel in 17x8 et 38 in the proper bolt pattern. They also happened to have the proper sized tire (205/40/17) in stock so I paid for everything and dropped off the wheels/tires at a local installer just before they closed.
Here is the final product... Better pictures coming soon! The coolest thing is that everything on this car is bolted on exactly as it could be purchased. Magnaflow exhaust, RRM Corsa Intake, KW V1 coilovers, ESM 004 17x8" wheels, and tires. No modifications needed to get it the way it sits today!