Euro Vision | Jan. 14-18
Ben H. "Fiat Punto"
Once again we owe this feature to our Official UK Gripset Photographer Neil Sterry. Thank you for your hard work. If you haven't seen his work yet take a look around our site or follow him on IG at @neilsterry . Now if your in the UK make sure to hit him up, his work is top notch you will not be disappointed.You may be asking yourself, where is the intro for Ben's Fiat? No need for that. Will let Ben do all the talking while we sit back and enjoy this week's feature.
I bought the car in black and standard from Liverpool back in September 2007, it was my first car and the main reason for buying a Punto is due to the leg room! I'm 6’6” so I need all the room I can get lol
So I started off with a simple set of lowering springs, next along came a nice set of gold lenso BSX, but then after starting to go to a few shows and meets, I decided I needed it to be lower! I was ready to hit the order button on some Coilovers, when someone suggested hydraulics, I had never even considered it although once I had it in my head, my heart was set on it!! So in the summer of 2008, after about 9 months of owning the car, I saved what I could for a few months and eventually had enough to purchase some hydros, and after a week of scratching heads, me, my dad and my mate spent a good few hours on the driveway fitting the hydraulics, with only basic mechanical knowledge we was optimistic whether it would work without any issues, and to much of our surprise it all worked perfectly, and after decking it for the first time I had a grin from ear to ear! Once I had decked it and after falling in love with some of the cars in the ‘euro’ scene at the time, it was ready for some bodywork.
That is when things got serious, after spending so much time around modified cars at shows, meets and cruises, I had a lot of inspiration to build the car to my limit...... the battle of the mind, and more importantly, that my budget would allow. So I spent a few months building the image in my head of what I wanted the car to look like, everyday it became more and more complex, but I was dedicated to getting it done. As I got closer, I spent a few hours down the pub with my painter talking through these ideas I had, he looked at me as if I had gone mad but was willing to take on the task and was just as excited as I was to get to work on the car! Work began on the 1st of September 2010. Finally after 8 months of work on the shell, she was finally ready for paint. I got the car back in the winter of 2011, and didn’t fancy building it on the drive, so me and 2 friends, Danny and beans got ourselves a unit to build our cars in under cover away from the elements, we moved in the last day in Jan. 2012 and I gave myself a deadline of the 17th of march 2012! after 18 months of it being off the road it was nearly there!! The night before the mot I thought I would quickly put the dash in, so me and my mate beans cracked on, but during the process we hit a number or problems, the wiring I extended wouldn’t let the dash fit at all, both the door solenoids fell apart, and a few other bits which meant we ended up working through the night to get the car done :/ I managed to make it to the mot 14 hours later with minutes to spare!! Anyway she sailed through, so then it was an hours drive to the body shop for final flatting and polishing. A short while passed. The car was finally ‘finished’, it was now an anticipated wait for one of my favorite UK shows, Modified Nationals where she was accepted to enter Autoglym top 25. I was mega pleased to be accepted and the attention she got was very satisfying! I am now at a point where I can finally sit back, breathe and just enjoy the car once again, looking like the exact image I had in my head 21 months ago :)
Smoothed roof aerial | Smoothed rear washer jet | Fiat Abarth spoiler
Rear wiper smoothed | Rear boot lock smoothed | De-badged
Scuttle panel smoothed and painted | Front washer jets smoothed and relocated to wiper arms | Bonnet badge smoothed | Bad boy bonnet extension
Side repeaters smoothed | Flared and rolled front wheel arches
Wing mirrors removed and baseplates smoothed | Door handles smoothed
Door locks smoothed | Petrol cap smoothed and relocated to boot
Rolled and flared Rear wheel arches | Custom fibre glass rear bumper, flared arch bumper extensions, shortened number plate recess | Fiat Abarth side skirts with abarth badge smoothed | Fiat Abarth front bumper with upper middle grill smoothed and corner swage lines smoothed | Finished in a Custom Candy Red
Paint | Mk2B Rear Lights | Black Angel Eye Headlights
Paint | Mk2B Rear Lights | Black Angel Eye Headlights
Chrome door and boot latches & bolts | Magic Touch Door Popper Kit
Engine rocker cover, engine mounts, thermostat, master cylinder, coolant pipe, bonnet latch, custom top mount covers and bolts chrome plated | Optima yellow top Battery for car relocated to boot | GSR Black Induction Kit
John Ashley 4-2-1 Exhaust Manifold | SFS Performance Black Silicone Coolant Hoses | Engine & Gearbox painted Silver | Engine Bay painted in Mini Pepper White
BBS RM012 Fronts: 8.5jx15” Rears 9jx15”
Fully Polished Barrels and Dishes, Half Height Chrome centre caps and chrome badges, 24ct Gold Bolts | 195/45/15 Toyo Proxes T1-R Tyres Stretched all round
Rayvern Hydraulics, 24v Hydraulic suspension powered by 2x Optima Red Top Batteries | EBC Grooved and Drilled front discs & Greenstuff Pads
HEL Stainless Braided Brake lines | Chassis fully rubbed down and re treated then finished with black hammerite | Front subframe and rear axle epoxy painted black | All suspension, steering and brake components epoxy painted silver | Cambered front wheels for extra lows
Grant Chrome Chain Link Steering Wheel, Custom Chrome Mounting Boss
Custom dashboard, completely smoothed and trimmed in Rolls Royce Magnolia leather | Custom chromed heater vent made from a Fiat 500 side sill kick plate
6 x Drift, Iridium series digital gauges: Speedo, Tacho, Water Temp, Fuel gauge and 2 x volt gauges | Custom centre console painted in mini pepper white, glovebox and fusebox cover painted mini pepper white. | Steering wheel surround trimmed in Rolls Royce Magnolia leather | Front and rear door cards, rear bench and front Fiat Sparco Abarth seats trimmed in Rolls Royce Magnolia leather | Rear parcel shelf and custom boot trim trimmed in Rolls Royce Magnolia leather | A,B,C pillars and roof lining trimmed in Black Suede
JVC Headunit | FLi Black Air Front Components | Blaupunkt internal radio aerial
I did have plans of a bigger engine, different seats, different wheels and just to smooth off a few corners I cut. But I have big plans of going traveling in Australia at the end of this year, so I have decided just get a few things perfected on the car, and just enjoy it again this year :) She will then unfortunately be up for sale, I said I would never sell it, but I will want to move onto bigger and faster project since I am back from Oz.