Daily beaters: you gotta love ‘em. Defined in the FC modified dictionary as above, it doesn’t matter whether they’re slammed, stripped, tuned, trimmed, or watted to the max, they still get dragged to the shops and back, come rain or shine, for better or for worse.
Thing is, when your own daily stop-out starts to nail the trophies at shows in the UK and beyond, the sensible thing would be to keep that car for shows and invest in a banger to take on the potholes and salt of our glorious winter roads. That is, unless you’re a slightly mental car nut from Kettering.
So, when a keyboard warrior over t’interweb had a dig at this prized Punto by claiming show cars just weren’t practical, owner Dan ‘Atticus’ put down the humble but hardcore conversation-ending reply of: “Well, I just got a 16ft trampoline into the back of mine.”
This is because as the awards and applause started making their way over to his juiced brown Punto, Dan kept it real and continued to hoon his humble hatch around town as a super-duper daily beater, which on one occasion involved having to lug a massive bouncy-maker from one gaff to another.
Is all this daily modified-ride malarkey that easy these days then? Well, in the modest words of this month’s cover-car champion himself, “It’s been a fucking pain in the arse to build. With all the engine problems, break-ins, front end damage from fucking badgers and general Fiat issues, it’s been a hell of a journey. But you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Gawping over the car at the FC shoot, neither would we. Let’s get this story told.
When it comes to ride height and suspension choice, Dan has been there, done that and got the collector’s edition-spec T-shirt to prove it. After first slapping the car on Spax lowering springs, the 50mm drop still left the Porsche Cookie wheels at the time looking naked without the close hugging of a nicely floored arch. FK Silverline coilies came to the rescue. But as Dan started hitting up shows and scooping trophies in 2010, the constant battle scars and war wounds appearing all over the Punto were starting to tug at the heart strings as well as the bank balance.
Says Dan: “I was getting a lot of body damage from rolling so low and was even considering bringing the coilovers up… but I soon pulled myself together and decided juice was the way to go.”
The geezer then entrusted in the hero of hydraulics heroes, Rayvern, for help in the perfect planting of the Punto while keeping it road friendly on the daily hoot.
“The speed of hydraulics and ability to just keep on bouncing was irresistible,” Dan reckons, “plus I’m now good for speedbumps and can then just deck the car at the flick of a switch.”
Once the hydros made sure the Punto was literally rockin’ everywhere it went, Atticus needed a finishing touch to crown the ride, so decided to roll on the ever-iconic BBS RMs – “still my favourite set of wheels I’ve ever bought,” according to the man himself. With the change in ride height just a switch-flick away and colour-coded BBSs doing the business in those purposefully rolled arches, Dan’s created a steaming- hot stanced Punto that absolutely smashes it for show use and daily abuse.
Dan addressed the issue of arse holders by taking a liking to a set of Alfa 147 seats which, once modified to fit, looked at home inside the cabin. “It’s since started a bit of a craze with Punto owners,” claims the Midlands man, and we can see why: the leathers look smart and make for a comfy bit of Italian-on- Italian modifying.
The rest of the interior was left for a while as Dan admits he got so carried away with enjoying shows and road trips last year that he got a little lazy when it came to fettling with his own ride. After a swift kick up the arse though, Atticus dived in to turn the interior around. The pillars and headlining were treated to a homemade trimming of black suede, while the dash was smoothed at home before being professionally flocked, thanks to a call-in on a whim to the local Aston Martin garage, as you do. More domestic cunning was taken out on the boot install, with the neat housing for the Vibe sub looking show-worthy, while still keeping plenty of space for daily stash-away usage in the meantime.
This Punto’s dapper insides are ideal for enticing the trophies at shows, but it’s still grown-up enough to get friends in the back, shopping in the boot, and good, daily times all round!
Dan got the Punto in 2005 as his first venture on the road, and drove it standard for a while before the inevitable modding bug caught on. After some trick research, Dan’s first move with the Italian hatch was a facelift from the stock Mk.2 metal to the later Mk.2B apparel. This wasn’t a straightforward switch, though. On top of swapping the panels and lights over, Atticus also had to attend to behind-the-scenes changes, including new brackets and a different slam panel before he could roll, fully refreshed, as a Mk.2B.
The new look was well worth the hassle, but Dan wasn’t about to stop there and like a true cover-car mod god, he wanted more for his little Fiat. “I got chatting to a fine fellow called Raymond
White who has massive experience with Puntos,” he says, “and after much planning and inspiration, we came up with a tasty plan for my car, which is where the fun really began.”
Six weeks later and the Punto came back fully flushed with only the door handles avoiding the smoothing, after Dan heard stories of door poppers being unreliable for daily use. Side-repeaters, bump-strips and even mirrors went missing from the body, but something you can’t miss is the, er, unmissable brown paint.
The quirky shade only came about thanks to a double dose of chance and genius, as Atticus explains: “I found an old tin of copper grease lying around in the garage and decided I loved the colour, so I took the pot to the bodyshop and they just matched it up.”
The clever, one-off colour screams Euro and along with the flushed body ensures the Punto gets plenty of admirers when hitting up shows and shops alike.
TECH SPEC FIAT PUNTO
Body conversion from Punto Mk.2 to Mk.2B, including wings, bumpers, lights and bonnet; door locks, washer jets, side skirts, front and rear bumpers, roof, boot, bonnet and filler cap smoothed; wing mirrors and side repeaters deleted; arches rolled; resprayed in custom colour copper/brown; roof and wheel centres matched to tan leather interior.
GSR induction kit; various skimming and porting.
BBS RM alloys with polished dishes and gold bolts, 8J front, 9J rears; chassis notched; full hydraulics setup from Rayvern, and modified Xbox controller.
Dashboard and centre console smoothed and flocked; custom-fitted Alfa Romeo 147 seats trimmed in tan leather; door cards trimmed in black suede and tan leather; A, B, C pillars and roof trimmed in black suede; custom boot build trimmed in black suede.
JBL front and rear speakers, VIBE subwoofer and amp in boot install.