This is the current status of our Fiat Hayabusa. The engine and QBA have been removed this week for the frame to be powder-coated. Whilst this is going on, we will be running the water pipes and gear cables. We have some fabrication required; for the arches, due to the slightly increased wheelbase and an air scoop for the radiator. We are confident we can use a subtle scoop behind and under the bumper to avoid a grill or large holes in the front panel which can detract from the look of the Fiat 500. The interior has been selected. We are aiming to have a shakedown in November.
This is our donor vehicle for our Hayabusa conversion, a 1965 example in quite good condition but by no means mint condition. This conversion will be more extreme than the Subaru conversion and requires the complete removal of the rear seat and will have an up and over bulkhead. This conversion will utilise the Quaife drivebox, intended on being a tight compact installation but beyond the major surgery cutting out the rear seat and part of the rear floor, we are not looking to add bulbous arches and other appendages which can drastically alter the appearance not always for the better. If anything the look will be a tribute to the Abarth 595/695s with wider arches for the wider wheels and a slight increase of a few inches in the wheelbase.
There is likely to another project next spring aiming to find a budget bike conversion using chain/sprockets but not using an iconic engine such as the Busa or R1, as these can command a premium and are becoming more expensive. Ideally we are aiming to utilise another engine with around 140 BHP. If you have seen the video of Chris Allanson driving a 500 with the 1800 Subaru unit with 80-90 BHP; 140 BHP in a 500 is likely to liven up every journey.
We are looking to find a customer who might be interested to work with us on this, as having a Subaru and ‘Busa conversion means our development of this new engine will be delayed well into 2017, possibly 2018. Please contact us if this might be of interest.
This is the last journey made by the Fiat under its own steam and shortened my life expectancy as it was a hot day and thought it would be a good idea to be the support vehicle in an Atom. We had to top up the oil twice on a 30 mile trip, and it felt like I breathed-in most of lost oil.