A few months back, I went to the SEMA show in Vegas. While walking through Optima Alley, one car stuck out to me and I even said so in my event coverage (HERE). You see, I have an infatuation with cars that you don't see at the track very often. The Fiat 500 is one of those cars. This particular one happens to be owned by Anthony Cuthburt from Michigan.
SEMA being SEMA, I wasn't able to catch up with Anthony there. Imagine my delight when I showed up to the second day of Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow a few days later and this car was parked right next to my buddy Andy Smedegard. I knew I had to get some photos of it. It was probably one of the more unique entires at this years event...this and Jason Owen's borrowed Mazda 2. Yeah, I guess I've got a thing for slow cars. I asked Anthony to write me a few things about the car and I enjoyed his story so much that I thought I'd let him tell it instead.
Here's my story. Picked up the car back in November of 2013 and never looked back. From turning the car on and listening to that exhaust note to its unique and quirky style, I knew this car would be perfect for me. About 4 months after I bought the car, I went to the first great lakes divisional solo event at Wilmington and won 1st of 29 drivers in the novice group in my first autocross event with the car. The way I throw this car in a corner on the track surprises so many people, they're afraid I may roll it - lol.
Since 2015, I've traveled across the country competing in various events ranging from autocross, OTDs, time attacks, and the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car. The friends I've made along the way and the people I've scared from riding in the car is something that can't be replaced. When I won the spirit of the event award after traveling to Pikes Peak for the Optima event, I earned an invite to the SEMA show and the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational at Las Vegas motor speedway.
I heard that Global time attack was going to be at Buttonwillow for the Super Lap Battle that week after SEMA and I knew I had to go and see what competition I'd have for next year. Going into SLB, the car wasn't as prepped as most of the other cars. I'd destroyed my ball joint during the Optima event and spent the next couple days looking around for some new control arms. Once I found them, I sent the car to Global Motorsports Group to have them installed as well as have a more aggressive alignment done on the car.
Unfortunately the car wasn't done until Wednesday morning, so I wasn't able to come Wednesday and had to go all out Thursday. All the car had was basically bolts on for the most part. I had bilstein coilovers, upgraded brakes from r1 concepts, GFB diverter valve, and a lot of parts from Road race motorsports including their intake, stage 3 ecm, rear sway bar, 4PT roll bar, HF downpipe chassis braces, and some 215/40/17 falken rt615k tires.
My biggest problem from running at SLB was not having an LSD. I was watching the speedometer wiggle back and forth through most of the turns on the track. As of now, the car is being built by Thompson Racing Fabrication for its official race car debut at the Detroit Autorama the end of February. The car will be raced in SCCA, Global Time Attack, the Optima events, and other various time attack events. This car has taught me so much and I plan to podium this car everywhere I go. Long live the Baby Ferrari!!!!
Last I saw of this car, it was stripped down completely and getting a full roll cage installed. I can't wait to see what Anthony has in store for next year.