Frank Filipponio of AutoBlog wrote a great piece covering the Fiat 500 at SEMA.
Excerpt: “Okay, this is so awesome it hurts. The guys at Legacy Innovations took a perfectly lovely but woefully underpowered 1959 Fiat 500 and turned it into a Fiat 7,000. The Fiat 500 is an iconic car, one with tremendous nostalgic charm, but it was never really much good as a car until they redid it a few years ago. So although we might love the little 500, it doesn’t provide a very good platform for what the legacy Innovations guys had in mind for it – namely drag racing.
Easy fix though. They broke out the torches and gutted it. They basically removed all of the weak stuff and replaced it with a full-on 4130 chrome molly tube chassis, hinged the body in true Funny Car fashion and dropped in a 725-HP 425 small block. The body was kept relatively stock, save for the hood cutout, but they still managed to mount a pair of Hoosier slicks in the back and still had room for wheelie bars that extended out far enough to effectively double the length of their little 500.
No word on how quick this baby is in the quarter, but we bet it’s quick enoguh to embarass just about anything else coming out of Italy. It’s cars like this that make the trip to SEMA totally worthwhile.”
Rex Roy from The New York Times drew on the current interest in Fiats due to the Fiat purchase of Chrysler. Quote from the article entitled “That Fiat Got a Hemi? Nope, But It Still Has 725 HP”
Troy Spackman from York, Pa., built the 500 for his client, Bob Hershey of nearby Lancaster. Mr. Hershey (no relation to the chocolate kingdom) bought the car with the intent of doing something unusual. “I like over-the-edge cars,” Mr. Hershey said. “I knew the 500 would be light, and with the right motor would have a wild horsepower-to-weight ratio.”
Legacy Innovations also played a role in Peter Colello’s Scion Tuner Challenge $10,000 Grand Prize winning xB. We were honored to assist Peter in various aspects of the build and congratulated him on his success. Li contributions included metal fabrication and performance modifications as listed below.
SEMA Show 2009 was a phenomenal success for Legacy Innovations. The world’s largest custom car show resulted in extensive press coverage for not only Li, but also our top sponsor, ESAB Welding and Cutting (www.esabna.com). Check out “Bob’s ’59 Pro-Street Fiat” in ‘Customer Cars’ for the car we debued at SEMA.