Blasted for a lack of power, yet praised for its storage capacity and cabin space. Flamed on forums worldwide for knocking the Civic completely out of Japan's market, while simultaneously heralded for its versatility and affordability across a broad spectrum of generations and demographics. Truth be told, the Honda Fit is a bit of an anomaly.
What the Fit lacks in horsepower and luxuries, it more than makes up for in economy and utilitarian service. Stowaway space that rivals the much larger Honda Element, combined with a gas-sipping 1.5L that turns in stellar fuel economy all wrapped up in a low entry cost resulted in over 3.5 million units sold in under 10 years (worldwide). Still, even with its low sticker price, classic Honda hatchback styling, and a Japanese version to take cues from, enthusiasts didn't jump on the Fit the way many thought they would. This meant a severe lack of aftermarket support and with the exception of a handful willing to take on the often taxing effort of a complete K-series swap, enthusiasts were stuck with but a few intake and exhaust options and not much else.
Galen Wan of Markham, Canada, found his way to the Honda Fit after a long stint with Volkswagen in the form of an MK4 Jetta, and more recently, a VR6-equipped GTI that was totaled. Having seen a number of his friends building Hondas, Wan decided to make the jump. He adds, "I was always interested in all things Japanese, and the Fit/Jazz is very popular in Japan and throughout Asia, so I knew going into this that there should be a healthy amount of aftermarket support. I thought the Fit would take off in North America, it had a lot going for it; light, hatchback, handles well ... kind of like an EG/EK, but that wasn't the case entirely." Run of the mill bolt-ons were added along with a respectable drop in ride height and a number of wheels that seemed to change frequently. The car served its purpose of getting Wan to and from school and he even spent some time on track with the car for fun. "I would get bored of the look quickly and would be itching to change it up every once in awhile. The look really never changed dramatically though because of the USDM bumper and lack of aero options that I could run. I was looking to do a JDM conversion, but ended up coming across the Kenstyle kit first. A refined and lower look was achieved with Kenstyle bumpers and side skirts, and eventually, after a number of wheel changes, a set of SSR MS3R wheels were mounted. Rather than doing a complete color change, Wan went the vinyl wrap method and chose a mild color-shifting Hexis Lapus Blue.
Coming from a VR6 in his previous car, the Fit's meager torque rating, although expected, was tough to stomach. After researching available options Wan was convinced a supercharger or turbo kit were the only items he'd bother investing his money into. As he narrowed down the pros and cons, a complete Greddy turbo kit went up for sale on the forums and the decision was essentially made for him. A small TD035HL turbo brings some additional torque and horsepower safely under the watchful eye of Greddy's E-manage Ultimate. And while conservative boost levels don't transform the car into a complete monster, an upgraded braking system was certainly in order. Taking the budget route wasn't in the cards for Wan as he sourced a set of Endless calipers and 282mm rotors.
The no shortcuts attitude meant there was work to be done inside the car's cabin. Up front you'll find a set of rare Zeal fixed-back bucket seats mounted to ultra-low Nagisa Auto rails, and in the rear, Clazzio quilting-type covers adorn the factory seats. Japanese-spec interior bits and pieces are strewn about along with D.A.D. Garson, Vertex, Defi and T1R goods. The theme is a mix of VIP and performance, flanked by JDM OEM and it's one-of-a-kind-exactly what Wan was going for.
So what category do you place this Fit-a car that's long served as transportation to school, a little track duty, various car shows and meets, and carries a unique mix of parts from multiple facets of the aftermarket? Much like the versatility of the Fit itself, Galen Wan attributes his build success to pulling inspiration from all of the above. He closes with, "The main idea I had behind the exterior and interior iteration of the car is part sport, part lux. I like and am influenced by the many styles in the car modding community; from VIP/luxury to track/race cars."
Bolts & Washers
Greddy E-manage Ultimate
Greddy TD035HL turbo
Greddy exhaust manifold
Turbo XS blow-off valve
J's Racing test pipe
Greddy axle-back exhaust system
OEM K20 injectors
J's Racing oil cap
J's Racing radiator cap
Spoon magnetic oil/trans plugs
J's Racing front/rear shock tower bars
J's Racing front lower brace
J's Racing C-pillar brace
Ingalls camber kit
Endless 4-pot calipers
Endless 282mm rotors
Endless brake pads
T1R stainless lines
Wheels And Tires
SSR MS3R 17x8 +24 front/+37 rear
Fuzion HR1 205/40-17
Hexis Lapis Blue vinyl wrap by Shinzowerks
Kenstyle front lip (molded to bumper)
Kensytel rear lip (molded to bumper)
Kenstyle side skirts
Kenstyle rear spoiler
JDM LED side mirrors
ASM Yokohama short antenna
Zeal bucket seats
Nagisa Auto super low rails
Clazzio quilt-type covered rear seats
Vertex "King" steering wheel
J's Racing quick-release
Titanium steering wheel hardware
Vertex shift knob
Civic Si shift boot
T1R e-brake boot
Defi water/oil temp gauges
Defi oil pressure gauge
Blitz boost gauge
Spoon convex rearview mirror
D.A.D. Garson door pins
Custom wrapped headliner
JDM hazard switch
JDM vent control covers
JDM rear headrests
My fiance and family for putting up with this hobby, LEVEL one fam (Dan, DC, James, Caleb, Chu, Justin, Jenning, Steve, Roger, Kev) for lending a hand or just coming out to chill while working on our cars, Shinzowerks (Mike, Pierre, Vince, Steven, Steve, Paolo) for wrapping the car and for my sticker needs, Nextmod (Peter and Rachel) for sourcing parts all the time, Illmotion, Stretch and Poke.
Financial services industry
Inspiration For This Build
A bit of 'sport' and a bit of 'lux'
More boost, trans work, and possibly changing the exterior again so I can use it as a track toy
A brief overview of Galen Wan's past 5 years with the Fit
Year 1: Coilovers and Konig wheels, LED taillights, T1R intake and exhaust. J's Racing parts like strut bars, C-pillar bar, and some interior & engine bay accessories as well (shift knob, oil cap, rad cap). Front lip & grill were added along with a Spoon reclinable seat.
Year 2: Changed the wheels to Carving Lover Souls and installed Pioneer double din. Took the front lip off and went back to the stock sport lip, added Defi gauges, swapped the T1R coilovers out to KW V2 coilovers, changed wheels again to a set of BBS RX, added a J's Racing Type S rear spoiler, and changed out the old exhaust for a custom Remus.
Year 3: SSR Viennas, added steering wheel and Clazzio seat covers, installed Greddy turbo kit, changed the exhaust components to J's Racing (test pipe & mid pipe). Also installed a set of JDM side mirrors.
Year 4: SSR Type C, then changed to SSR Comps, installed Zeal bucket seats and obtained a Kenstyle lip kit that was molded to the OEM bumpers. That year I switched coilovers again to T1R and installed the Endless BBK. The entire car was wrapped with the color-shifting Hexis vinyl and at the end of the season a set of SSR MS3R was ordered and installed in year 5.