What words immediately come to mind when you see a Honda Fit? Practical? Sporty? Cool? Efficient? While all of these words can easily describe Honda's humble hatchback, the Fit (or Jazz) is not exactly the type of vehicle you'd modify for off-road...unless you happen to be Jefferson Baluyot Palma.
But why a Fit and not a CR-V or a Pilot which are actually designed to take on the rough? We were able to chat with Palma online and got to know more about himself, as well as his blue off-roader.
Born in Lucena City in the province of Quezon, Palma has been living in California, U.S.A. for the past 8 years. He wasn't always a gearhead however, but he did get a headstart on his passion thanks to his father.
“When I was a young kid, my father and I were always fixing cars back in the Philippines. To be honest I hated it. But when I got here in California and I got my first car, the Hyundai Veloster, I slowly modified it in my spare time,” said Palma. From there, he was able to appreciate what his father taught him years ago. With his passion growing, he started modifying his own automobiles, as well as started to fix someone else's cars too.
Originally, the Honda Fit was supposed to be fully stock while the Veloster was the only car to be modified. In the end, he decided to trick out the Fit as well after it got into an accident. After repairing the Fit, Palma lifted the front of the hatchback by 2.5 inches while the rear was jacked up to 4.5 inches. He then put on wheel spacers, 16-inch alloy wheels, and 245/75/R16 off-road tires to make it capable over any terrain. Palma even put on a snorkel up front, along with a steel bumper and rock slider that he personally fabricated.
But what about the engine and transmission? He kept those two stock, saying that he prefers everything OEM because he wants it to be reliable for camping, interstate driving, as well as for going on long drives to Canada or Mexico. But does he have plans to further modify his Fit?
“At this point I'm pretty much happy with the Fit's current modifications. But sometimes when I think some, I try to experiment and apply something new to the Fit,” added Palma.
As for what the others think about his ride, he said that he has received some confused and odd looks from other people. But to be frank, Palma does not really care about what others think about his ride. Thanks to his creation, Palma now has a dedicated following on his Instagram account. He even has a YouTube Channel called 'Whatzs Production' where he uploads videos of him driving the Fit on trails.
Palma added that he is grateful for the people that actually follow him on social media. He said that he'll create more videos, as well as post more photos of his Fit online.
For those that plan on making a similar build for their Fit / Jazz, Palma said to make sure they really want to do it and are dedicated to complete it. He also added that you have to have the proper welding skills, as well as the know-how to modify a car's bodywork and chassis in order to make everything work.
We hope to see Palma's modified Honda Fit take on more trails, go off-road, and see it on social media more in the future.