Congratulations to our newest Champion, SCCA Solo Nationals racer Deana Kelley! She won the 2016 C Street Ladies National Championship and many Solo Nationals and ProSolo events with FCM Elite KBO suspension on her 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.
Also known as ‘FCM’ and ‘Fat Cat’, Fat Cat Motorsports, Inc. is the company I founded in 2006 to help explore and express my quest for Suspension Truth.
FCM Elite is the brand I’ve created to distinguish our products and customers from those mass-produced items that lack the care, attention-to-detail, and sophistication we pride ourselves on crafting into every single Elite Project. For a growing list of customers and their stories, go here:
While vehicle suspension design and tuning is considered a ‘black art’, it’s also a practical art. The result of all that ‘suspension magic’ is meant to bring a smile to your face and confidence behind the wheel. Whether you’re a casual daily driver or a hardcore racer, the experience of enjoying a Harmonized Ride lights up your soul, as you dance with the road and are being supported by your vehicle’s suspension!
By working with us to craft a suspension specific to your needs, you Join the FCM Elite. Our FCM Elite customers help support our goal of becoming the
“Best Suspension Tuners for the Real World.”
Every vehicle we work, learn about, and improve helps fit another piece into the vast puzzle that is the world of vehicle suspension design. From having designed high-quality single, double, and even four-way adjustable dampers, we’ve learned that complexity doesn’t get results and often just makes the situation more confusing or more prone to failure.
The truth of how complexity can hurt you was reinforced to me prior to starting Fat Cat Motorsports. For nearly 10 years I worked at multiple large companies, first as a manufacturing / new product engineer on million-dollar semi-conductor metrology systems and later on medical test equipment used in research and patient labs. I’ve seen first-hand the cost of complexity and going for ‘more bells and whistles! more knobs! more cowbell!’ instead of relying on minimization, efficiency, robust testing, calculated improvements. I’ve seen the lost time, wasted money, and incredible frustration when fancy systems go down and sales guys point to engineers who point to management.
My commitment was, is and always will be to develop the most cost-effective, robustly engineered, innovative, and durable Elite suspension systems possible. What I do is only possible because of a damper like the Bilstein monotube. It’s an incredibly effective design, usually has no knobs (needed or wanted), inexpensive to service when needed, and we can make magic with them! For over 10 years of official sales through Fat Cat Motorsports, we’ve built over 1,000 unique suspension systems for customers around the world and have a cumulative >95% up-time. This is no accident – it’s something I’m both grateful for and very proud of. I want to leave the world better than I found it and Fat Cat Motorsports has been helping me to do that, one customer at a time.
A very important factor separating our Bilstein products from aftermarket companies is that we eliminating the need for a Schrader valve or any kind of external fill valve when charging the shock with nitrogen. Using an external valve is definitely convenient when you need to make rapid changes to your damper forces but it is not needed for 99% of users including hardcore racers. By removing the nitrogen valve and carefully designing the damper curve, we can deliver original-equipment durability without the need for frequent and costly service as with manufacturers like Ohlins, Penske, and the like. The reviews from FCM Elite customer Alberto, who owns a classic FD Mazda RX-7, demonstrates the superiority of our FCM approach.
“In about 120 miles of mostly highway and city driving, the suspension performed very well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the car just soaks up all the bumps, pot holes and road cracks. It is so utterly unlike anything I have driven before.
I’ve had the car 15 or so years and have tried around 7 suspensions setups on this car, driven various other cars and the ride on this is just so supple while preserving the FDs awesome handling and steering feel.”
– Alberto: Spec Miata racer, and Fat Cat Motorsports custom FD RX-7 Elite coilover customer
For an enthusiast or racer, you get a high-performance, highly-optimized race capable damper without the knobs to tweak or nitrogen pressure to leak out. See what some professional racers had to say about an FCM Elite setup we built that easily handled the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
In this video are Pro SCCA Racers Kai Goddard and Alan McCallum sharing praise for the ‘fantastic’ FCM Elite suspension we built for the 2013 Lexus IS250 they campaigned for Team N1 Racing during the 2013 25 Hours of Thunderhill. And yes, no knobs! We address the topic of why ‘no knobs’ in Alberto’s FD RX-7 Elite Project page and in our well-liked Suspension Truth video ‘Playing With Knobs: do you need adjustable shocks?’
Our commitment is to ‘Keep It Simple, Schweetheart!’ (K.I.S.S.) and we fulfill this promise by designing elegant, long-lasting, supple, and rebuildable suspensions for every possible applications. We hate throwing anything away and by using the high-quality Bilstein monotube damper, we provide our customers the peace of mind that their damper will last for years and years, to be rebuild if and when the time comes (for example, many customers enjoy 100,000 miles or more between services! Quality is engineered into your Elite suspension on two fronts – first, through Bilstein’s medical-grade manufacturing processes and second, through FCM’s innovative technology and effective methods to further sculpt and enhance an unmatched result.
By following our FCM Elite Project updates, you will learn about what we’ve done for customers and also discover technical tidbits as we share some of the ongoing Suspension Magic we craft into our suspensions.
FCM Elite represents the fusion of art and science, of novel technology and human-focused optimization. We’re artists and engineers, dancers and designers; we’re inspired by Nature and celebrate human ingenuity to create the most synergistic, supple, sublime suspensions possible!