Over the Thanksgiving weekend I fixed all the vacuum leaks, then drove it a few miles down the road for a car wash (total miles so far, five!), really an engine wash as there were decades of encrusted oil and dirt on the motor. It came out looking really good, and it drove well too.
Jonathan and I then got the transmission out, replaced the friction disc (which was right at its wear limit, lucky us), and got it all back together again. Getting to the top starter bolt and top transmission bolt is sort of a Fiat rite of passage, although it's easier in a Brava than in a Spider. Our Mercedes bolt is doing a good job holding the rear mount together.
I then disassembled the rear suspension and replaced the shocks with the KYB GR-2 shocks I had mysteriously appear in my trunk. I am pretty sure I bought them right after the last race, but have completely forgotten from whom. Anyway, they're in. I noticed the driver's side trailing arms were pretty bent up.