Long ago when I was a little boy, circa 1989, my favorite color was orange. I fondly remember the day when my parents picked me up from daycare with a skateboard in hand. But this was no regular skateboard, no this was a spankin' new Nash board. If you grew up in the late 80s or early 90s you undoubtedly remember how crappy Nash was. But at the ripe age of 4, all I cared about was the way the black dragon graphic on the bottom cut sharply through the bright orange paint. When I first saw Ralph Bossino's car I instantly had flashbacks of my long lost deck.
There's something else about the way the orange paint enters my eye and is sent down my optic nerve to my brain that the inner child still loves. Orange and black just seem to compliment each other perfectly. That actually reminds me that I still need to find a pair of Nike SB Flash Dunks in a size 8. Anyway the sellf-proclaimed "incredibly picky" Bossino "refused to accept the car as a finished product until it was perfect." For most of us that means the paint needs to be shiny and new. Ralph's idea of perfect is in an entirely different realm, which you will begin to realize more as the BosStylist saga continues. For this car "perfect" required a full color change paint job, four times at two locations. While I can't afford to paint my car even once, it's humbling to see people that are willing to go to those lengths before satisfied.
At its second and final paint stop at South Florida Collision the car took two tries before Bossino finally approved the car's new pumpkin coat. After the S2K was color-sanded and prepped to leave Ralph knew it needed more before he could call it his own. The tribal graphics on this car are very aggressive, so much so that Charles is actually scared shitless of them. Now every time he steps into my office to take something I have a tool to forcibly remove him from the area, thanks Ralph! But we get the feeling this is probably the approach Bossino was going for. He's going to need all the help he can get to have his fellow Gibraltanese move out of the way when he's making highspeed passes over it's entire three square miles.
Okay so I think I may have made up a word there, but Gibraltar is in fact an actual place. No I'm not kidding, you can look it up. I was briefly aware that such a place existed, but only because at my former job there was a conference room named after the place. I was unsure if it was a city or a country or what the hell it was. Nobody even knew how to pronounce Gibraltar. I just mumbled and said "Guurrhhbrahltahhh" in a similar manner as the "dirka dirka" phrase from South Park. After doing some brief research I have come to the following conclusions: It's a peninsula that borders Spain to its north, it has a population of just over 25,000 people and it looks like a giant bolder covered in trees. Gibraltar "is incredibly small, we have more kilometers of tunnels inside the rock than roads outside!" says Bossino. "This car is way too wild for Gibraltar. The maximum speed limit here is 50kmh [and] we only have single lane roads."
I will apologize now for those of you reading this article to escape a world studies course, but when you realize this man's background the build is even more astonishing, 50kmh is about 31mph, imagine owning a 414hp S2000 and being constantly restricted to residential areas. Myself and the rest of the Super Street staff were somewhat puzzled as to why or how a person from such a place would even consider building a car of this magnitude. "When I was 14 I went into a magazine shop to buy a car magazine and came across a 'Maxi Tuning' (Spanish tuning mag). There was a modified Supra on the cover and after flicking through the magazine I bought it. I read it cover-to-cover three times, and was absolutely taken aback by what people were doing with their cars." Ralph explains. "Tuning has been a part of me since I picked up that first magazine. Every car I see, the first thing I think is how can I improve that car?"
Gibraltar is over 3000 miles from Florida where this S2000 was built. We all know long distance relationships are destined for failure, but Bossino saw this one out. "I [had] been saving up for a long time to build the car 'of my dreams'. I have always wanted to drop a car off and collect it complete, having tuned the exterior, interior and engine exactly how I wanted it to be." Working with guys from Bulletproof Automotive, Raw Racing and South Florida Collision, Ralph started getting down to business. "The availability of car parts [in Gibraltar] is scarce and as you can imagine very expensive, as goes for the whole of Europe. As a result I decided to carry out the project in the US, taking advantage of the reduced prices, much higher availability of parts and the favorable exchange rate."
As unbelievable as it may seem Ralph fully coordinated the build of his car from across the Atlantic Ocean. "As you can imagine, carrying out a project like this all the way from Europe is no easy feat! I have had a lot of help from Andres of RAW Racing who has treated the car as his own and we have literally carried out the whole project via phone and email. I think the car turned out pretty well considering the conditions in which we were collaborating!" As a matter of fact, to this day, Ralph has only seen his car in person three times.
Bossino plans to bring the car over to Europe soon and take it up to Spain for some track runs. "We are surrounded with some excellent tracks close by (Jerez and Ascari being the major ones) and often have group track days where we leave Gibraltar and spend the day out at the track." Ralph tells us. That must be why he went all out on this build. Before I knew about the race scene in Spain I could only conclude that he installed the Top Secret Aragosta suspension in an effort to avoid making road kill of the local Macaques. However we're still not sure why he shelled out for the Roberuta cup kit, a baller-only optional component.
If you aren't familiar with the Japanese company Roberuta it's probably because you don't wipe yourself with Benjamins. Essentially the Roberuta kit is a gas-powered cup that mounts sandwiched between the top of the coil spring and the bottom of the upper strut mount. From inside the vehicle, the operator can activate the cylinder by the flip of a switch and the cup will either expand, thus raising the car, or deflate and lower it. It's a great solution for those who have expensive body kits but don't want to lose the performance of coilovers for the convenience of airbags. Sadly this type of setup is out of range for most of us, in fact I paid less for my entire car. But for BosStylists it's the only way to roll.
So I've mentioned BosStylists a few times now but haven't really explained it. Ralph is the director of his new company, BosStylists, and has a website that everyone should check out (see WWW section). Bossino came up with the idea of BosStylists while building his S2K. "I have always wanted to get involved in the tuning industry in some form, and during the project I finally had an idea that I thought would be worth pursuing." Bossino tells us. "The idea behind it is to build high-end fully-modified cars and to offer car enthusiasts around the world the opportunity to win [them]." So if while reading this you have thought to yourself "man I'd give anything to have a car like that" now is your chance.
But don't get your heart set on this car, because it won't be up for grabs, but a different S will be. "Using my experience in building the S2000, the first car to be built [for BosStylists] will be another S2000 and most of the parts which I used in my car will actually be available to choose." But if you don't like some, or even all of the parts Ralph has used, you have the opportunity to change them. When you go to the site you get to pick the modifications that you want to see on the car. Once this is done there is a rendered graphic of your creation and then have a chance to win it. "The most important aspect of the whole thing for me is the public interaction in the selection of parts, allowing the users to vote for the components which should be installed on the final car."
Besides, it would be rude of us to deprive Ralph of driving his creation after all these months of waiting. "Having seen the car close to completion on my last visit to the US I can only describe it as breathtaking. I have been following the project closely by pictures, emails and conversations with Andres but I have not been seeing it in the flesh every day." Bossino explains. "WOW! Hitting full boost at 4000rpm the car just hauls you into the backrest of your seat while devouring all the revs, forcing you to jump from gear to gear. It was an amazing experience and I really can't wait to take the car for a ride once it arrives. I am convinced I will sit in that seat for hours and hours... From what it was to what it has become is truly amazing; from a tame but potent car to something exotic and deliriously powerful." We hope the car reaches you in perfection Ralph.
2005 Honda S2000
Owner Ralph Bossino
Hometown Gibraltar, Europe
Daily Grind Director of Bosstylists
Power 414 hp @ 6800 RPM, 324 lb-ft @ 6000 RPM
Under The Hood 2.2L turbocharged F22C1; Cometic 3mm head gasket; Precision 1000cc injectors and intercooler; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; Raw Racing custom fuel rail, test pipe, 4" polished intake and intercooler piping, 3" downpipe; K&N Intake; Tracy Sports dual 70mm Ti exhaust; Lovefab header; NGK sparkplugs; Garrett GT3071 Turbo; TiAL 50mm blow-off valve and 44mm wastegate; Koyo radiator; FAL radiator fans; Mugen fan switch
Drivetrain 6 puck clutch and flywheel
Brains AEM EMS
Stiff Stuff Top Secret Aragosta coilovers with Swift springs and Roberuta cup kit
Rollers Racing Hart RS-722 19X9 +20 front, 19X10 +22 rear; Falken FK452 275/35/19 tires
Stoppers Top Secret brake pads
Outside Lamborghini Orange paint; Tracy Sports Widebody Kit; Top Secret Hood and R34 rear diffuser; Mugen hard top; Craft Square mirrors; Air Walker eyelids; Voltex Type 2 1700mm rear wing
Inside ASM Edition Recaro SR-G seats; Custom painted dash inserts; Defi Racer gauges; Carbon shift knob; Roberuta gas cylinder (to operate suspension cups)
Props I would like to thank all the painters at South Florida Collision for finally giving the car a paint job of the quality it deserved, Mike and Ben at Bulletproof Automotive for all the parts and a special thanks to Richie, Andres and Junior for holding the car at RAW Racing for over a year and all their excellent work without making a single complaint. My family, especially my girlfriend, for putting up with me and their help and support and a further thanks to Andres for being my right-hand man throughout the project. I would not have been able to do this had it not been for him. Last, but not least, the crew at Super Street for finding my thread on the internet, getting in touch with me, flying a photographer all the way to Florida for a shoot and doing an excellent feature on the car.