When most people set out to begin a project build the first goal in mind is usually speed. To achieve speed most people think they have to add power, which in most cases is true if your goal is to drive in a straight line. But what if you wanted to drive on a track that involves lots of corners? And on top of that, you wanted to drive around more than just once? Then you'd have to build a car like Alex Doan's '04 Honda S2000 outfitted with the entire arsenal of Spoon Sports' warehouse of goodies, including the amazing Spoon S-Tai body conversion kit. At first sight, the car is remarkable looking. Every line of the body is immaculately sculpted and very impressive. Spoon's kit is not just the typical front and rear bumper with side skirts, but it's an entire replacement for the bumpers, hood, roof, wing and fenders. The kit takes the rather pedestrian-looking S2K and turns it into a beast of a vehicle that not only looks good, but is track-proven to be a vital aerodynamic-enhancing ensemble. For Alex, the body kit was the cornerstone of his build and set the tone for his car's concept: a street-class car that can handle like a true track-only vehicle.
Alex got his tuning bug by working on a front-wheel drive Civic but soon found the need to experiment with rear wheel action and picked up a Toyota AE86. While building the Toyota, Alex consistently found himself comparing the two Japanese automakers and realized he always felt more at home in a Honda and that he felt a connection to the company's philosophy. When Honda's S2000 was introduced to the American market, Alex found his perfect automotive soulmate: a Honda built straight from the factory with RWD performance as a priority that was also more practical than an NSX. The high-revving engine was music to Alex's ears and he sought out to make it sing even louder. "I am an auto enthusiast through and through and wanted to build this car as AMG would build a Mercedes. That is why I chose Spoon Sports to be the main focus for my build up," says Doan.
For anyone looking to start a similar project, here's a few words of advice from Alex, "Upgrading an already well-built production car takes a lot of planning and strategy. Think about what you want the end product to look like and do for you. Manufacturers spend billions in R&D to develop cars so don't think you can just do better than they can without a well thought out plan and [also] expect to compromise certain luxuries like comfort and noise." While the planning has paid off by having his vehicle recognized as the official USDM S2000 of Spoon Sports, it was built with Spoon founder Tatsuru Ichishima's Super Taikyu S2000 in mind. The strategy was to enhance what Honda already designed the S2000 to do: handle on the road. With a full Spoon suspension setup which includes coilovers (14/12 Kg, f/r), four-point rollbar, a full compliment of engine and transmission mounts, strut and sway bars, Alex believes it's the little things one cannot see that has made the difference in his setup. "The Spoon weld-on gusset plates is a body reinforcement for the S2000. Due to the weak upper A-Arm mounts, Spoon has a weld on reinforcement, meant for those who drive competitively or hard driving."
For Alex, hard driving was the name of the game. He even entered his S2000 in Sport Compact Car's Suspension Shootout, winning by a landslide in the race around Buttonwillow Raceway. Keep in mind that for the most part, Alex's S2000 has a nearly stock engine setup, a shocker to many who come across this car [and even to us at Super Street]. There are a few things touched up here and there, but as of this writing there's no forced induction, laughing gas, or even built-out blocks. Oftentimes, what the manufacturers give us really is worth keeping and this S2K proves that. So has Alex learned anything from doing this build? "I learned a great deal about vehicle setup, which is most important on the race track. Mostly I learned the most crucial performance modifications are the ones you don't [always] see. [For] example, body reinforcement, rolls center, coilovers, bump steer, and brakes." Expect to see more of Alex's menacing S2000 at a local track event near you.
'04 Honda S2000
Owner Alex Doan
Hometown Chino Hills, CA
Daily Grind Asset Manager
Under The Hood Spoon plugs, air filter, throttle body, header, dual N1 exhaust, 4.44 final gear set, 1.5 helical LSD, flywheel, clutch disc; Skunk2 Stage II cams, valve springs; AEM EMS 1052u; Toda Adjustable Cam Pulleys, Hondata heat shield gasket; Samco Sport intake arm
Drivetrain Act clutch and flywheel; Cusco RS limited slip differential
Stiff Stuff Spoon coilovers (14/12 Kg, f/r), weld-on Gusset plate, engine mounts, zero bump steer kit, strut tower bars, X brace, 4pt roll bar, J's Racing rear strut bar
Rollers Volk CE28 & RE30 17x9 +40 f/r; Toyo Proxies R888 255/40/17 R-compound
Stoppers Spoon monoblock brake calipers, steel braided brake lines, Endless CC-X pads, Motul brake fluid; OEM rotors
Outside Spoon S-Tai hood, front/rear bumper, rear diffuser, front 20mm wide body fender, rear 15mm rear wide body fender, GT carbon wing, front stainless grill, hydro-blue wide mirrors, hard top; carbon doors and trunk lid
Inside Spoon steering wheel, carbon Kevlar bucket seats & rails, reclinable passenger seat, titanium shift knob
Props Spoon Sports, Opak Racing, Toyo Tires, Motul Inc., Skunk2 Racing, Samco Sport, Berk Technology, Endless, Raceline Development, Backyard Creations/Autobody, Promax Motorsports, JS Design Factory