When I mentioned the phrase "hard parker," Travis Sewell became audibly upset. He cut me off and said, "No, this thing still performs, I'm not a hard parker." At first glance this beautiful black S2000 may check all of the boxes for the form-over-function crowd, but this machine was built to put out big numbers all the while looking good in the process.
Travis first fell for the S2000 a few years ago while serving as a car detailer; he states, "I detailed on the side, and I cleaned a customer's car. I only had it for a few hours and fell in love with it." He went on the hunt for his own roadster and came upon a low-mile, one-owner example a few years later. This particular drop-top began its life in the possession of an older gentleman and really only saw the light of day on perfect spring afternoons. After the keys landed in Travis' hand, it didn't stay factory fresh for very long as he got to work on it in just two short weeks.
Travis admits that winter doesn't hit Virginia Beach too hard, but that didn't stop him from capping the car with a Seibon carbon-fiber hardtop and matching Downforce side diffusers. To kill any unsightly wheel gap on his new ride, Travis opted for a set of Buddy Club N+ coilovers. With less than a season of wheel time, Travis grew bored of the bottled note that the ultra-efficient four-cylinder produced, so he ordered and installed a J's Racing exhaust manifold and Invidia test pipe that exit through a T1R 70r Sparrow exhaust.
With the free-flowing exhaust, the S2000 could be heard well before it was seen, but Travis wanted to build something worth looking at, and the stock rollers weren't going to cut it. A set of CCW classics in an 18x9/10 staggered setup dwarf the car's original rollers. Getting the aggressive-offset 18-inch wheels to fit took a bit of coercing on the front fenders, and a bunch of pulling on the rear. That coupled with the almost 10-year-old stock black paint convinced Travis to lay down a fresh layer of paint. Prior to applying a coat of Crystal Black Pearl (off the '09 and newer Honda Civics) Travis installed a new OEM front lip, JDP Engineering rear diffuser, and APR carbon-fiber mirrors to match the roof.
When the power itch starts to flare up, it's hard to scratch. Luckily for Travis, his best friend and roommate happened to run a local tuning house by the name of Ramey Built. When his shiny new Science of Speed Novi 1200 supercharger system arrived, his roommate had a bay and lift waiting for him. The new SOS system was installed, and Travis went a bit further, upgrading the pulley to a 3.4-inch option to push the system to 16 pounds of boost. Power is nothing without fuel, and to get the juices flowing, a set of ID1000s was enlisted along with a Full-Blown fuel pump. Calling the shots is an AEM Series 2 EMS. Even before the tune, Travis knew he'd need help getting the power to the ground, so he ditched the stock clutch and flywheel for an ACT Stage 3 clutch and 9-pound flywheel.
With some time on the rollers and his own tuning, Travis pulled over 440 hp at the wheels out of the stock block F22. While there was more power to be made, Travis purposely scaled things back a bit to maintain that Honda reliability. He adds, "It's my only car, and I drive it like this every day over 50 miles to work. People don't believe me." Travis doesn't have a garage and tries his hardest to keep the car looking as clean as it appears in these photos. Other than finding somewhere to keep his beauty, the next item on the list is 500 safe wheel horsepower. If this is what the guy can do with his S2000 as a daily driver, we can't wait to see it when it becomes a "project!"
Bolts & Washers
J's Racing header
T1R 70r-em Sparrow exhaust
Invidia 70mm test pipe
TiAL Q blow-off valve
Custom intercooler with heat exchanger
Science of Speed supercharger kit
Novi 1200 with 3.4-inch pulley
Full-Blown fuel pump
Full-Blown radiator with 13-inch SPAL fans x2
Injector Dynamics 1,000cc fuel injectors
ACT Stage 3 clutch
ACT 9-lb flywheel
Optima yellow top battery
Buddy Club N+ coilovers
Stoptech brake rotors
Hawk brake pads
Stainless steel brake lines
Wheels & Tires
Front: CCW Classic 18x9 +34; 215/45-18 Hankook
Rear: CCW Classic 18x10.5 +47; 245/35-18 Hankook
Custom rolled and flared front fenders
Custom rolled fenders and relocated rear bumper tabs
Custom vented OEM hood
OEM Honda AP2 front lip
JDP rear diffuser
Seibon carbon-fiber hardtop
Downforce carbon fiber side diffusers
Veil side spoiler
APR carbon-fiber mirrors
OEM JDM red badges
Moddiction countersunk shift knob
AEM boost gauge
AEM Air fuel ratio gauge
AEM Series 2 EMS
My brother Brandon
Inspiration for this build
S2000s don't like larger, aftermarket wheels. The restrictive offsets and bumper and fender designs limit what S2000 owners can fit on their flanks, just ask Travis. "There's a lot of fender work on the car, a ton of pull, and an aggressive roll on the front. The rears are really pulled and the tabs relocated." For those not in the know, the S2000 has a +55 offset in the front and a huge +65 in the rear from the factory! That makes body mods for the installation of almost any decent-sized aftermarket wheel a necessity. Not to mention an aggressive alignment. When asked about his, Travis chuckled and states, "I don't even know anymore, like -2 up front, and like -3.5 out back." For any of you out there admiring the aggressive wheel setup on Travis' car, just prepare yourself for some work.