The Honda S2000 has been a staple in the tuning community for almost 15 years. Originally released in ‘99 as Honda’s drop-top roadster with a steep ticket price, the chassis was not exactly ideal for the average Joe until about a decade later. Resale values plummeted and enthusiasts were now easily able to scoop the roadster with a solid pocket left over for future modifications and the justification in mind that the little two-seater could actually be practical. Though, as always, too much of a good thing can quickly turn into a bad situation. In the S2000’s case, it didn’t take long before we started seeing way too many S2s at our local meets, and what used to be the awesome sighting of a tastefully modded S2000 has now turned into the sight of “just another S2k.”
Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing, by all means, I love the S2000, but this day in age, it’s going to take a lot more than slapping on a few JDM parts to make an impact in this scene, and Sheldon Tran of Miami, Florida could not agree more. Though his Laguna Seca Blue S2000 isn’t featuring anything necessarily innovative, or far from the pack—we feel it is in fact a perfect example of a thoroughly executed build achieved by patiently combining all the right pieces throughout the never ending pursuit of perfection.
“The original plan was to go with an aggressive, JDM theme for the car… but I never thought it would be possible due to financial issues. I originally decided to keep it simple and clean, but that obviously didn’t last long.” The more we spoke to Mr. Tran, the more we found out what an indecisive character he truly was. He will also be the first to admit that the essence of patience was something he truly lacked in the beginning. “It took a lot to get the car where it is now, and I certainly learned a great deal of information. After three aftermarket steering wheels, two sets of mirrors, five sets of seats, three aftermarket exhausts, three air intakes, three front bumpers, three wing/trunk combinations and a whopping 19 sets of wheels, the car is finally how I originally envisioned it.”
Though it seems the car will probably go through a few more changes by the time you’re reading this, the exterior currently sits elegantly with an unmistakable coat of BMW’s Laguna Seca Blue accented with a rare Spoon front bumper, J’s rear diffuser and Type 1 GT wing along with a set of custom side diffusers and CraftSqaure carbon side mirrors. Wheel options were obviously a tough choice for Sheldon as well as no matter how many sets he went through, he could never find the right fit. As it sits now, a classic set of 17x9” +22 TE37’s was installed all around conjoining with a set of Megan Track coilovers for meaty functionality. Behind the wheels? Sheldon found that a round of Spoon monoblock coilovers would ultimately be the best bet for his project.
As with most S2000’s of this nature, the car obviously isn’t making crazy power, but by all means, has an engine bay worth drooling over. After a mild shave, tuck, battery and fuse box relocation, the F20C linked up with a J’s Tsuchinoko intake, ARC spark plug cover, Full Blown Motorsports radiator and a Mishimoto cooling plate. As far as Spoon components go, a Type F radiator cap, engine cap, thermostat, fan switch, reservoir socks and a simple race battery tie it all together. For breathing constraints, a simple, yet effective Megan Racing header leads to an exotic J’s 70RS exhaust amounting the exhaust tone he had sought after since the beginning.
Directing attention to the interior is a custom yellow painted Cusco chromoly rollcage matched to the engine’s valve cover. With the entire package almost complete (or, for the time being) a Recaro Pole Position driver seat sits on a set of buddy club seat rails along with a Takata harness. After trying out various steering wheels, Sheldon finally settled on a 350mm deep Key!s Racing wheel. For the details: a few custom titanium wheel bolts, an ARC shift knob and a J’s Racing Waza shift pattern emblem.
Though patience may not be the first thing that comes to mind after hearing a story like Sheldon’s, we actually applaud him for sticking to his goal of creating what he believes to be the perfect S2000. A modded car is a work of art—sometimes that just doesn’t come together on the first run.
2001 Honda S2000
Owner Sheldon Tran
Location Margate, Florida
Mechanical Engineering Student
Engine 2003 2.0L F20C; J’s Racing 70RS Titanium exhaust and Tsuchinoko intake; ARC Titanium spark plug cover; Full Blown Motorsports radiator; Spoon Sports Type F radiator cap, engine cap, thermostat, fan switch, reservoir socks and race battery; powdercoated valve cover; Megan Racing headers; Berk test pipe; Mishimoto cooling plate; GP master cylinder shield; Knight Performance coolant overflow tank; battery, EPS and fuse box relocation
Drivetrain Exedy Clutch and lightweight flywheel; SOS 4.77 Final Drive gear
Footwork & Chassis Megan Racing coilovers; SPC camber ball joints
Brakes Spoon Monoblock calipers; Hawk pads; slotted rotors
Wheels & Tires 17x9" +22; Volk TE37’s; (F) 235/40/17 (R) 245/40/17 Yokohama S. Drive tires; Project Kics R40 Neo-Chrome lugs
Exterior BMW Laguna Seca Blue paint; Spoon Sports S-Tai front bumper; J’s Racing rear diffuser and 1600mm Type 1 GT wing; GT Motoring wing stands; CraftSquare carbon side mirrors; Mugen hard top; custom side diffusers; OEM AP2 head & taillights
Interior Cusco 6pt Chromoly cage; Key!s Racing 350mm steering wheel; titanium wheel bolts; NRG quick-release & short hub; Recaro Pole Position drivers seat; Buddy Club seat rails; Takata 4pt harness; J’s Racing Waza shift pattern; AP2 center console
Thanks You My father for the supply of tools and always supporting me; my brother Nathan and the rest of my family; My girlfriend Ava for supporting this expensive passion of mine; Savinski Claude for the paint work, Bob at MadMods; Andres at KAB Customs; Nax Whitmore; John “Ichi” Diep; Rich Nguyen; Lam Le; Daniel Banh; Bi Nguyen; and my crew FortuneMinds!