If you've ever built, are currently in the midst of building, or plan to build a Honda in the future, there's something you should keep in mind: You won't please everyone no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try. Read that last line again, take a moment and allow it to sink in, and then continue reading. From your friends to your family to random strangers who might catch a glimpse of your car plastered on a forum or social media outlet, there's always going to be someone acting as your "build manager" even when you've never actually requested their services. That's right, people you've never even met before will be quick to tell you exactly what your car "needs" and why it would be so much better if it were slammed to the ground or armed with this part or that. For some, the comments become somewhat influential and can alter one's vision. For others, like Jared Aguila, owner of this pristine Berlina Black AP2 Honda S2000, those foreign voices fall on deaf ears.
Best described as a full-blown love affair, Jared met his match back in 2005 while motoring around town in the RSX he owned at the time. He recalls, "I stopped in at Pasadena Honda for a little window shopping. While I was walking through the cars, a new black S2000 pulls up, just having finished a testdrive. I wasn't even thinking about purchasing a car that day," he says. The truth is, he didn't have to think about it—his expression was more than enough to convince the salesman that he'd just witnessed love at first site in the automotive sense. "He saw my face and asked if I wanted to take it for a spin," he says. As Jared stirred through the gears of the rear-wheel-drive two-seater, any thoughts of keeping and modifying the RSX were forever erased, as visions of long-term roadster bliss filled his head. "After that testdrive, I was sold!" he says. "The car was quick, handled like a go-kart, and was the only color I wanted ... black!"
Like any eager enthusiast, Jared viewed his new purchase as a blank canvas and started conjuring up all of the different paths he could pursue. While some opt for the wild side, like widebody aero, massive turbo power and over-the-top, ultra-aggressive wheels, Jared looked for a more simplistic style with a goal of building something that would look just as good now as it will 10 years from now. Not unlike any other Honda S2000 owner, a hardtop was at the very top of Jared's priority list and the Mugen hardtop that he purchased and installed shortly after bringing the car home has only been removed once ... during this photo shoot. To complement the roof, an Amuse R1 front bumper and ASM duckbill spoiler were installed and the S2K's flanks were fitted with Downforce carbon-fiber diffusers. All of that is great, but if you ask Jared, the crowning piece of his roadster is no doubt the Mugen M7s that sit proudly at all four corners. But unlike the staggered, 16/17-inch fitment offered by Mugen originally, this S2000 uses only the rears from two different sets of NSX-spec M7s. That's right, four of the taller, wider rears are on duty and suit the car perfectly (see sidebar for more info).
Black cars have long been vilified for being notoriously tough to maintain and keep clean, and you'd be hard pressed to find one cleaner than Jared's. He proudly points out that 85 percent of the Honda S2000 remains draped in its original factory paint, the other 15 percent applied to the aftermarket body pieces that had to be color matched before installation. Maintaining the car's incredibly clean surface is due in part to help from friend and car care aficionado, Brian Jimenez, aka MTK Kommander. Jimenez has applied a combination of high-end products from Swissvax and Menzerna, along with good old-fashioned hands-on experience ever since Jared first took ownership of the car and the result is a glass-like finish. Under the highly polished Mugen hardtop cap, inside the cabin, you'll find a set of Mugen S1 bucket seats matched to a Mugen Racing II steering wheel and ARC shift knob.
The engine bay of most Honda S2000 these days is a bit of a mixed bag. Some remain almost completely stock, relishing in all of the high-revving fun that Honda engineers packed into the roadster from the factory, while others hunt for anything north of 400 hp by means of forced induction. Jared's intentions lie somewhere in the middle, focusing on basic mods surrounded by a unique, minimalist look. A mild list of go-fast goods includes a Mugen carbon-fiber intake that channels incoming air to the Skunk2 70mm throttle body and Ballade Sports intake manifold, where it's then met by a complete Supertech valvetrain and sent to the atmosphere via Ballade Sports' signature header and J's Racing 60RS exhaust system. Many of the engine bay's native parts have been removed, reworked, or relocated thanks to friend and wiring guru, Ryan Basseri of Rywire Motorsport Electronics. In fact, Jared's AP2 served as the test mule for a few kits that Rywire now offers to the public through their website. The once intrusive ABS system and its spider-like tubing has been reserved, but moved to a large cavity behind the driver-side fender and remains fully functional. A custom Rywire mil-spec wiring harness incorporates an AEM EMS V2 and cleans up the factory spaghetti, while the headlight harnesses were tucked completely out of sight. Rywire also relocated the fuse box and battery and a portion of that real estate was filled with a T1 Race Development catch can that mirrors that of the T1 overflow tank located just in front of the driver-side shock tower. Rywire's custom radiator and Circuit Hero coil pack cover are the finishing pieces of the puzzle.
Like any torrid love affair, issues have come up, and with all of the highs, Jared also experienced some of the low points. He adds, "Putting this car together has been a storybook of a ride. I've definitely built some great relationships with this car. Not just friends who are local, but friends in different states, even other countries. I've also seen people who I thought were my close friends show their true colors and disappoint in broken promises with this build. With the ups and downs of a never-ending build, the ultimate goal has always been achieved—self-satisfaction ..."
Bolts & Washers
AEM EMS V2
Supertech titanium retainers
Mugen intake system
Skunk2 70mm throttle body
Ballade Sports 69mm intake manifold
Ballade Sports header
J's Racing 60rs exhaust
Berk Technology 63.5mm test pipe
Full Blown fuel rail
T1 Race Development catch can/overflow
Rywire custom radiator
Rywire mil-spec engine harness
Rywire ground kit
Rywire tucked headlight harness
Rywire tucked fuse box
Circuit Hero coilpack cover
Mugen oil cap
ARC cooling plate
Ballade Sports timing chain tensioner
230 hp/155 lb-ft of torque
Tein Type Flex
Ballade Sports driveshaft spacers
Evasive-spec street/track alignment
Rywire ABS relocation kit
Goodrich brake lines
Motul RBF600 fluid
Wheels & Tires
Mugen M7s 17x9 +46 (4 NSX-spec rears)
Mugen MF10 17x7.5/8.5 (S2000-spec)
Amuse R1 front bumper
Downforce side diffusers
ASM duckbill spoiler
Evans Autobody paintwork
Mugen S1 seats
Buddy Club seat rails
Mugen Racing II steering wheel
MOMO wheel hub
ARC shift knob
Ryan, Der, and David at Rywire; Matt at ICB Motorsports; Alex, Fatkid, and Kev at Ballade Sports; James and Andy at 161822; Drail, Eric, and Sheng at JHPUSA; Mike and Darryl at Evasive; Frank at Downstar/Boltboys; Joey Lee of the Chronicles; MTK Kommander; Nate at Nastie Garage; Takeshi Kobayashi of Type_K Autosource; Jay Villavicencio; Supertwinz John and James; Big Mike; s2x Sam; MrMarty Chen; Matt Rodrez; my lovely girlfriend, Leslie (thank you for putting up with the crazy car life); and lastly to the DPK Garagelife and ATS*Garage USA family for all of the inspiration and support.
Medical Imaging button pusher and head of personal sales at Rywire
stickydiljoe.com aka The Chronicles
Porsche 356 Speedster
Inspiration For This Build
Amseven Jeremy Gilman's '00 black ITR
'87 Porsche 911 Carrera
Wheelin' and Dealin'
After contacting friends and collectors in search of incredibly rare NSX-spec Mugen M7s, Jared stumbled upon a set for sale on S2ki.com and wasted no time in purchasing them. That's where the story should have ended, but didn't. Miraculously, another set popped up for sale in Washington and looked to be even cleaner than his. Jared quickly sold his M7s and was able to grab the set in Washington before they sold to anyone else. A few months passed and Jared started toying with thoughts of running NSX-spec rear wheels at all four corners. And though the chances of finding another rare set was quite low, lightning, in fact, struck one more time as he got word that a local guy had sold his NSX and he'd kept his M7s. He adds, "I called him and we semi-agreed on a price over the phone and I met up with him. I had cash in hand and my negotiating cap on. He would not budge. He was so firm on the price that he even raised it because it didn't 'feel right' to him. I was so pissed, but went to the bank to get more money." Cash and wheels were exchanged and after shaking hands, loading the wheels, and saying goodbye, the seller suddenly changed his mind and asked to forget the whole thing. Jared's response, "I just smiled and said thanks for doing business with me, but giving them back isn't an option." Now that's self-satisfaction.