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2001 Honda S2000 - The Waiting Game

13 years in the making

Aaron Bonk
Jun 1, 2017
Photographer: Stephen Brooks

You putting together the perfect car will never happen fast. At least it shouldn't. Considering over time what you like about it and what stinks about it before reworking it will never be a bad idea. Kam Nouri spent about 13 years doing just that.

For Nouri, in '01 and just out of dental school, the thought of building a car was as new to him as the S2000 was to Honda. "I'd always wanted to modify a car, but I never had the chance," he says about other life obligations—like school, for one—that kept him from modifying anything else he'd owned, including his beater of an old '87 Civic sedan.

2001 honda s2000 voltex front bumper Photo 2/23   |   2001 Honda S2000 Voltex Front Bumper

And then the S2000 happened. And the BMW M3. "I wanted an M3 but thought it was a little pricey for me at the time," Nouri says. "The uniqueness of the S2000 is what really attracted me to it and how Honda was able to do more with less." More with less as in generating the most horsepower per liter out of any production engine of its time. More with less as in giving drivers world-class handling at a reasonable price.

"I didn't want to do a kit type of car, like [with] a Spoon or a J's Racing [theme]," he says about what went through his mind as he began accumulating parts. "Something like that is too generic and wasn't what I was looking for." Shortly after buying the car, Nouri got himself an AEM intake. Later, he ordered up a set of Volks and TEIN suspension. The car remained, more or less, in that state for years; all the while, Nouri continued collecting all sorts of big-ticket and hard-to-find bits. "I just started collecting parts," he says, "but I never installed them." Instead, the process was a whole lot more methodical. Yes, at some point an ARC shift knob was screwed on, as was a pair of Spoon calipers, but the build's current state wouldn't take shape for another decade or so. "The car as you see it now," he says, "happened when all of the parts were in."

2001 honda s2000 f22c1 engine Photo 6/23   |   2001 Honda S2000 F22c1 Engine

It was a game of patience and self-control for Nouri and one in which aesthetics always followed performance. "My goal was function," he says. "I didn't do anything for looks. The car was built for canyon runs and the track." It's exactly what he says he'd imagined the perfect S2000 to be, and despite the car's Voltex bumper, J's Racing aero, and details like titanium wing mounts, this S2000, as Nouri puts it, is most certainly not a show car (even though it did win Best Honda at last year's SpoCom Anaheim event).

Not that there's anything wrong with that. This AP1 does show face at the occasional Los Angeles-area meet or car show, but Nouri isn't scoring the sort of high-dollar and hard-to-find Japanese parts for this roadster with the sole purpose of doing anything in which the engine doesn't have to be turned on.

2001 honda s2000 asm recaro rsg asm ruby seats Photo 7/23   |   2001 Honda S2000 Asm Recaro Rsg Asm Ruby Seats

Speaking of that 2.0L F-series, here, Nouri's gone on to make his better by way of the later and larger-displacement F22C1's lower half with Supertech goods occupying the original cylinder head and an HKS GT supercharger bolted on out front with its high-boost pulley. The whole setup's reliable enough to be driven daily—which it did for roughly 180,000 miles—but since its '14 transformation, it gets used mostly for the occasional canyon drive or track day.

If you must compare this S2000 to anything, Nouri prefers you'd do so by way of Lamborghini's Super Trofeo race cars. Bear with him for just a minute because it's a comparison that's a whole lot less outrageous than it sounds. "These are race cars," he says about the Super Trofeos, "which look as good on the outside as they do on the inside." They're what gave him inspiration for things like the car's carbon-fiber-and-alcantara interior. "Weight reduction, aero, grip, and power were [the] primary goals," he says about the Lamborghinis and his Honda. "It had to not only look good but stand out from the sea of modified S2000s."

"I took the best parts from the best companies and built what, in my mind, was the best car," Nouri says. "It took a while to figure it out but, eventually, it just took shape."

2001 honda s2000 volk racing ce28 Photo 11/23   |   2001 Honda S2000 Volk Racing Ce28

It might've taken Nouri 13 years to get his S2000 how he wanted it, and it really doesn't matter. For Nouri, this S2000's going no place anytime soon. "I'll never sell this car," he says. "It's more valuable than the sum of its parts. It's a sentimental car for me and, besides, one of my daughters has already claimed it as her future car." Here's to another 13 years.

2001 honda s2000 js racing rear over fenders Photo 15/23   |   2001 Honda S2000 Js Racing Rear Over Fenders
2001 honda s2000 titanium wing mount Photo 19/23   |   2001 Honda S2000 Titanium Wing Mount
2001 honda s2000 asm is design carbon fiber hood Photo 23/23   |   2001 Honda S2000 Asm Is Design Carbon Fiber Hood
By Aaron Bonk
385 Articles
2001 Honda S2000 - The Waiting Game
Tuning Menu
Owner: Kam Nouri
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Dentist
Engine: F22C1 short-block; F20C1 cylinder head; Supertech valves, springs, retainers, and guides; BlackTrax baffled oil pan; HKS GT supercharger kit with high-boost pulley; titanium hose clamps, HPS Performance couplers; J's Racing exhaust manifold; custom Powerhouse Amuse R1000 titanium exhaust system; Radium Engineering fuel rail and fuel pressure regulator; Deatschwerks fuel pump, 1,300cc injectors; AEM flex fuel sensor; Koyo radiator; custom burnt-titanium fasteners and radiator brackets; Spoon Sports radiator cap; Mugen thermostat and fan switch; Samco Sports radiator hoses; ARC titanium cooling plate; Top Secret oil cap; J's Racing oil plug; AB Speed oil catch can, radiator reservoir; Setrab oil cooler; Shorai lithium battery;
Drivetrain: Toda flywheel; ACT heavy-duty clutch; ASM steel-braided clutch line
Engine Management: AEM Infinity
Footwork & Chassis: Öhlins DFV coilovers; Swift springs; iLift suspension cup kit; J's Racing front camber joint, rear roll center kit, rear toe links; Spoon Sports X brace, anti-bump steer kit, driveshaft tunnel brace, subframe rigid collar; Moddiction front sway bar; AP2 rear sway bar
Brakes: Alcon monoblock big brake kit; J's Racing steel braided lines; APR carbon-fiber cooling kit with custom Evasive Motorsports ducts; LHT master cylinder brace; Gladman brushed master cylinder cover
Wheels & Tires: 17x9.5" +40 front, +15 rear Volk Racing CE28 wheels; 255/40R17 Toyo Proxes R888 tires; APR extended wheel studs; Fortune Auto titanium lug nuts
Exterior: Voltex front bumper and carbon-fiber canards; Spoon Sports front fenders; J's Racing rear over-fenders, 3D GT Wing Type-2 with titanium mounts; Mugen hardtop; ASM I.S. Design dry carbon-fiber hood, rear duckbill spoiler; VIS carbon-fiber trunk; Top Secret carbon-fiber rear diffuser, vortex generators, titanium front tow hook; Evasive Motorsports carbon-fiber rear side fins; Sparco trunk pins; burnt-titanium fender, wing, rear diffuser fasteners
Interior: ASM Recaro RS-G ASM Ruby seats; Recaro seat rails; Willans six-point harnesses; Mugen Racing III steering wheel; Works Bell hub, quick-release adapter; ARC titanium shift knob; Yoshioka special edition Hard Dog rollbar; Password:JDM dry carbon-fiber center console cover; AP2 center console top; custom carbon-fiber door cards, A/C, radio block-off; Alcantara upholstered interior; Sparco battery kill switch; AEM X Series wideband gauge; AiM Sports MXS display; chrome fire extinguisher
Thank Yous: Tony Fuchs from Mid-Valley Auto Repair, Evasive Motorsports; Go Tuning Unlimited; Autoexplosion; Bulletproof Automotive

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