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2001 Honda S2000 - Treat Yo'Self

As far as birthday presents go, this S2000 beats them all.

Aaron Bonk
Jun 23, 2017
Photographer: Patrick Lauder

You got a velour sweater and a gift certificate to the Olive Garden for your twenty-first birthday. Edgar Mendoza, he got himself a barely used S2000.

It's exactly what he'd wanted, he says, since the car came out 10 years before and ever since he was first exposed to Hondas by his dad, who introduced his boy to things like D-series engines and cold-air intakes. It's what led to an Integra GS-R and all sorts of mods that helped prepare Edgar for that anniversary roadster.

2001 honda s2000 ap2 voltextype iii 3d gt wing  wing Photo 2/20   |   2001 Honda S2000 Ap2 Voltextype Iii 3D Gt Wing Wing

For Edgar, that S2000 had to be three things, though. It had to have been owned by just one person; it had to be entirely original; and it had to be red. You think that Edgar's living in a small town halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles would've expanded the used-S2000 pool, and you'd be right. The first one he went to scope out was his. "It was love at first sight," he says. "I bought it, dropped the top, and drove it three-and-a-half hours back home from LA." Three-and-a-half hours of which he spent planning things out like forced induction kit he'd later bolt on, as well as the exterior changes and interior upgrades that would make his S2000, well, his.

2001 honda s2000 f20 engine Photo 3/20   |   2001 Honda S2000 F20 Engine

When the S2000 was first introduced, the idea of forced induction was essentially blasphemous and, in fact, many scoffed at the very thought of modifying the car's ride height for fear of undoing all that Honda's engineers had developed for the FR marvel. But that was then and this is now, and if you jump on your little Google machine and enter S2000 turbo or supercharger kit, you're met with a laundry list of options. Edgar chose Science of Speed's supercharger kit; a true bolt-on affair that SOS proudly notes doesn't require any cutting, drilling or bending of the S2000's factory metal. An Invidia Q300 exhaust system and test pipe help move those spent exhaust gases along while AEM's V2 management makes sure there's no miscommunication with the S2K's F20.

Take a glance at Edgar's spec list and you'll notice that instead of coilovers, he went with something a little different by matching S2000 CR model shocks to Swift Sport Spec-R springs for his roadster. Advan Racing RS wheels in black add contrast to the bright red paint and up front, slightly hide a set of Project Mu calipers.

2001 honda s2000 voltex rear diffuser Photo 7/20   |   2001 Honda S2000 Voltex Rear Diffuser

Despite Edgar's ending up with the first S2000 he'd go and see, he was a whole lot more discerning than what it sounds like. "I chose the '01 model because it's what Honda intended the S2000 to be," he says. "Later models got traction control, the suspension got softer, and they added another cup holder. Even though it's more convenient, I wanted to own what Honda [originally] intended the S2000 to be." Original but not without his own touches he'd add over the course of the last six years.

2001 honda s2000 red recaro bucket seats Photo 8/20   |   2001 Honda S2000 Red Recaro Bucket Seats

You won't be surprised to hear that thieves suck just as bad in Central California as they do everywhere else, which is why nowadays this S2000 gets driven mostly on the weekends and to places where Edgar's able to keep a watchful eye on it. For Edgar, there's just too much at stake here, and we're not just talking about things like all of those Spoon Sports bits underneath the hood, but the intangibles, like the half-decade he's spent getting the car how he wants. Or the trouble he went through to find a body shop that'd meet his expectations. "I live in a small town, [so] finding a reliable paint-and-body worker is very hard," he wants you to know. "I went through three painters to find one I was okay with, and [I] still wasn't very pleased." He goes on to talk about a nightmare that involved his Voltex wing that was clear-coated right over its decals.

2001 honda s2000 advan rs wheel Photo 9/20   |   2001 Honda S2000 Advan Rs Wheel

It's the S2000's heritage and S600 roots that attracted Edgar to the car in the first place, along with the less-is-more approach that Honda applied. It's no velour sweater, but for Edgar, there was no better birthday present he could've given himself.

2001 honda s2000 voltex side skirts Photo 13/20   |   2001 Honda S2000 Voltex Side Skirts
2001 honda s2000 voltex bumper Photo 17/20   |   2001 Honda S2000 Voltex Bumper
By Aaron Bonk
371 Articles
2001 Honda S2000 - Treat Yo'Self
Tuning Menu
Owner: Edgar Mendoza
Hometown: Nipomo, CA
Occupation: Technician at Bavarian Auto Haus
Engine: 300hp Science Of Speed supercharger system; TiAL blow-off valve; Spoon Sports air filter, valve cover, oil cap, radiator cap, magnetic drain plug, radiator stays, radiator hoses, and thermostat; Okada Projects ignition coils; LHT Performance brake booster; ARC cooling plate and heat shield; AEM V2 engine management system; Invidia Q300 exhaust system and test-pipe; Spoon Sports differential brace
Suspension: S2000 CR shocks; Swift Sport Spec-R springs
Brakes: Project Mu four-piston big-brake kit; StopTech slotted rotors and steel-braided lines
Wheels & Tires: 17x8 +45 offset (front) and 17x9 +45 offset (rear) Advan Racing RS wheels; Bridgestone Potenza RE970as
Exterior: Voltex carbon-fiber front bumper, carbon-fiber canards, side skirts, rear diffuser, and Type III 3D GT wing; Tamon Design spoiler; OEM hard-top; Craftsquare side mirrors; Spoon Sports windshield wipers; S2000 CR side-market lights; OEM headlamp protectors; LED reverse lights, license plate lights, and trunk lights
Interior: Recaro Pole Position seats; Buddy Club seat rails; Spoon Sports steering wheel; ASM steering wheel hub and side bolster protectors; Spoon Sports rear view mirror and titanium shift knob; custom gauge bezel; AEM boost pressure, oil pressure, and air/fuel gauges

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