Tan Nguyen's AP2 S2000
Flip through the usual tuner magazines, spot a Honda S2000 and it'll likely have an outrageous widebody kit with some sort of over-the-top dragon graphic scheme or engine setup rendering it practically impossible to drive. Make no mistake, there's love to go around when it comes to wild S2Ks, in fact Honda Tuning has even featured its fair share, but those are the type of cars only seen at track events or within the show circuit. So the task of finding something with a subtle flare is put forth, something that possesses the ideal collection of rare parts yet can still be seen on the road daily-a car that makes you say: "Yeah, that thing is badass. I see it drive through my neighborhood on my way to work everyday." Such journeys do not take long before coming to a head with Tan Nguyen of Fountain Valley, Calif.
An owner of two previous S2000s and a stunning '00 Monaco Blue NSX-T, Tan had the experience and the know-how to build what many see as the S2K for the masses. "I first purchased my current Silverstone S2000 in 2006 from a fellow www.s2ki.com forum member," Tan says. "I wanted to set it apart from other S2000s that I see around my area as well as others I see posted on the forums. I knew it would take both dedication and money. My current S2000 features the most alterations I've ever done to any car I've owned due to the abundance of aftermarket parts available as well as how friendly the car is to modifications."
"My original plan was to alter the exterior styling so I started my research there but began to delve into performance enhancements as well, little by little." Modifications to the exterior began with an ASM vented hood and dry carbon front bumper acquired from Super Autobacs in Stanton, Calif. An ASM front lip spoiler and dry carbon air splitter, also from Autobacs, soon followed.
"ASM, upon my research, was top-notch in its dedication to JDM original design and manufacturing," Tan says. "I am currently looking into getting the ASM rear dry carbon bumper as well as their dry carbon rear diffuser and rear over fenders."
With the beautifully crafted front pieces in place and the rest around the corner, Tan decided to add the finishing touches to the outside of the roadster by adding a Backyard Special rear wing and ultra-sexy Mugen carbon-fiber hardtop, courtesy of Ben Schaffer at Bulletproof Automotive. The crew at Apex Auto Body was then called on for final installation and paint-matching services.
Tan's love for the ASM brand carries over to the engine compartment where he installed what he considers to be his favorite piece of the entire build: an ASM dry carbon clean air intake system. "It's pretty rare," he says. "As far as I know, I am currently the only S2000 in the area with it." Complementing the intake system is an Amuse full titanium exhaust. The combination of the two assures all that Tan will be making a few extra passes through his favorite tunnel just to hear that sweet sound so many are so fond of hearing. "I didn't have big plans for the engine other than to keep it naturally aspirated," Tan says. Upgrading ignition spark and adding to the stock but potent high-revving 2.2L engine is a set of Okada Projects plasma direct coil packs and a Sun Automobile Hyper Ground System. Engine dress up items include custom titanium radiator brackets, an ARC titanium heat shield, titanium battery cover, titanium spark plug cover and an aluminum radiator panel by, you guessed it, ASM.
To improve the S2000's already nimble handling characteristics, Tan contacted William at e-Autosports in El Monte, Calif., for a set of KW Variant 3 coilovers. The fully adjustable suspension affords this silver beauty an aggressive stance while keeping the roadster firmly planted to the ground. While William was busy doing the suspension install, Tan went crazy emptying his wallet on a Brembo GT big brake kit and Cusco ladder brace. To house the bigger brakes, the stock wheels would have to be replaced and Tommy Ha at www.gotuning.com was summoned for staggered 17-inch Prodrive GC-07 pieces. "Prodrive is one of the lightest rims on the market and they complement the ASM design," Tan says.
Wrapped around the Mercury Silver wheels are sticky 225/40-17 and 255/45-17 Toyo T1R Proxes tires. Swift front and rear antiroll bars and an ARC titanium front strut bar find their way onto the S2K for further suspension reinforcement.
The interior takes a "less is more" approach and remains relatively unchanged, with the exception of an ARC short-shift titanium knob and ber-rare Zoom Engineering carbon-fiber rearview mirror. Like his ASM intake and front end, Tan believes he was the first to own a Zoom carbon mirror. At the feet of the Bruno Magli-wearing driver is a pair of black and red ASM floor mats.
Tan Nguyen's interpretation of Honda's two-door roadster is one of subtlety and grace. Despite its lack of glitz and extravagance, the ASM front fascia's clean lines, Mugen hardtop and Silverstone paint manage to lure onlookers in seductively for a second look. "Future plans I have are getting the dry carbon rear bumper with the GT3-style vents and rear over fenders," Tan says. "I should be done with the car with the completion of the rear of the S2000 since I really can't imagine doing anything more." We're inclined to the man's word for it but are also willing to bet that if ASM's product line continues to grow, so will the evolution of Tan's S2K. "Oh wait, I think I'll replace the Amuse exhaust with an ASM full-titanium single-exit exhaust too," Tan says. Perhaps it's not too early to say, "I told you so."
Bolts & washers
ASM dry carbon clean-air intake systemAmuse full titanium exhaustOkada plasma direct coil packsSun Automotive Hyper Ground System Sun Automotive electronic regulatorASM aluminum radiator cooling panelARC titanium heat shieldASM titanium battery coverASM titanium spark plug coverASM titanium radiator bracketsMugen hardware
KW Variant 3 coilovers
Swift front and rear antiroll bars
ASM lower tie bar
Cusco ladder brace
ARC titanium front upper strut bar
Brembo GT big brake kit
Brembo carbon pads
Brembo four-pot calipers
Brembo steel braided lines
Project Mu fluid
Rims and Rubber:
17x7 Prodrive Mercury Silver GC-07 (+45 offset) (front)
17x8.5 Prodrive Mercury Silver GC-07 (+53 offset) (rear)
225/40-17 Toyo T1R Proxes (front)
255/45-17 Toyo T1R Proxes (rear)
ASM dry carbon front bumper
ASM dry carbon air splitter
ASM dry carbon front lip spoiler
ASM vented hood
Backyard Special trunk spoiler
Mugen carbon-fiber hardtop #0125
Paint by Apex Autobody and Paint
ARC short-shift titanium knob
Zoom Engineering carbon-fiber rearview mirror
ASM black/red floor mats
Pioneer Bluetooth head unit
Ben at Super Autobacs USA
Tommy Ha at www.gotuning.com
William at e-Autosports
Ben Schaffer at Bulletproof Automotive
Dave Elles from Caster Technologies
Michael Trinh, the Back Cracker
Matt Piercey from Piercey Automotive
Fountain Valley, Calif.
Most Played in the iPod:
Bruno Magli dress shoes
3:10 to Yuma on Blu-ray
Bogus traffic ticket:
85 mph in a 65mph zone
Mac or PC:
PC for now
Porsche Carrera GT
Porn star pick:
Any Victoria's Secret model