Jay Thammavong's '05 S2000
What could possibly be cooler than owning an eye-popping yellow boosted S2000? Maybe having the girl next door sitting shotgun...but no, that's not it. The only thing better is the three-part combination of driving, tracking, and showing the lean, mean, neck-breaking machine. And that is exactly how Jay Thammavong out of Jonesboro, Georgia, rolls past boiled peanut stands and peach tree farms. The fact is Jay enjoys his car. He further enjoys getting rid of wheels like they had the swine flu. He's sported at least 10 sets of rims since he purchased the AP2 in 2005, with only 35,000 logged miles.
"I've spent over fifteen grand on rims...I can't keep count," he laughs, sipping a chilled bottle of Heineken, his favorite. Despite his vast collection, he's fallen head over heels for his current setup. He makes no qualms about willingly morphing into an official wheel whore after his first pair. He admits that once he tasted the upper echelon of wheels, he could never go back to cheap and mostly knock-off rollers.
Jay also naturally became a Honda enthusiast after taking cues from Dyno and Mike, his two older brothers both owned Integras. While growing up around his older siblings and their constant wrenching on their cars, he eventually followed in their footsteps and purchased his own Integra. After experiencing the learning curve, it was time to take that huge leap. "The day I sold my Integra, it was bittersweet. I was sad to see it go but I was ready for my dream car, an S2000," he says. His grief was quickly overcome after he installed a new set of coilovers on his convertible the very next day.
The first build phase lasted nearly two years. Jay installed a front lip and simply switched out wheels on a whim. In 2007, he decided to up the ante and install the usual intake, header, and exhaust. That lasted for almost another two years...until the Honda gods struck. Jay and his friends decided to attend the Eibach 2009 event in May. "I've always seen the Eibach meet pictures on Honda-tech.com and NWP4Life.com, and we really wanted to go in person," he says. Furthermore, Chase from ChaseBays encouraged them to come out and offered to house them during their stay. He didn't have a lot of time. He began working at an incredibly fast pace in January 2009. He also knew he would be facing fierce competition. "The East Coast guys are conservative, West Coast guys are usually more wild...I hate to say it," he sighs. Jay debated between the two arch nemeses, naturally aspirated and forced induction. He scrapped individual throttle bodies when he contemplated the weather in the South, which includes random thunderstorms at any given time. Eventually, boost won the battle. Jay, his two brothers, and his friends Brandon, Justin, and Widdy installed a custom turbo kit featuring a Precision SC61 .60 trim turbocharger, Rev Hard turbo manifold, and an XS Engineering Power intercooler. Combining other mods with 10 psi of boost, the F20C engine produces 384 wheel horsepower and 242 ft-lb of torque. Jay uses the power to avoid potholes, road debris, and "crazy ATL drivers," as he calls them, on his way from the suburbs to downtown Atlanta every day. Jay and his friends performed every installation on the S2K except for paint and tuning. Leng Ngov from Nally Collisions out of Alpharetta, Georgia, applied a new coat of Rio Yellow paint. "I had a yellow ITR before, I'm just a fan of yellow," he says. Mainstream Performance, located in Powder Springs tuned the F20C into the purring lion it is today. Other than that, every bolt was tightened in a home garage.
Despite the short build time, Jay didn't escape unscathed from such a monstrous project. The brunt of the turbo install occurred in three days at one of Jay's friend's homes. They had finished the install and were ready to fire up the newly boosted beast. However, Jay couldn't find his keys. His spare set was thirty minutes away. It was 3 a.m. and it would take at least an hour for Jay to get a ride back home and bring his second set. "The keys were lost and the garage was a mess from all of the work. We searched for an hour and a half...the whole time they were in the ignition," he admits between loud bursts of laughter.
With a stroke of luck, the build was finished on time. Jay ventured to the West Coast along with his three friends driving a TSX, a built Civic that only got 150 miles to the tank, and a '99 Civic Si. The quartet hit their first snag in Texas when the weather began dumping hail and rain onto their freshly painted vehicles. They drove 10 mph until they reached the safety of an overpass. They were pulled over before they could leave Texas. The trailing built Civic was weaving in traffic and ran out of gas right behind a state trooper. The state trooper pulled over the other three cars including Jay. The officer told them they were acting suspicious. He then turned around and headed back to the stranded Civic. "It was like the movie Super Troopers, but the cop was cool, he told us to have a safe trip," he laughs. As quickly as they were pulled over, they were back on the road. After 32 hours and 18 stops later, Jay and his Premium Garage Krew met Chase and Robbie in California. "This might sound stupid, but just driving around in Cali and showing off my car was a dream come true," he says.
Next, Jay wants to boost 14 psi to hopefully hit 450 wheel horsepower. He's also quietly on the market for an '02 NSX; yellow no doubt. Until then, he'll continue driving his aggressive AP2 daily, cleaning it for car shows, and race-prepping it for the track. In Jay's eyes, that's how it's supposed to be.
Bolts & Washers
Precision SC61 .60 trim turbocharger
XS Engineering Power intercooler
Spoon Sports 70mm throttle body
Hondata intake manifold gasket
Custom turbo piping
Greddy Type RS blow-off valve
Rev Hard turbo manifold
Custom 3-inch down-pipe
Spoon Sports test pipe
Toda Racing exhaust
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
RC 550cc fuel injectors
NGK spark plugs
Competition Clutch 6-puck clutch
Competition Clutch steel flyweel
J's Racing driveshaft spacers
Oil filter relocation kit
Buddy Club Racing Spec dampers
Hawk HP Plus pads
ATE Super Blue fluid
Rims & Rubber
Front: 17x9 Volk Racing TE37 (+15 offset)
Rear: 18x9.5 Volk Racing TE37 (+12 offset)
Front: 215/40-17 Kumho XS
Rear: 245/35-18 Kumho XS
Project Kics Neo Chrome extended lug nuts
E-autosports front bumper
Custom 35mm front fenders
J's Racing overfenders
Shine Auto hardtop
Top Secret carbon-Kevlar rear diffuser
Bride Zeta III seats
Alex super-low seat rails
Personal Grinta 330mm steering wheel
NRG short hub
Mugen horn button
Spoon Sports shift knob
Kenwood CD player
Infinity Kappa component speakers
Polk Audio 12-inch subwoofer
Lanzar Scion mono amplifier
Greddy Profec B Spec II boost controller
HKS Type-1 turbo timer
Auto Meter boost gauge
Auto Meter air/fuel gauge
Wife Johanna, Son Aaron, Premium Garage Krew, Showstoppers ChaseBays, Track.One, S2ki.com, GPRauto, Brandon, Ben, Justin, Dyno, Mike, Widdy, Bee, Joe, Angela, Tim, Michael, Christ, BonB, Tony, Nitt, Edberg, Moe, Michael L., Gregg, WillyNuts, Ryan, Richie, Honda Tuning readers
Screen Name Or Nickname:
s2kjay and jdmjay
Your Dream Car:
Amuse R1 S2000 Race Car
Greatest Movie Of All Time:
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
App, Yeah You Know Me
Hmm, how to explain it. Here it is letter by letter. The chassis code AP1 refers to S2000s made from 2000 to 2003. AP2 identifies all S2Ks produced 2004 and after. The engine code for the AP1 is F20C. The F20C features a 2.0 displacement, produces 237 wheel horsepower and 153 lb-ft of torque. The F22C1 has 2.2 liters of displacement, puts out 237 wheel horsepower and 162 ft-lb of torque. Honda offered only one S2000 model from 2000 to 2007. In 2008, Honda offered a base model and a CR model. Honda offered both models again in 2009. A 2009 S2K base model retails for around $35,000, while a 2009 S2K CR retails for about $37,000. The CR is lighter by nearly 100 pounds, has a stiffer suspension, and includes a removable aluminum hardtop. Unfortunately, Honda scrapped the S2000 line in 2009, with no signs of a resurrection.