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2002 Honda S2000 - Outsourced

What do you do when your employers give you the boot? Build a boosted S2000, of course!

Joey Lee
Jun 21, 2011
Photographer: Chris Dornon

In the last couple of years, it’s become very apparent that our country has been gravely affected by the struggling economy. The dollar has depreciated and companies are slashing jobs on a regular basis, causing the unemployment rate to climb. Things are not good, and that’s putting the situation in the nicest of terms. Within the import automotive community, these struggles are affecting us as enthusiasts. Building and modifying Hondas (and other makes) is a hobby after all, and if there’s no money coming in, then the less important things, like a beloved build, take a back seat to more pressing issues, like keeping a roof over our heads and whether or not we have food on our table. Enthusiasts are still churning out great builds, but there’s no doubt they’re taking longer than usual to reach their completed state. You can, of course, factor in the tendency to be indecisive and the now-more-than-ever competitive nature of the community that no doubt adds to the build time. But money, or lack thereof, is most certainly a major player in all of this. There are still those that just throw caution to the wind and put everything on their credit cards, but like actual dollar bills, they will eventually run out as well. The almighty debt and minimum balance payment will undoubtedly weigh heavy on a builder’s mind. Creditors will then come knocking on the door and all projects will have to be put on hold, or in a worst case scenario, sold off for much needed cash.

Htup 1107 01+2002 honda s2k+cover Photo 2/10   |   2002 Honda S2000 - Outsourced

There’s nothing wrong with using a credit card to fund a build, and we’re not here to judge. We are merely bringing to light the fact that the economy is hurting right now and relying on that pesky plastic can sometimes come back to bite you. With that said, there are people out there who have faced these adverse times and made due with what they have—and then there are guys like Blake Minton, who built a turbocharged, widebody, mean-green S2000 at the worst possible time.

“I was laid off in 2003 after working 11 years in the R&D department of a local textile factory,” Blake says. “Thanks to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), my job was outsourced to China and I was left without employment. At that point I had been modifying Hondas for about nine years and was in the middle of a ’02 Civic Si build. I took the free time to attend a local community college to learn a new trade and chose to try my hand at autobody repair. Long story short, I really loved doing the work but I just couldn’t see myself having a career in that field. During my time in school, I met a guy I became great friends with, and he ended up being a huge part of my S2000 build.”

Htup 1107 05+2002 honda s2k+rear view Photo 6/10   |   2002 Honda S2000 - Outsourced

It would take another four years of work and school before Minton was able to purchase his dream car: an ’02 Honda S2000. He sold his beloved EP3 he had been building and quickly dove into his new roadster. “I added some parts here and there just to make it ‘my’ car. I never really had any intentions to make the car any more than a daily driver. I would attend some meets with friends, but it was definitely no show car. My friends and I decided to attend a local event by the beach, and people were starting to notice my car more and asked me questions about it, which really motivated me,” Blake explains.

Minton had come to the conclusion that he wanted to extract more power from his stock F20C engine, and boost was his power-adder of choice. Unfortunately, his home state of North Carolina had adopted strict OBD-II inspection laws around that same time, which limited his turbo kit options greatly. The GReddy bolt-on kit seemed to be the likely option since it was CARB approved, and Minton placed a call to Vivid Racing to order one. “After the kit arrived, I called Tommy Faw, an old buddy of mine from my textile factory days, and he helped me install the turbo kit. He had become an ASE-certified technician after his days at the factory, so he knew his way around an engine. It was also around that time when I ran into another old friend, Tyrell Francis. Francis was taking autobody repair classes at the same community college I was at, and he eventually started his own business. He offered to give me shop space and autobody expertise so that I could completely redo my S2000. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. If it weren’t for these two, there’s really no telling where this build would be right now.”

Htup 1107 06+2002 honda s2k+engine Photo 7/10   |   A 50-state-legal GReddy turbo kit remains within the strict emissions law, while still injecting almost 100 whp over the stock motor.

With friends willing to lend a hand and plenty of shop space to use, Blake began collecting parts to give his AP1 a complete makeover. Once parts from APR, Back Yard Special, Seibon, and Shine arrived, Minton and friends started the teardown. Over 200 man-hours were spent on prep work, fitting the new aero components, and molding the ASM rear over-fenders before a new coat of Honda CR-V Green Tea Metallic was applied. The Shine front fenders and ASM rear flares add an additional 25mm all the way around, so the sunken-in Rota wheels were quickly replaced with more aggressive, concave, 18-inch Enkei rolling stock. The look is as aggressive as it is subtle. An unorthodox combination that wows those in the know, and scoots right by bystanders, who merely note its silver wheels and strange whoosh sound.

“This S2000 was and continues to be a true labor of love for not only me, but for my crew and my family,” Blake says. “I had some setbacks along the way, but I think those tough times helped make me stronger and made me appreciate the simple things that much more. I built my dream car, met some great people; what more could a guy ask for?”

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
GReddy T518Z-2 turbocharger
GReddy large-runner, cast exhaust manifold
GReddy Type 28 V-Spec front-mount intercooler
GReddy Airinx air intake kit
GReddy RS blow-off valve
GReddy aluminum turbo and intake piping
GReddy downpipe adapter
Custom 3-inch exhaust piping with OEM mufflers
T1R 70mm test pipe
GReddy oil filter relocation kit
GReddy 550cc fuel injectors
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
Custom BRMS oil/overflow catch can
Vented valve cover
Competition Clutch Stage 3 clutch
Competition Clutch 11-lb flywheel
Power
296 whp / 212 lb-ft
Stance
Function & Form Type 2 coilovers
J’s Racing front shock tower bar
Resistance
Motul DOT 4 brake fluid
Wheels & Tires
Enkei NT03-M 18x9.5 +40 front, 18x10.5 +30 rear
Cooper Zeon ZTP 225/40-18 front, 245/40-18 rear
Exterior
Green Tea Metallic paint
APR front bumper
Seibon J’s-style carbon-fiber hood (two-toned with Green Tea Metallic)
Back Yard Special rear spoiler
C-Wings Mugen-style fiberglass hardtop
Molded ASM 25mm rear over-fenders
Shine rear bumper over-fender extensions molded to OEM rear bumper
Shine 25mm ASM-style front fenders
Shaved antenna hole and badges
Interior
eBay shift knob
Science of Speed gauge pod
Electronics
GReddy E-Manage Ultimate
ProSport boost gauge
ProSport wide-band air/fuel gauge
Props
Tyrell Francis of Francis Motors
My wife Monica and my dad Warner
My crew “The Wilkesboro Crew”
Tommy Faw of Tony Marion’s Garage
Urban Filth
Dirty South Detail
Wrong Fitment Crew
Chris Dornon

Owner Specs

Favorite Website
S2Ki.com
Screen Name Or Nickname
Stewie69
Building Hondas For How Long
Since 1994
Your Dream Car
S2000
Build Inspiration
Just for the love of it
Current Stable
’99 Honda Civic Coupe, ’05 Acura TSX
What’s Playing In Your iPod/CD/MP3 Player Right Now
Eminem
Greatest Movie Of All Time
Fight Club

Beer, Man
You’re probably curious as to what Blake Minton does for a living now since he was laid off from his job at a textile factory years ago, and the autobody repair career didn’t quite pan out. Well, he eventually did find employment and is happily working for Miller Brewing Company. He serves as a Miller pre-salesman; whose duties involve creating and managing accounts for businesses like bars and restaurants. His daily duties (to put it simply) consist of making sure his business accounts are always supplied with ample amounts of Miller beer. Yeah, it’s absolutely unrelated to his jobs in the past, but life has a way of making people adapt very quickly to new things. You’d be surprised by what people are willing to do to have an S2000 like Blake’s.

Connect

GReddy Performance
www.greddy.com
Enkei
www.enkei.com
Seibon
www.seiboncarbon.com
APR
www.aprperformance.com

Sources

GReddy Performance Products
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
Enkei USA
Columbus, IL 47201
812-373-7000
http://www.enkei.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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