We all work hard in some capacity. How hard we work, however, is really up for interpretation-training for a marathon, taking an extra job to make ends meet or sweating it out in the final level of Call of Duty 4. But we can all agree that a serious tuning project is no easy task, inevitably requiring a good dose of sweat equity. From the planning stage to setting budgets to all the labor and everything in between, one thing is clear: you better expect some serious hurt and hustle.
Nic Chow, from Calgary, Alberta, is one of these guys who claim to go over and above on his projects. Sure, who doesn't? But a quick look at this featured silver '01 S2000, his claims of countless hours and sleepless nights are obvious. This goes for his last two projects as well: a stunning '92 Prelude turbo and a white JDM Integra Type-R.
Though having a good group of friends to help with labor and establishing some decent hookups working at one of the top shops in the region, SpeedTech Racing Development, may have eased the pain. It is Nic's persistence to build only the best car he possibly can, without any compromise if he can help it, that declares all this extra effort-working another shift to pay for the better seats, or hanging back on the weekend if this means a few extra bucks for those perfect wheels. It's this tenacity and hustle that allows Nic to raise the bar with each project he reveals, keeping the masses in suspense for "the next one."
After selling his '92 Prelude, Nic was after a newer Honda model with healthy aftermarket support. He explains, "But the thing was, I would have to gather enough funds to purchase the car and modify it to how I wanted it to be. On a very tight budget, I purchased my S2000 for a good deal from a friend, which really helped." The focus was to build a great track car doubling as a daily driven demo vehicle for Nic's own enjoyment.
Working closely with Ben Leung from AJ Racing in Vancouver, British Columbia, this AP1 was headed for JDM bliss, including an engine bay crammed with J's Racing and T1R goods. Using reputable brands, coupled with Ben's help, everything fit perfectly without any real challenges. "The F20c responds great even to minor modifications," Nic explains. "I looked to J's Racing again using the titanium 60RS exhaust system matched with T1R test pipe. The backpressure was relieved, but adding a T1R header, J's Racing intake and throttle body, I noticed better mid- to high-end powerband and much better throttle response as well." To better handle the new power-adders, an Exedy clutch was installed with a Rick's rear gearset for a preferred gear ratio.
Suspension and overall handling, Nic feels, are the most critical parts in building his vehicles. This explains why he went through three sets of wheels before settling on a size and model he liked: Volk Racing CE28N wrapped in Falken FK-452 245/45/17. In addition, having just ordered the new J's Racing wide fenders, he needed to run a wider wheel/tire with a lower offset, thus, settling with Volk Racing.
"I opted to go with a non-stagger because this offered a more balanced setup with the S2000, opposed to the conventional stagger setup," Nic says. "Along with that, the Seidoya brake pads matched to Spoon calipers and J's Racing brake lines and rotors offered a great braking setup, which was very important to me." T1R comprised the vital suspension components including a front cross strut tower bar, driveshaft spacers, and both front and rear anti-bumpsteer kits. He says, "The anti-bumpsteer allowed me to be more comfortable with the car, not having it pull and jerk along uneven surfaces when riding at such low ride height." A few other parts include a Spoon front X-brace, a Spoon rear lower arm bar and J's Racing slotted rotors.
The aforementioned J's Racing fenders not only accommodate the wider wheel setup, but serve an aerodynamic function as well. In fact, Nic chose the J's Racing Type-S Aero System because he learned it provides optimal aerodynamics having been tested on the company's JGTC vehicle. "If their demo vehicle uses this aero for JGTC, it would work great for my track use and look great for daily driving too," he says. The Mugen hardtop also offers sleeker airflow opposed to the OEM soft top, while the J's Racing GT wing provides greater downforce while minimizing unwanted oversteer.
Undoubtedly, with all these styling parts combined, Nic can feel the difference in driveability. But more so, he believes he can now truly appreciate and understand why manufacturers make these parts and the impact they really make. Other exterior fittings include '00 spec JDM OEM headlamps and J's Racing Type-S carbon canards up front; JDM OEM sidemarkers on the sides; and a J's Racing Type-V carbon-fiber hood up top.
The interior is kept simple while retaining the racing theme. The Bride seats are chosen for more aggressive track use, coupled with an aesthetic appeal for the streets. These include both a Bride Gias that uses the Low Max system, and the popular Bride Ergo 2. A Bride RO seatbase, MO seatbase and seat slider round things out. The cockpit also sees a T1R Bmax titanium shift knob, a JDM AP1 cluster, and a Zoom carbon-Kevlar rearview mirror.
In-car electronics are also kept simple with just the essentials. Including MB Quart components, a Compustar alarm, a Sirius satellite radio paired to a Pioneer/Premier head unit and a T1R LED interior lamp.
There you have it, the tale of a young man who has worked his nuts off, building an exceptional S2K. In turn, providing you, the reader, with inspiration to go out and work just as hard. Whether this entails getting off your ass and mowing the lawn, cutting your hair and getting a real job or investing that extra effort into your car that yearns and deserves so much more. The lesson is simple: Hard work will always pay off. You just can't stop the hustle.
Specs & Details
'00 AP1 (S2K) STRD
J's Racing Tsuchinoko intake system, Type S carbon duct, 60RS titanium after-cat, SPL valve cover, oil cap, SPL 66mm throttle body, differential plug; T1R ignition bridge, power header, test pipe, voltage stabilizer; Tabata TR236 dual core radiator, 1.3 rad cap, thermo switch; Spoon wire cover, reservoir covers, SEP radiator hose, drain bolts; Alex cooling plate; Motul 300v, transmission fluid, differential fluid; Ricks final gear; Exedy organic clutch
Bride Gias Low Max, Ergo 2, RO seatbase, seat slider, MO seatbase; T1R Bmax titanium shift knob; JDM AP1 cluster; Zoom carbon-Kevlar rearview mirror
Volk Racing CE28N (17x9J)+35et all around; Falken FK-452 245/45/17; Work extended lug nut; T1R Bmax damper, anti-bumpsteer kit (f/r), cross strut tower bar (f), racing driveshaft spacers; Spoon X-brace (f), lower arm bar (r); J's Racing slotted rotors, stainless brake lines; Spoon 4-pot monoblock calipers; Seido-ya brake pads race compound; Motul brake fluid
MB quart components; Compustar alarm; Sirius satellite radio; Pioneer Premier head unit; T1R LED interior lamp
J's Racing Type-Saero system, Type-S carbon canard, Type-V CFRP hood, carbon 3D-GT wing, overfenders (f/r); Mugen FRP hardtop; JDM OEM headlamps ('00 spec), OEM sidemarker