France is definitely not the first place that comes to mind when you think of modified imports. France is known more for their art, rich history, maybe even cheese, but Japanese automotive builds…not so much. You just don’t expect the French to mess around with Japanese vehicles. Every now and then, however, we are surprised when we find ourselves a tastefully-modded ride by simply connecting with a car owner through social media (Who knew this stuff would work?—JW) —Facebook, for the record. At the end of the day, it really shouldn’t matter where a build comes from.
All the way on the other side of the world from a town known as Villemoisson Sur Orge comes Nicolas Rouillon’s ‘04 Honda S2000. Admittedly, his English is a bit rough so it took quite a bit of time to go over his back story. But his enthusiasm towards his Honda is obvious. He’s created an S2000 that holds with it an undeniable universality—you could place this AP2 anywhere in the world and it would be relevant to that country’s interpretation of the import community. Though he spends his time cruising around in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Nicolas insists that the inspiration for his S2000 comes not only from fellow French S2000 owners but also from S2K owners in America.
“I have been a fan of the S2000 since its inception,” Nicolas explains. “I never thought I would ever own one but it became the car of my dreams. It didn’t even matter if it was modified or not, I just loved how it looked.”
S2000s are very common here but even though they were readily available in France, Nicolas didn’t encounter too many. The S2000s he dreamed of were often relegated to photos on the web or in movies like The Fast and The Furious. It wasn’t until 2007 when he made the decision to purchase one. He chose a ’01 Monte Carlo Blue AP1 and kept it for a year before switching up for a newer Navy Blue AP2 (a color not found on U.S. models). Knowing that there had to be other S2K fanatics like him in France, he began joining various forums. He floated around a couple of discussion boards before calling a forum known as ‘S2000 Passion’ home.
“I was able to meet a number of S2000 owners through that forum. We often exchanged ideas on how to mod and make changes to our cars. Every year, we met up to make an S2000-dedicated cruise through various cities in France. The trips would last about a week and would take us to places like Cannes and Monaco. I had a lot of fun making these trips and met many great friends because of it.”
Even with constant input from his peers, it took Nicolas about three years to get his S2000 to its current stage. He didn’t want to change much at first but the bug eventually bit him. It may not seem like his AP2 was heavily-modded compared to the extensive builds you see here in the States, but for him it was more than enough.
The first thing that made its way off of the car was the OEM exhaust and suspension. In their place sits an HKS Hi-Power exhaust system and TEIN Monoflex set-up.
The most difficult decision was deciding wheels. Nicolas explains; “It took me six months to come up with the perfect wheel for the car. I wanted a five-spoke design with chrome and a really low offset. It also had to be rare in France and a high-quality wheel. The Work Meister S1 fit my criteria but it came down to the sizing of the rim that would make or break the flow of the car.”