Recently I attended the Wekfest Texas and the show was a resounding success. Lots of good cars, tons of enthusiastic fans, just a straight up good time all around. As part of Super Street's partnership with Wekfest (which will continue throughout the 2013 season) we as editors pick one car from each show as our personal favorite. Picking one car from Austin to call my "favorite" was not easy, but after careful deliberation I went with the S2000 you see before you, owned by Paul Morgan of Houston, Texas.
Paul's S2 is a lot more to him than just a car; you can tell right away by looking at this thing that he has spent a lot of time to get where he is today. The first item that caught my eye was the classic Super Advans. This is one of the hardest wheels to pull off, and Paul does it beautifully. The three-spoke design has stood the test of time, and although Super Advans are really a love or hate kind of wheel, Paul nailed it as a whole with the rest of the exterior package. Paul has one of the only Top Secret-equipped S2000s in the US, a rare claim indeed. In case you're not familiar with Top Secret Japan, founder Smokey Nagata has been responsible for many famous builds, which are typically painted in their trademark gold shade, most famously the V12 Top Secret Toyota Supra. Paul's S2000 rocks a Top Secret front bumper, GT2 carbon-fiber wing, vented hood and rear diffuser with vortex generators, complimented by J's Racing side skirts and Craft Square mirrors. The overall feel is that of a light-duty track car, one that you could take home on its own without a trailer and that's exactly what Paul does. This car does in fact see track time, and it's also his daily driver.
Paul tells me that since he drives his S2000 daily and has taken many road trips, the choice to respray the car was an easy one. He opted to go with a custom mixed black paint with red metallic flake, something that unfortunately I wasn't able to truly capture in our photo shoot. Since Paul had to drive home to Houston the same night as the Wekfest show in order to make work on Monday, we had to kind of "run and gun" and find a spot to shoot in a city that I'd never been to before—not an easy thing, but actually it worked out pretty well for the car. The S2000 is right at home on the streets of downtown Austin, or any other city for that matter.
"I love the S2000 platform due to [the fact] that it can be used as a commuter, track car or a drop top cruiser," Paul tells me. "My S2k is driven every day and has taken many trips to Miami. People don't understand how I can drive the S on long trips, around town every day and then go to car shows—I just tell them cars are meant to be driven and there is no point building a car if you can't enjoy it everyday."
Even though the S2000 is an extremely fun car straight from the factory, Paul has modified the performance aspects of the car to match the eye catching aero package. The S2 is motivated by a GReddy turbo kit with a custom Kozmic Motorsports tuned ECU, a setup that's good for about 332 horses. For a street driven car, there's really no need for more than that, as it's up about 100 horses from stock and still retains factory reliability. Paul has also installed a set of Skunk2 Stage 2 camshafts (as well as a plethora of supporting modifications), a fairly modest cam which again plays well into the street-driven style of Paul's build.
The suspension department has been upgraded with a set of Challenge Comp Plus coilovers, an array of Cusco bars and Tanabe sway bars, making the S2K a nimble beast indeed. Sticky BFGoodrich KDW tires help further in the handling department yet still remain street friendly for Paul's commute. The interior of Paul's ride has been treated to some nice racing goodies as well, yet as you probably guessed, it's all completely within reason for a true street car. Bride Digo seats hold the passenger and driver in place with a Crow four-point harness in use for Paul. One of the biggest things you notice about the interior is the custom powdercoated Cusco rollcage. Gone is the standard blue color and actually I really like how this cage looks in red. I also really like the "watch your knees" stickers, Paul says they are a one off set though so don't ask where you can get them. Steering is handled by a Personal steering wheel with a Works Bell hub and Teknio quick-release, a nice touch to add a bit more racing flavor. He also installed an ARC Magic down force meter and a GReddy PROFEC boost controller, as well as a nicely upgraded stereo, completing the interior as a nice complete package with dual purposes; function and fun.
Paul and I got to spend a fair amount of time together the night of the shoot, and I have to say that his passion for cars and overall enthusiasm level is off the charts. Paul is a legitimate car maniac, and you can see that by simply looking at his car. Everything important has been addressed, yet nothing is overdone or changed without reason. On one hand it's too bad that we were forced to shoot the car at night because the details aren't that easy to see. The black paint with red flake looks much different in the sun according to Paul and I'm sure he is 100% right. But at the same time, I think it worked out okay because even though time constraints forced us to make do with what we could, the car is in its element on the city streets. Paul will never hesitate to drive a few hours from Houston to Austin, or even a few more to go all the way to Florida. I like seeing a true street-driven car that has all top shelf parts on it—good show Paul for keeping it gangster.
Occupation Sales & Performance Manager
Engine GReddy turbo kit, Type RZ blow-off valve, racing plugs, oil catch can, TI-C 70mm single exhaust, carbon-fiber hood struts; Berk Technology 70mm test pipe; ARC Magic Ti radiator panel, spark plug cover, oil cap, radiator cap; Skunk2 Stage 2 cams; J's Racing valve cover; Buddy Club grounding kit; Spoon radiator mounts, reservoir tank covers; Samco radiator hoses; Unorthodox Racing pulley set; CSF Racing radiator; S2CarbonWorks TI fuel rail cover; Top Speed cross member cover, engine damper
Drivetrain ACT SS clutch; Spoon flywheel
Engine Management Custom Smokey Nagata tuned ECU
Footloose & Chassis Challenge Comp Plus coilovers; Cusco strut tower bars (f/r), front lower member bar, rear cross bar; Tanabe sway bars (f/r)
Brakes S-Project Mu 4 piston forged calipers w/B Force pads & 332mm 2-piece rotor (f), Club Racer rotors (r), stainless brake lines
Wheels & Tires SAdvan Super Advan Version 2 wheels 18x8.5"+45mm (f), 18x9.5"+40mm (r); BFGoodrich KDW tires 235/40R18 (f), 255/35R18 (r)
Exterior Top Secret front bumper, GT2 CF wing, vented carbon-fiber hood, carbon-fiber rear diffuser w/vortex generators; J's Racing side skirts, flat beam LED driving lights; Raybrig rear foglight; Craft Square CF mirrors; Mugen license plate bolts; JDM S2000 badges, clear side markers, red Honda badge; custom black paint with red metallic flake
Interior Bride Digo seats w/super-low rails, custom floor mats; red carpet; Crow 4-point harness; custom powdercoated Cusco 6-point rollcage, CF harness bar; Top Secret shift knob; Axial Flow short shifter; GT Design shift boot; Works Bell hub; Teknio quick-release; Personal steering wheel; JDM navigation bezel; A'PEXi NEO; ARC downforce meter; Spoon convex rearview mirror; GReddy boost gauge, PROFEC B Spec 2 boost controller; Smokey Nagata signed dashboard; Alpine W900 head unit, Type R 6.5 components, Type S 10" subwoofers w/custom fiberglass box, PDX amp
Thank YOU My wife for always supporting the things I love to do and being a part of it, my father, Greg Lilly (Underground Graphics), Jason Langley, The Brad Baker, The Phams, Chris Cool, Baker Body Shop, Baker Tuning, Meguiar's, NOS Energy Drink, Sylvania Automotive, Brian at Mackin, James at More Japan, Quincy at GReddy, Kozmic Motorsports for the tune and my teammates at Team 16 Niss