When we first spied the list of mods on Jim Pan's 2001 Honda S2000, we contemplated whether or not to run it. There wasn't a lot done to the car at first glance. We also contemplated making photographer Henry DeKuyper a piata and beating the "candy" out of him. When we saw the pictures, we couldn't wait to present the car here; DeKuyper is back on double-secret probation as before.
Pan is a long time Turbo & High-Tech Performance reader and even remembers the first issue he ever bought. Our 10th anniversary issue-July 1995, which featured a '91 Honda CRX Si that was motivated by a hybrid turbo set-up controlled by an Accel DFI. The article inspired Pan to buy an '88 CRX Si, which began his never-ending journey into the performance aftermarket. After the CRX came a '92 Talon TSi AWD complete with a 20G turbo and associated goodies. Several timeslips in the 12.20s left him wanting more. However, a mysterious engine fire ended his quest for the 11s.
With the Honda hybrid craze sweeping the import scene, he decided to pick up an EK Civic hatchback as his next project. A B18C was swapped in and the usual bolt-ons were installed. However, the car was simply too slow. Pan sold the EK after finding himself a '93 Competition Yellow Mica RX-7. The FD was fully modified with components from Blitz and dyno'ed in at 333 hp with the factory twin-turbo set-up. Unfortunately, a serious accident totaled the FD and left Pan in the hospital for several days.
The road to recovery took almost two months, which provided him with plenty of time to reflect on life. Pan ultimately decided to shift his attention from drag racing and refocus his passion to the car show scene. That twist of fate brings this story to his current ride-a show-and-go 2001 Honda S2000. At a time when dealers were charging tremendous markups on this hot convertible, he located a dealership in Newton, N.J. willing to charge MSRP. Michael Racano at Sussex Honda was instrumental in helping Pan locate a Spa Yellow Pearl S2000. In January 2001, the car was delivered.
In six months, Pan and Michael Rivera, owner of Ultima Performance, transformed the S2000 from stock to shock. The stock S2000 body already has a very seductive shape. For Pan, it wasn't good enough. He could've installed a complete body kit from any Japanese tuner but that would've been too easy. Instead, he chose pieces from various sources to create a unique look.
The bodylines of his S2000 are complemented with a J's Racing front lip perfectly molded into the factory bumper by Ultimate Autobody. Air Walker side skirts were cleverly integrated along with a Feel's rear deck spoiler. A Fiber Images carbon fiber hood replaced the stock part creating a break from the endless yellow. The body mods are further accented with 19-inch aluminum. Leon Hardiritt three-piece Kloster rims, custom ordered and shipped from Japan, are joined by Toyo Proxes T1-S ultra high performance tires. Up front 19x8s are wrapped with 235/35ZR-19s while the rear flexes 19x9s and 265/30ZR-19s.
The F20C engine found in the S2000 is pretty much maxed out from the factory. Finding power is difficult and Pan's search led him to a MG Racing full carbon-fiber cold-air intake imported from Italy. It draws plentiful amounts of air from underneath the car to maximize airflow into the intake manifold. A Mugen dual titanium exhaust, which is a crazy 25 lbs lighter than stock, expedites exhaust gas flow.
Intake and exhaust improvements are the best first mods for any car; but, where can you go from there? For those in-between applications, nitrous oxide has been a go-to player for years. It doesn't matter if you're talking about a Yugo, an RV or a Lamborghini; if there's enough fuel on hand, nitrous will make power. Pan upped the ante with a 75-hp shot kit from Nitrous Oxide Systems (NOS) installed by JD from TurboNitrousTuning.
With weight savings and style a concern, a carbon-fiber bottle from NOS now rides shotgun in the S2000. An rpm-activated switch ensures engine longevity. The byproduct of any power adder is increased engine heat. A Spoon Sports radiator cap, thermostat and thermo switch, have been employed to keep the engine running cooler. A Spoon Sports carbon/Kevlar spark plug cover and oil cap round out engine bay mods. The carbon/Kevlar plug cover is a major eye catcher-a must-have in our books. Ricky, from Ultima, is credited with all the installation work.
With more power than the factory intended, suspension and braking upgrades became logical areas of focus. A Vision Technica front strut tower brace, Spoon Sports front cross-brace with rear lower brace firm the chassis. Neuspeed springs and a Mugen 31mm front anti-roll bar ensure predictable handling through the twisties.
Improvements to the brake set-up proved more challenging. With little available off the shelf, Pan contacted Brembo USA and Race Technologies for some expert assistance. Per Barry Bonn's recommendation, the resulting set-up consists of Brembo four-piston calipers with 12.9-inch floating two-piece rotors in front, while factory rotors were x-rayed and drilled in a matching pattern for the rear.
The modifications made on this car were clearly executed with a high attention to detail. They're potent as well- potent enough for a 13.40-second timeslip. The beauty of this car is its execution and daily driver status. It's safe to say no one in Lynbrook, N.Y. prays harder for sunny days than Pan.