Like a tortured artist, the vision never leaves your head. Once you can see with your mind's eye what your ideal project car build might look like, it's hard for most enthusiasts to shake that image, to wipe your memory banks clear of it. We know the story all too well at Super Street; heck, we may even be enablers of it. It's why stories like the one behind Trung Nguyen's Voltex aero-endowed 2004 Honda S2000 resonate with us and so many others.
For Trung, it all started in high school. The present-day family man and Sales Manager at Edmonton BMW in Alberta can remember a time as a teen when his love for the iconic Honda roadster sparked. Apart from the platform's inherent beauty, he was also drawn in by the car's exclusivity, as very few were allocated to the Canadian market. It took a bit of time before he was in a position to embark on that adolescent's dream-car project, but eventually a grown-up Trung found himself in place where he could start, and so step one was picking up a theft-recovered bare shell from a local auction.
The Call of the Road Course
The initial aim after getting the AP2 up and running was to create a dedicated track car, and to do that Trung first went with a J's Racing version 2 full aero system with Type 2 rear wing and ASM rear overfenders. For added grip, the S2k was set up on AST 4150 coilovers and non-staggered 17-inch Volk Racing CE28 wheels shod in Nitto NT01 rubber, while stopping was upgraded with a Spoon Sports big brake kit and the cabin made racy with Recaro RS-G ASM seats and an NSX-R steering wheel.
Shoutout To My People
As the S2000 evolved, two key players emerged to help Trung accomplish his goals. In 2011, Honda Tuning published a feature about fellow Canuck Nick Chow's 2000 AP1, a car that coincidentally happened to be an inspiration for Trung. The two ended up meeting through the S2KI forums while Trung was on the parts hunt, and over time a great friendship developed, with Nick providing a wealth of modifications guidance—especially in the aero department—for this build.
Jesse White and Speedtech Racing Development were also heroes in this S2000's story. Speedtech aided in sorting out the next stage of the project, which included installing an HKS GT supercharger setup from Evasive Motorsports (thanks to Nick) and host of Radium products—fuel rail, surge tank, catch cans—under the hood. Around this time Speedtech also outfitted the roadster with Spoon coilovers sourced from AJ-Racing, and when it came time to calibrate the newly boosted F22 mill, tuner Kenny Sampson was able to extract an impressive 376 horsepower from the rears using Hondata KPro engine management.
Two sets of rims replaced the CE28s, 18-inch TE37SLs on Hoosier R6 DOT-legal radials for circuit work and 18-inch Advan GTs on Yokohama AD08 R tires for cruisin'. Trung also upgraded the brakes to Endless big calipers and rotors in front and the J's Racing oversized rear rotor setup. A J's Racing rear overfender upgrade, Mugen MS-R seats, and a 1600mm version of Voltex's Type 7 rear wing rounded out phase two of the build.
Voltex Stage Unlocked
If you take a close look at the canard on the passenger side of the front bumper, you will see a gold kanji squiggle left on the laminated carbon fiber. That autograph in Sharpie is none other than Akihiro Nakajima's, the president and chief designer for aero masters Voltex Racing in Japan. For the third stage of the build, and again with help from Nick to source the parts from Evasive, Trung's AP2 was outfitted in the entire Voltex kit and more, including race bumper, sides, rear diffuser, front and rear fender flares, and a 1700mm Type 7 wing. So impressed was Nakajima-san with the build that he left his mark on the car during their encounter as it sat in the Voltex booth at the 2018 Driven Car Show.
Nick also sent Trung to Evasive for the vented EVS Tuning front fenders, and Trung further massaged the S2k's outsides with a K1Lab carbon trunk lid spoiler and a set of TE37 Sagas for the track. Sport Car Coach Works executed the complete color change from black to Grey Black out of the color palette for the 997 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, while cabin work came from Trademark Auto House and includes installing a Stack gauge cluster in the dash, carbon door panels from EVS, and a carbon center console from Renegade Motorsports.
If the end result of this AP2 project seems a little dark and menacing, it's by design; if you couldn't tell from Trung's rear license plate, he's a fan of Star Wars and thinks all the colors of the car work toward creating a sinister impression, a little like one famous SW bad guy. And he's not done modifying, either. He's recently switched bonnets for a Shift Sports carbon model and swapped side mirrors for the EVS Tuning ones. Building your dream Honda S2000 might start off as one singular vision a long time ago, but it doesn't mean it has to stay that way.