We knew we'd hit the jackpot when we learned all those many months ago that the magazine's art director would be Ti Tong, not because he's exceedingly talented, which he is, but because homie drives a 2001 S2000. A staffer for a Honda mag who drives the company's premiere roadster our imagination went into overdrive with all the project potentials.
Of course, very little has been done to his car since he assumed the reins as AD for HT, mostly because at any given time we have a dozen or so other projects going on and the last thing we want to do is start another one. In a sense we were looking for the right opportunity, and that opportunity presented itself recently when the folks who run Zigzag Asia, importers and distributors of Power House Amuse here in the states, started talking to us about putting together a vehicle for the 2004 International Auto Salon in Los Angeles. It didn't take long before we swiped the keys from Tito and started making calls for parts to shape up his convertible into a show rig.
Among the products that Amuse provided, and hopes to distribute in the U.S. market one day, is a set of street coil-overs made by Bilstein. The combined reputations of both Amuse and Bilstein was enough to put our minds at ease about the quality of the suspension parts; the only thing left to do was nail down an equally worthy shop to perform the work, which we found in Orsportz. The Chatsworth, Calif., shop came heavily recommended, primarily because the garage's partners, Orly Alcalde and Miguel Garcia, have spent the better part of the last 15 years working almost exclusively on the Honda/Acura marques.
So with all the pieces in place, we drove the S2 up to the San Fernando Valley to have Alcalde and Garcia tinker away on its underside. The job took them about an hour, although without a lift you can expect to spend about twice as much time on the task.