2001 Honda S2000 - Matt Bishop
As soon as I was able to drive I started looking into getting my hands on something that I could modify and make my own. Fast forward to today, I’ve had many different vehicles in my life to this point but I can honestly say that my 2001 Honda S2000 (AP1) has been my favourite by far!
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2001 Honda S2000
Just a regular old 35-year-old guy with the same childhood dreams! I’ve always had a passion for cars of all different types and wanted to be around them daily in some form or fashion, so of course, I eventually ended up in the car business as a sales manager.
As a kid, I loved watching things go fast (cars, motorcycles, and even Jets!) I quickly gained a love for them, I played countless hours of video games customizing or racing cars. I even used to cut out pictures of my dream cars/trucks and put them all over my room walls! As soon as I was able to drive I started looking into getting my hands on something that I could modify and make my own. Fast forward to today, I’ve had many different vehicles in my life to this point but I can honestly say that my 2001 Honda S2000 (AP1) has been my favourite by far! Cars have been my one constant hobby in life, and I enjoy sharing that same passion with others no matter how different we are individual.
I’ve always loved them ever since I can remember, but I would say the person that had the biggest impact on it would be my step-dad. When I first met him he had a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6 and he drags raced it! I would eventually end up going to the drag strip with him every weekend and would watch him race and work on the car and even help him keep it clean. He of course grew up in the generation of muscle cars (which I also loved), but ultimately I leaned more towards the imports as they were more appealing to me at my age. This was during the era where The Fast and The Furious had first come out, and like most other guys my age, I was immediately hooked!
A couple of years after, I actually got my first cool car (a Red on black 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T) and thought I was Paul Walker! I even bought the car before I really knew how to drive a manual, I told my mom I would “figure it out”…it didn’t take long. I then started going to NOPI car meets and Hot Import Nights car shows and would meet up weekly with friends to cruise up and down the roads and find other local car scenes to be a part of. It’s been embedded into my life since then, and I can’t imagine it is ever-changing.
I’ve always admired the engineering and design behind the S2000. Honda has been the leading legend in import tuner cars since day 1, and the S2K was their swan song in my opinion. I love everything about it from the screaming 9k RPM redline, to the timeless body style, to the simplistic driver-focused design of the interior. It’s definitely been one of my bucket list cars, and I can see why people love them and don’t want to get rid of them, and to be honest I really didn’t want to mess with it too much from stock because in good condition with 10/10 VINs matching, these cars are getting harder and harder to find.
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I’m just not the type of person to drive a bone stock car either. I really like OEM+ builds, I think that’s the cleanest way to build a car and still retain its original characteristics and charm. Although it is tough to hold back from going crazy with mods because as with most Hondas, there are endless aftermarket options and ways you can build them to fit basically any use. My one temptation is to boost it in the future though.
They always say “if you park your car and don’t turn around to check it out as you’re walking away, you bought the wrong car”. That definitely rings true, I’m always proud of my cars but this one is definitely special and I’m still amazed that I was able to get my hands on one. You definitely get lots of looks and compliments from other people, and the S2K community is pretty tight-knit and helpful which is another perk!
A lot of people like to widebody them, or even engine swap them (which is totally fine, I appreciate all builds). But finding a clean and simple S2K that’s tastefully modded these days is rare enough. For starters, I tried to find the perfect set of wheels that I thought looked killer and that I hadn’t seen before on one. I personally think they’re perfect, so much so that I had to wait a whole year to get them! I’ve always thought that the wheels you choose for a car make or break it, so for me, that was very important in standing out.
- K&N FIPK cold air intake
- Ballade Sports TCT
- Revel (Tanabe) Medallion Touring-S catback exhaust
- Berk Technology HFC
- OEM front bumper lip
- OEM rear spoiler
- Art of Attack windshield banner
- Mugen Racing III 350mm steering wheel w/ genuine NSX-R horn button
- Chasing J’s burnt titanium steering wheel bolts
- Works Bell Rapfix quick release and short hub
- Renegade Motorsports burnt titanium countersunk/weighted shift knob
- Zoom engineering CF Monaco rearview mirror
- Honda access S2000 premium floor mats
- Kenwood KDC-X303 head unit
- JL Audio C1-650x 6.5” door speakers
- Advan Racing RZII (staggered) “Hyperblack”
17x8 +45 Front
17x9 +45 Rear
- (Advan Racing lug nuts w/ Muteki SR48 locks)
- Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
- Tein Flex Z coilovers
- EVS tuning front and rear anti-bump steer kits
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I’ve luckily had the help of some great guys that I know to help me with the major mods, one, in particular, is my buddy @ant0ni0_hern. I’m the type of person that wants things done right the first time, so I’m not too proud to have someone I trust to help me get it done right. But I have done most of the work myself, which is fun learning about the car during the process and it definitely makes you feel more proud of it.
Given the current market situation, I’m not sure, but I would definitely love to have a hardtop as well as boost it! I’ve considered everything from ITBs, to supercharged, to turbo. I go back and forth but in the end, I’m sure I’ll end up going turbo at some point. Which in turn will change a lot of things, so likely I’ll be upgrading the rear diff, clutch, retainers, cooling, brakes, hood, etc. As I said, it’s tough not to go down the rabbit hole of mods with these cars!
If you’re considering one, don’t hesitate. BUY IT! Be sure to check and maintain all fluids, S2000s are super reliable but they can be sensitive to the fluid conditions so keep an eye on them and replace them if you’re not sure about them. They have their common issues like any other car (CEL from silly things like the gas cap being too tight/loose, the clutch master cylinder going out, or even the timing chain tensioner). But overall you won’t have any issues, it’s not just any Honda it’s one that the Honda Formula 1 and Moto GP racing teams both helped to create so that should tell you what you need to know. Another cool thing about them is that they have 10 VIN tags on all of the original exterior pieces, so that way you can tell if any of them have ever been replaced.
The Car Scene
The car scene has given me the chance to meet some pretty cool people, and even make friendships that I’ve had for a long time. Not to mention the wealth of knowledge that’s out there within all of the other groups, that’s always helpful when you need some insight on how to tackle things that you can’t seem to figure out yourself. The camaraderie between all car enthusiasts is a genuine breath of fresh air, I love that no matter what you drive people always seem to come together to appreciate what you’ve done and how you choose to build your vision.
There are definitely too many to list here, but I’ll try to name a few. I’ve always been in love with the MKIV Supra and the NSX, FD RX7 is also another bucket list car for me. I also would say a 2005-06 Ford GT, 427 Cobra, or SRT10 Viper would also be on t
What do you think?
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