Ernie Rico just can't leave well enough alone. In the two years that he's owned his 2001 S2000, the car has undergone multiple paint jobs, various sets of rims and a series of bolt-ons that quickly became bolt-offs. You could call it indecision. Boredom. Variety. Ask this L.A. local why he puts his S2K through dramatic color changes more often than most people inflate their tires and he'll simply tell you that he gets "tired of the same thing."
Rico's home is on the show circuit, beginning with a '99 Civic he'd fixed up. While displaying the car at a show a few years ago, an interested party offered him more money for the Civic than he could refuse. He thought he knew what he'd buy next-and it wasn't one of Honda's anniversary roadsters. After returning from a "disappointing test drive" in a new 350Z, Rico spotted the S2K out of the corner of his eye. He made his way over to the used-car side of the lot and sealed the deal on the two-seater.
"Everybody is driving 350Zs, but you only see S2000s once in a while," he explains.
Within hours, Rico outfitted the S2 with new rims and rubber. In a matter of weeks he installed a slew of engine and suspension add-ons. Later, Rico had the car painted in the likeness of the famous Spoon Sports S2K and swapped in Spoon's assortment of suspension and engine mods.
Just a few months later, Rico found he could muster up little more than a yawn and sigh with the bold blue-and-yellow paint job. He dropped the car off at nearby PJ Bonifacio Auto Design, where it received a custom three-stage gold paint job. Adding to the exterior's unique style is the Ings +1 body kit. Rico alleges his is the first Ings S2K kit to make its way stateside.
Power mods remain minimal, but still give the S2 enough juice to run a 13.8 quarter-mile. Rico's roadster relies on a naturally aspirated mill, extracting 227-wheel hp from nothing more than a Mugen intake system, Spoon Sports header and exhaust. Six months of what he calls "nonstop work" and $25,000 later, the car became what you see here.
But Rico's not done. He plans to take it apart again when his Powerhouse Amuse GT1 body kit arrives from Japan and claims that he's "sick" of the car's personalized paint job. We argue that he might be sick in the head, but we can't argue with the results thus far.
"Just like you don't eat the same food every day, I can't keep my car the same way forever," he says. Well, we understand. Then again, nobody said he had to try everything on the menu.