The Bride seat is one of the ligthest and safest seats on the market conforming to the saf
The S2000 is arguably one of Honda Motor Company’s best ideas yet. The two-seater convertible reintroduced that classic roadster appeal with its front-engine, RWD configuration, and with an emphasis on superior handling and high-revving fun. Not only did it draw the attention of die-hard Honda fans the world over, it created an entirely new following, one of enthusiasts who wrote Honda off long ago, assuming that the company only offered grocery-getter Civics and a far too expensive NSX. Such individuals were surprised to find an affordable sports car when it unveiled in late 1999. Upon its introduction, the majority of new owners strayed from aftermarket upgrades. Some felt that the car was perfect as-is, believing that altering things like suspension and engine components would actually hinder performance. The engine was believed to be “too efficient,” and that it simply “couldn’t benefit from upgrades.” Hogwash. As is the case with most new performance cars, once the rumor dust settles, the fun begins. But it didn’t take long for some S2000 enthusiasts to go completely overboard. Street cars sporting massive wings and wide body kits that flirted with Fast & Furious territory did their best to emulate the race versions they’d seen in the magazines. But J.P. Martinez of San Jose, California, took a different approach. He carefully chose quality parts that he knew would enhance the already sleek look of his car…without overdoing it.
Browsing S2000 prices while surfing the waves of Craigslist in search of parts for his GS-R sedan was a sort of ritual for J.P. He’d always been infatuated with the sporty two-seater, but pricing at the time kept him apart from his true love—that is, until he came across one listing in particular from a local dealership. With a price that was simply “too good to pass up,” he paid a visit to the lot and to the ’00 Silverstone Metallic drop top. After two days of haggling, the price was settled upon, and J.P. drove off a proud owner of his own Honda convertible. Having already owned and modified a few Hondas, J.P.’s head quickly filled with ideas. “My cousin had been a long-time S2K owner and, after talking with him, he referred me to S2ki.com. The forum was great, it taught me so much about my car, and I met a bunch of new people over there,” he says. Perhaps even more important are the forum classifieds that gave him access to undeniable bargains.
In the past, J.P. would begin his builds from the inside out, tackling the interior first; his S2000 was no different. “Being that I have an AP1, I tracked down some of the nicer AP2 interior upgrades to swap out. I liked the look of red and black in the cabin, so I used those colors as the foundation and just ran with it,” J.P. says. With a pair of fireball red Bride bucket seats drawing immediate attention, bits of red and black sneak into every crevice of the car’s interior.
Among the most popular of upgrades for the S2K is the hardtop conversion. Whether OEM or aftermarket, it’s more often than not at the top of most S2000 fans’ wish lists. J.P. went through a bit of turmoil and an interesting chain of events in order to secure his Mugen cap though. He originally found an OEM hardtop online, which he planned on buying. His recently acquired Volk Time Attack rims would fund the piece, which were sold to a friend the night before he was to make the purchase. Everything was set in place until he got a call from the seller stating that the top was no longer up for grabs. Frustrated by the sour deal and the fact that he’d just sold his new wheels, J.P. returned to the keyboard in search of hope. “I was bummed. I couldn’t believe this happened. There was no one selling any hardtops in my area at a reasonable price, so I just decided to venture out and look around the SoCal area—something I never do,” he says. As luck would have it, a fellow forum member had a Mugen hardtop for sale at an incredible price, and J.P. left that night on a six-hour mission down south. “I got there and he even had the guys at High End Performance help me install it. He mentioned he had some extra bars that he didn’t need and he threw those in for free! I was ecstatic; I couldn’t believe how well things worked out,” J.P. says.
J.P. modified his S2000 with a mix of tasteful upgrades that complement the car’s sleek lines. His changes include parts as simple as OEM interior bits yet as complex as a nearly impossible-to-find Garage Defend front bumper. The car is proof that careful planning can lead to a one-of-a-kind build, even if you are on a budget.