Matt chose a classic black and white theme for his AP1 build.
Matt Tucker of Fayetteville, Tennessee, is no stranger to notoriety within the automotive community. After building a stunning Civic Type R that was featured in this very magazine in November of ’09, then making changes that would take that same car to a different level and being named one of “The 10 Best Honda Builds of 2011” by the wildly popular Chronicles website, he should be pretty used to it by now. It’s clear that Matt has an affinity toward a certain type of Honda chassis. In fact, he’s owned a ’93, ’97, ’98, ’99, and ’00 Civic hatchback, all in addition to his extraordinarily well-known ’00 yellow CTR. But as time progressed, so did Matt, and he decided the time had come to try his hand at something brand-new.
Staying with the Honda brand that he loves, Matt looked to Honda’s thrill-seeking roadster—the beautiful S2000. It took little deliberation to decide this was the car he was going to get. An RWD convertible would provide an entirely different driving experience than any of the previous cars that Matt had built. With the search soon underway, it wasn’t too long before a certain online ad caught his attention. A Grand Prix ’01 model fit the criteria of what he was looking for, and although the car was located in another state altogether, he wasted no time setting things in motion. Not willing to risk the car being sold out from under him, he immediately called the number in the ad, spoke to the owner, and came to a verbal agreement to go and see the car the very next day. It just so happened that this occurred on October 31st. Most people celebrate Halloween by going out and partying with their friends, but not Matt and his boys. They jumped in their car and made the eight-hour journey to Mississippi where the vehicle was located. As soon as he saw it, Matt solidified his decision that the car was precisely what he was looking for. “It was in great shape and just what I wanted. After a test drive and a little paperwork exchanging, I was on my way home with my new project!”
The same zealousness that led to the long drive and quick purchase of the car did not wane once Matt arrived home. “As soon as I got back, I started tracking down parts for it right away.” The basics are where most people begin, and Matt was no different. He purchased a set of fairly aggressive Enkei RPF1s in a 17x9 +45 offset for the front and 17x9.5 +38 offset for the rear. He coupled those with some TEIN springs to get the ride hide to a respectable level. A crisp, white S2000 dropped on a popular set of lightweight wheels would be a dream come true for many, but it was enough to hold off the urge for only so long with Matt. “I loved the look but needed more,” he states. Looking to update the vehicle, he started with the body, sourcing an AP2 front bumper and lip, as well as the coveted hardtop. He then addressed the suspension by switching from basic springs to coilovers. After just a bit of time, Matt ran across a deal he simply couldn’t resist on the set of Work Meister S1s that you see before you. The 18x8.5 +38 for the front, 18x9.5 +33 rear Japanese rolling stock yielded the “perfect fitment” in Matt’s eyes. With the wheels for the build finalized, he turned his focus back to the vehicle’s exterior and purchased some subtle aero enhancements. Downforce diffusers accent each side of the chassis while a Seibon Mugen-style carbon hood and OE-style carbon trunk take up the front and rear. Finally, a Chaser Aero Mugen-style carbon hardtop is the cherry on top, so to speak.
The F20C engine that powers an AP1 S2000 is nothing to scoff at. Designed to produce an extraordinary amount of power relative to its displacement, this amazing 2.0L is well known for its strength from the point of VTEC engagement all the way to its sky-high 9,000-rpm redline. Matt had every intention of enhancing the performance of his new purchase, and when he heard a friend was selling an S2000-specific GReddy turbo kit for a great price, he jumped on the deal. The T518Z-10cm2 GReddy turbo that comes with the kit won’t break any horsepower numbers, but it spools quickly and efficiently, producing excellent torque numbers—a perfect complement for the street-driven F20C powerplant.
Two things are very clear about Matt: He loves his Hondas and knows exactly how to put them together. It seems that it’ll only be a matter of time before the world sees a new build from him. Given the number of Civic hatchbacks that he’s owned and the success that he’s had with one of them in particular, it stands to reason that he would build yet another. Or would he? When prodded, Matt states that he may in fact build another S2000. Given what we’ve seen from him in the past, we’re confident that whatever chassis he decides on will be something special. Well Matt, we’re waiting…
Bolts & Washers
The factory F20 sees mild boost levels thanks to a street-legal GReddy bolt-on turbo kit.
GReddy T518Z-10cm2 turbo
GReddy cast-iron manifold
GReddy Airinx intake and filter
GReddy blow-off valve
GReddy 28 intercooler
Competition Clutch Stage 4 clutch
Fidanza 8lb flywheel
Walbro 255 fuel pump
RC 550 injectors
Megan Racing Track coilovers
Beaks lower tie-bar
Hawk brake pads
Goodridge stainless steel braided brake lines
ATE Super Blue brake fluid
Wheels And Tires
Work Meister S1, 18x8.5 +38 front, 18x9.5 +33 rear
Falken 225/40-18 front, 235/40-18 rear
AP2 front bumper
AP2 front lip
Rick’s headlight diffusers
Seibon Mugen-style carbon-fiber hood
Seibon OEM-style carbon-fiber trunk
Chaser Aero Mugen-style carbon-fiber hardtop
Downforce side diffusers
S2000 CR side markers
Bride VIOS III seats
’02 S2000 red interior
Safety 21 rollcage
Titanium shift knob
GReddy e-MANAGE Ultimate
GReddy turbo timer
Auto Meter gauges
Alpine 9886 head unit
Alpine 6.5 door speakers
Dornon Photography, Mike @ Track.One, Static X Motorsports, Omid, Pato, Tony, Casey, Ethan, Jess, Mark, Jesse, Mom, Dad, Sister
My own shop
1985 Chevrolet Step van
Inspiration For This build
JDM road race cars
Possibly another S2000
The Mighty Marvel That Is The Honda F20C
It would be a gross understatement to say Honda achieved something awesome with the creation of the F20C engine that powered the first-generation S2000. A marvel of automotive engineering that produced 123.5hp per liter, it served as the highest power output of any mass-production naturally aspirated piston engine in a car priced under $100,000. It held the crown for many years and was finally dethroned in 2010 by the Ferrari 458 Italia, whose engine produced 124.5hp per liter, beating out the Honda powerplant by 1 horsepower per liter. By the way, the base price for the Ferrari supercar was around $275,000 at the time of its release, whereas the F20C-powered S2000’s suggested retail price at the time of release to the North American market was around $30,000. In ’00 and ’01, the F20C was on Ward’s 10 Best Engines list—an annual list of the “best” automobile engines available to the U.S. market. Additionally, for five years in a row from ’00 to ’04, in the “1.8 to 2 liter” size category, the F20C garnered accolades in the International Engine of the Year—an annual competition for automotive industry internal-combustion engines. The judges for that competition are automobile journalists from all over the world. Pretty damn impressive, right?
GReddy Performance Products
18410 Bandilier Circle
1114 N. Armando St.
13649 Valley Boulevard