If you’re going to buy a Honda S2000 as a project car, presumably as a high-revving fun-machine that you take to the track with regularity (because what other reason could there be to own one?), why not make things interesting by starting with quite possibly the worst example legally registered for road use anywhere *Jeremy Clarkson voice on* “in the woooorld”? Well kids, that’s exactly what Peter and I have done by acquiring this heap, an ’02 AP1 in Suzuka Blue that we’ve affectionately named the ASS2000. Because the interior looks and smells like a homeless hoarder lived in it for a year and the exterior looks like a porcupine wiped its ass with it.
Honestly, pictures just don’t do it justice, but once we shoot an Intro video about it, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a clearer sense that if this isn’t the shittiest S2000 in the world, it’s certainly a contestant. It almost passes the 50-foot test, but any closer than that and you’ll start to notice its many flaws.
For starters, the sad little 16” AP1 alloy wheels look like they’ve been dipped in acid and gnawed on by chihuahuas, and the more observant among you will also notice they’ve been wrapped in mystery winter tires from a company named Barum. Yeah, I haven’t heard of Barum tires, either (Google tells me they’re out of the Czech Republic). Chances are you’re also aware that you shouldn’t be able to see through the front grille from the wheel well, but without wheel wheel liners or an engine undertray this suddenly becomes possible. Oh, and it’s pretty plain to see that the front bumper, from an AP2 (woo! free upgrade!), was originally white given that the blue paint is falling off it. And if you look closely enough, you’ll also spot some rust forming at the back corner of the wheel well. This theme continues in and around the other wheel wells, all of which are missing liners and feature an interesting assortment of nearby dings, scratches, rust spots and other imperfections in the hastily resprayed Suzuka Blue paint.
The soft top is also in pretty atrocious shape, featuring two large tears, one on each side. A typical fiscally-challenged S2000 owner repairs these sorts of tears with some urethane caulking or at least some duct tape, but not our friend. No, he just left them there like battle scars. Or signs of total neglect. Yeah, probably the latter, given the condition the rest of the car is in, as you’ll soon see. Oh, and one of the more entertaining quirks on the exterior is the front driver’s side fender, which squeaks every time you drive over a big bump. Turns out this happens when the main bolt that holds the fender to the chassis near the door is missing. Who knew.
The chassis has just under 90,000 km on the odometer, but the interior has never been cleaned. Or treated with anything other than a hobo-esque distain. Maybe that’s because when our friend imported it from the States as a salvage title wreck (it’d been in a front end collision), his plan was to slap it together on a university student budget so it was a street-legal track toy. Returning it to showroom condition certainly wasn’t in the cards, nor was using the correct colour airbag cover on the passenger side of the dash, apparently.
The carpets are a war zone of filth, and as you can see, have been completely worn thru on the driver’s side. A shop vac and a steam cleaner ain’t gonna fix this mess! We’ll either run the striped out race car look with no carpets, or source some new-ish ones. Keep in mind, though, that dumping a ton of money into a $4500 S2K really doesn’t make a lot of sense (to us, at least), so this project is going to be done on a budget. No knock-off parts or eBay junk, because that stuff breaks at the track and can cost you a lot more in the long-run than buying properly engineering and manufactured parts, but don’t expect to see this car winning any hard-parking trophies as long as we own it. Think of it as a rat-rod S2000 with a go-fast focus.
The shift knob is a wonder. Not only does it appear to have been gnawed on by vampire rodents, it’s been twisted 160-degrees somehow (I tried rotating it back and it wouldn’t budge). The rest of the tunnel console is dirtier than a vagrant’s sleeping bag. There’s grime wedged into every nook and cranny, there’s a layer of coffee goo in the cup holder that’ll need engine degreaser to remove, and that little pocket behind the cup holder is lined by a residue that only a full forensic analysis could identify. I’m guess this entire panel will go in the garbage with the carpet, because the cup holder cover is broken and so is our desire to clean any of this crud.