- Randy Lew finished his 2007 Honda S2000 project car with a Championship White paint job after 14 years.
- Tested on the road course to achieve faster lap times thanks to Öhlins dampers, Swift springs, OS Giken diff, AP Racing brakes, and more.
- Features one of the first Remark EQZ cat-back exhaust systems with single-exit configuration, 2.5-inch T304 stainless steel piping, and three adjustable sound levels. Developed in conjunction with Zero Auto Factory TCR.
Photography by Drew Manley
WON’T BE GETTING ANY CHEAPER
Should you sell your Honda S2000? The answer should be a resounding, “no!” Unlike your shares of GameStop, you don’t want to be in a hurry to offload that S2K of yours. Honda’s celebrated convertible is more than 20 years old now, yet it remains the rear-wheel-drive, two-seater sports car that fans of the brand and driving enthusiasts alike still tout as a dream car. The variety of builds continues to rise as well, with K-swapped and 2JZ-powered track cars not uncommon territory anymore. Last December, Rywire Motorsports Electronics even revealed the first EV-powered S2000 in history using a Tesla drive unit.
It’s easy to marvel at the wilder or high horsepower examples, but there’s also a growing number of collectors and seasoned enthusiasts that want to appreciate the roadster for what it’s worth. The street value of the S2000 has flattened out, and in many cases, is beginning to rise. Once upon a time, you could swipe up a decent S2000 for under $10K, but that window is closing as low-mileage S2000s are selling upwards of $20-30K. Folks that own one aren’t willing to part ways with them anytime soon. Take, for example, Randy Lew and his 2007 model. He’s been enjoying it and slowly modifying it since the day it rolled off the dealer lot. While it might not be in the classifieds or on an auction marketplace today, it’s the prime example of a carefully crafted project car that any S2000 fan would die to own and why these cars are going up in value.
BUILT FROM EXPERIENCE & RELATIONSHIPS
A well-groomed S2000 like Randy’s doesn’t just take time and money but experience as well. While Randy purchased his AP2 in ‘07, it didn’t start taking form until years later, after hours upon hours of research and landing an invaluable position at Evasive Motorsports. There, he would gain experience assisting in wrenching on shop cars and fabricating parts for competitive time attack and SEMA demo vehicles, addressing every aspect of a proper build, including its handling, power, and style.
Randy mentions one of the motivating factors behind his S2000 build’s theme was to create a really nice track car. There’s been an ongoing trend of fast track cars that you wouldn’t dare take a microscope up to as corners are cut, and parts aren’t necessarily quality. The overall goal for most of these builds is function over form. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve witnessed an influx of show cars that look the part, have expensive aero designed for the track, yet never see the light beyond a car show or car meet. If these show queens were taken onto the track, it’ll likely expose flaws and issues as a car’s craftsmanship and build quality aren’t proven until put to the test. Knowing these things, Randy’s goal was simple: stay true to the S2000’s roots in road course prowess while still maintaining an aesthetic that’s pleasing to aficionados of JDM and performance car culture.
GENUINE PARTS FOR A GENUINE CAR
Taking a long look at Randy’s spec list, and you’ll learn a lesson in legitimate parts (all of his!). Every component under the hood and within the chassis is Grade A quality, from the Mugen intake to the Origin Fab radiator, Ignition Project coils, and custom BMR lines and fittings. Randy tuned the high-revving 2.2-liter four-cylinder using Hondata FlashPro while an OS Giken 1.5-way diff and twin-plate clutch ensure power is transferred efficiently to the rear wheels.
With track duties a priority for the car, you can imagine the S2000 would have the best pieces in handling performance, which is why you’ll notice things like Öhlins dampers with custom-rated Swift springs installed. Spoon Sports rigid collars also reduce chassis movement, GReddy sway bars to minimize body roll, and an Origin Fab gusset kit to reinforce the upper control arms.
Stopping duties weren’t taken lightly either with an AP Racing big brake kit, matched with Goodridge lines and Project Mu pads. Randy opted for a square wheel and tire setup for this AP2, mounting 17×9.5-inch Volk Racing TE37 wheels all-around with 255/40R17 Yokohama Advan AD08 tires. Admittedly not the stickiest tire in Yokohama’s lineup but a solid balance of street and track performance just like the rest of the car.
To the untrained eye, Randy’s S2000 could look just lightly modified, and that’s the point. It feels mature and OEM+, not an all-out racecar. The Amuse R1 front bumper and hood are probably the two biggest highlights if you’re a JDM parts whore, and they look and fit incredibly clean. Then there’s a Mugen hardtop, and one-off fender flares designed in-house at Evasive before the car was painted its Championship White tone.
According to Randy, the paint job is his favorite part of the car, and you’re probably asking yourself, why? Isn’t it a stock S2000 white? The S2000 was offered in two white variants, Grand Prix White being the most popular. Championship White is the color you’re more familiar with seeing on Integra and Civic Type Rs; however, its roots pay homage to the RA272 Formula One racecar that’s best known for being the first Japanese car to win in Formula 1. The color, Champ White, is a bit creamier of a white than Grand Prix, and one of those cool things that you’re only going to know if you know.
Randy adds that he painted the entire car himself, which, if you ask 99-percent of project car builders, it’s something most people outsource to a trusted body shop. Trust is something that Randy has difficulty giving to people, especially after dealing with so many friends and customers that have had more than enough body shop horror stories. During stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, he decided to pick up his own paint guns and created a paint booth to shoot it all himself. The result was nothing short of a 10 out of 10.
NEVERENDING PROJECT CAR
Randy also has an FK8 Civic Type R that he’s converted into a dedicated track car, so the S2000 has become more of a weekend cruiser, especially post-paint job. After putting in many solid years at Evasive Motorsports, he’s also moved onto Remark, helping the company market and develop fresh exhausts for the market, including the EQZ-spec cat-back exhaust on his car now. Next on the agenda is a rebuilt F22C engine with Toda ITBs and getting the drive-by-wire to work smoothly. Until then, he’s been able to cherish a lot of memories with this car, from picking it up 14 years ago, implementing all the skills and know-how he had learned over the years at Evasive, learning how to paint, and wrenching on the project next to his dad who passed away two years ago. There’s no doubt he’d be proud of what Randy has accomplished with all the blood, sweat, and tears devoted to his Championship White S2000.
Evasive Motorsports, Daryl Sampson and Kyle Crawford Turn 14 Distribution, Drew Manley, Tuan Hoang and Vu Hoang at Pigment, Brian Yeung at Mackin, Sean at OS Giken, Mario at TSR, Mark at Origin Fab, Leo Wang at Swift Springs, Aaron and Tommy at GT and Spoon, Öhlins USA, Phil Chase at GReddy, Keisuke at HKS USA, Aaron at Sweidit, Dennis at Snap-on, Andy and TK at Remark USA/IP, Edward Liu, and Ken Chitwood.
Randy Lew's 2007 Honda S2000
|Exterior:||Amuse R1 front bumper, Amuse R1 hood, Mugen hardtop, custom wide Downforce fenders, custom 3D-printed front fender extensions, ASM front tow hook, Craftsquare carbon fiber mirrors, S2000 CR clear side markers, NSX Type R emblem|
|Interior:||Recaro RS-GK seats, Nagisa seat rails, Mugen roll bar, Mugen roll bar cover, fire extinguisher with custom mount, OEM UK Honda S2000 floor mats, OEM Honda Type R shift knob, Defi heads up display (HUD), custom Honda steering wheel by Sweidit|
|Engine:||Mugen carbon fiber intake, Origin Fab Raw Titanium intake arm, Origin Fab radiator, SPAL fans, ASM Front Tower Bar, ASM filter stopper, AB Speed catch can, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions fittings and lines, Encore A/C fittings with custom lines, Spoon Sports engine mounts, Spoon Sports radiator stays, Ignition Projects coil packs, custom battery relocation, Remark EQZ cat-back exhaust, custom Championship White paint (by Pigment), OS Giken 1.5-way Differential, OS Giken clutch, Hondata FlashPro|
|Chassis:||Öhlins Road and Track DVF suspension, Swift Springs custom helpers and spring rates, Spoon Sports rigid collars, Origin Fab UCA gusset kit, EVS Tuning half shaft spacers, Greddy x KW Suspension sway bars (front and rear), adjustable endlinks|
|Wheels/Tires:||Evasive-spec Volk Racing TE37 wheels (17x9.5-inch +41 Championship White), Yokohama Advan AD08 tires (255/40/17), EVS Tuning lug nuts|
|Brakes:||AP Racing big brake kit, Goodridge brake lines, Project Mu Club Racer brake pads|