This is one S2000 you can touge the wind­ing Whang­amoas in Nel­son, then park up at a rep­utable event the next day and take home tro­phies

NZ Performance Car - - 1999 Honda S2000( Ap1) - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: RENE VER­MEER

There are a ton of peo­ple who have been in­flu­enced by the lat­est stance move­ment, and have built their rides to sit static in a park­ing lot or show hall. For most this is enough, they’ve ac­cepted their car park­bound fate and forgotten about power. But Sam Ruddlesden built his 1999 Honda S2000 to be ca­pa­ble of much more.

For Sam, this story started when he was 15 years old, when he saw his first Honda S2000 and knew he had to one day own one. Fast for­ward to 2012, and he was the proud owner of a Nis­san Sil­via S14, which saw him tear­ing up Nel­son — and his well-earned dollar bills. “In 2012, af­ter get­ting sick of my S14 break­ing ev­ery time I drove it, I thought it was time to move on — I wanted a newer, more re­li­able car.” Sam con­tin­ued, “I was look­ing for a Mazda MPS, but I ended up find­ing a clean, 100-per-cent fac­tory S2000 in Auck­land. I had to buy it.” The drive back from Auck­land sim­ply blew Sam away, the power and han­dling were phe­nom­e­nal. It was safe to say he was in love. Af­ter a few months of driv­ing the S2000, push­ing it to its lim­its and find­ing its weak points, Sam found him­self check­ing the in­ter­net for up­grades, and perv­ing at stanced-out S2000s.

“I wanted to build the clean­est S2000 I could, some­thing that could be com­fort­able and re­li­able, and have the abil­ity to drive it to a show and it look as though it be­longed there,” Sam told us. Dead set on his goals, he or­dered a set of BC BR se­ries coilovers and a set of 17x8.5-inch and 17x9.5-inch Advanti Ten­jins shod with su­per-grippy Nitto NT0’s. Things were on a roll, and the more­ag­gres­sive front lip and rear boot lip were in­stalled, along with the power-gain­ing CT En­gi­neer­ing icebox and in­take kit. Af­ter he’d set the coilovers up at his place of work, Tyre­world, it was ev­i­dent they didn’t go as low as he would have liked, so en­gi­neer and good friend Tom Tyson was called in to mod­ify them so they would go much lower.

Af­ter a hard night beat­ing on the S2000 around his lo­cal touge, Sam man­aged to burn and melt the paint on the guards due to the tooth­pick-sized wheel-to-guard clear­ance. Un­for­tu­nately, this all hap­pened a cou­ple of weeks be­fore the 2013 V 4&Ro­tary South Is­land Champs, and time was run­ning out, as Sam wanted to com­pete in the show. To prep the car for the event, a set of 18x9.5-inch and 18x10.5-inch Varrstoen ES1 were pur­chased, but this proved to be a very bad de­ci­sion, as the 10.5-inch rears made an even big­ger mess of the rear guard dur­ing test fit­ting. Now a week out, Sam sent the S2000 off to the paint shop to get all four guards re­paired with the Varrstoens still in­stalled. A stag­ger­ing seven de­grees of cam­ber and some very stretched tyres were needed to get them tucked up un­der the guard. The S2000 was painted just in time for the champs, and lucky too, as Sam took home Best Honda.

Af­ter a hard night beat­ing on the S2000 around his lo­cal touge, Sam man­aged to burn and melt the paint on the guards with the Advanti Ten­jins due to the tooth­pick-sized wheel-to-guard clear­ance

Some­thing Sam missed af­ter own­ing a tur­boed car was the abun­dance of torque, and as Hon­das aren’t es­pe­cially known for their torque, he wanted to ad­dress this is­sue. Af­ter a lot of re­search on­line and talk­ing to a few guys in New Zealand that have gone tur­bocharged, the de­ci­sion was made to su­per­charge the S2000’s F20C en­gine in or­der to get that low-down grunt he was miss­ing. CT En­gi­neer­ing had a very com­pre­hen­sive, off-the-shelf bolt-on kit that suited Sam’s needs. In­cluded was a cen­trifu­gal su­per­charger, an icebox af­ter­cooler, in-tank fuel pump and fuel pres­sure reg­u­la­tor, hoses, drive belts, a car­bon-fi­bre lid, and the ACM con­trol unit and wiring har­ness. The kit nets a solid 230– 240kW at the fly­wheel, ac­cord­ing to CT En­gi­neer­ing. “I prob­a­bly could have tur­boed it for less and made more power, but it’s dif­fer­ent.” Sam ex­plained. Fol­low­ing a solid week­end work­force, Sam and the crew had the su­per­charger kit in­stalled af­ter they had a few is­sues with the fu­elling, as the kit was de­signed for a left-hand-drive model S2000. The sup­plied pig­gy­back ECU was also binned in favour of a Hal­tech stand-alone, which was then tuned by NDT De­vel­op­ments, and made 228kW at the fly­wheel on 5psi of boost — bang on what the kit was ad­ver­tised to make.

Just re­cently Sam de­cided to com­pete once again at the V 4&Ro­tary South Is­land Champs. He took it up a notch this year, and pur­chased some must-have S2000 parts, the J’s Rac­ing– style rear dif­fuser and side dif­fusers. The Varrstoens were sold and the old Advanti Ten­jins were pow­der-coated gloss white by the New Gate Com­pany in Nel­son, and fit­ted up to com­plete the new look. This year Sam man­aged to take out Best En­gine Bay, which just goes to show the amount of time and ef­fort put in by many to get the en­gine bay look­ing this unique and clean.

There are sev­eral more things planned for this se­ri­ously staunch S2000, but for now Sam is en­joy­ing tak­ing this Honda out into the moun­tains and toy­ing with cars field­ing twice the power — ex­actly what it was built for.

There are sev­eral more things planned for this se­ri­ously staunch S2000, but for now Sam is en­joy­ing tak­ing this Honda out into the moun­tains and toy­ing with cars field­ing twice the power — ex­actly what it was built for.

You can see why the big­ger Varrstoen wheels made a meal out of the guards, re­quir­ing them to be re­painted two weeks be­fore the V 4&Ro­tary Na­tion­als South Is­land Champs 2013. Now with the smaller — but still wide — 17x8.5inch front and 17x9.5-inch rear Advanti Ten­jins re­in­stalled, the guards are safer from abuse, even with the thicker-walled Nitto Semi slicks

Although the com­pres­sor hous­ing on the CT En­gi­neer­ing su­per­charger looks on the large side, only 5psi of boost is needed to pro­duce the 228kW at the fly­wheel with pump fuel. Be­ing a cen­trifu­gal de­sign, the su­per­charger al­lows the F20C en­gine to re­tain its

fac­tory high-revving char­ac­ter­is­tics, just with a buck­et­load more go on tap

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