Oct 29, 2013

A year of decisions, one month of ownership, and nine thousand revolutions per minute. | Part I

After just over one month of ownership I thought I'd share my initial impressions of this engineering marvel as well as the winding road that has lead me to this car. 

This year 2013, heck the past 4 years have been quite the roller coaster ride for me. In 2008 I seized the  opportunity of a lifetime and moved out on my own and into New England. The subsequent years have been full of the same big life changing/time consuming events. 

I got married to my lovely and supportive wife, bought a house, then gutted and completely renovated said house with our own two hands. I've been extremely blessed to say the least however unfortunately it has caused me to put the project car "builds" on the back burner. Not that I have been driving a stock 98 Camry over these last years, but they have still left me wanting something more... I wanted a true project build, like the 98 Civic hatchback that I had in past years. I wanted a blank canvas to create my own vision, using my knowledge and skills.

During the time I made the move to New England I was driving a very sensible yet fun 2008 Honda Fit. It was a great daily driver complete with great gas mileage, spirited handling and enough interior space to transport an entire apartments worth of furniture home from Ikea. While the Fit sported coilovers wheels, and a few bolt ons to make the car just that little bit better, it remained mostly stock.

A year or two, and a couple of raises later, a casual afternoon chat with Evan (EasyE) in the shop resulted me trading the Fit in for a 2008 Mugen Civic Si. In my opinion it is one of the best cars Honda Motor Company of America has ever sold. Many would disagree but I would put it in the same group as the DC2R and S2000 CR. 

It is the perfect 'all in one' automobile for the owner who can only afford or park just one car. It is comfortable and safe enough for everyday commutes, has four doors to take the whole family or friends to the beach on the weekend as well as the power and lateral grip to make a potent and enjoyable car on the racetrack a few times a year.

I had owned the Mugen longer than any other car previously. Coincidently it was also the most untouched car I've owned. Part of this was the desire to keep the car 'pure' and true to its original design, but it was mostly due to the lack of free time, funds, energy to put into it. Anyone who has planned a wedding or renovated a house I'm sure can share these sentiments. Much like the fit I did add my own touches to the car in the form of slight geometry changes, wider tires on stock Mugen wheels, bolt ons, and a fresh SHG flashpro tune to 'hold me over' for the time being.

This brings us to the past winter, after finally feeling a bit settled in the new home I felt I was finally ready to make the move into starting a real project. Something I could build with no compromises for practicality. Something built specifically for fun and the enjoyment of driving both on the street and track. 

After many hours of research and debate which consisted of choices like building the Mugen into a track focused car, turning the wifes Fit into a K-swapped time attack car, reliving the old EK hatch days or perhaps venturing into the world of RWD with the S2000, I found out a friend of a friend was selling his 1997 US spec ITR. One thing led to another and I found the ITR sitting in my garage, the Mugen was sold, and I was now dailying my wife's Fit. I thought this is it, my project can begin!

Unfortunately days turned into weeks, weeks into a month, a month into five and the ITR sat untouched. While the whole build was planned and budgeted in excel spreadsheets, life got in the way and I just did not have the time motivation or work space to give the car it deserved. I made the tough decision to move on and sell the ITR for the option #2 from the winter time. This was the Honda S2000. This was a car that was more capable and complete from the get go. It was still a blank slate with almost unlimited potential, but it could be enjoyed as it was upgraded slowly instead of one large full scale build. Luckily for me after quite a few test drives I found this minty fresh 2001 Silverstone Metallic S2000, fitted with all the extra OEM aero options and only 88,000 miles on the clock.

After one just one month, I can safely say this was a fantastic decision and I am thoroughly enjoying the car in all of its OEM goodness. Top down cruising needed some getting used to but I am now hooked. Its a shame the future requires a hardtop, but I am already have visions of a second s2000 for summer top down cruising :angel: