19th Nov2018

Cut It Up!: The PowerNeedy S2000

by Michael Chandler

You guys remember Rhett, right?  Had that really cool Integra GSR, ran time trial in NASA Utah with it.  Ringing a bell?  If so: good!  If not: click that link, read it, then get back here.  Anyway, he”s back with a new car!  He sold, or traded, the Integra and now he’s traipsing around in the best Miata ever: an S2000!

Of course it’s making crazy power.  It wouldn’t be his car if it wasn’t.  Hanging off the DocRace manifold is a Turbo by Garrett Gen 2 GTX 3582R (just like what Hert has on the Twerkstallion).  Attached to that is a PowerNeedy downpipe, and oval stainless steel exhaust, that exits right out the center of the rear bumper.  A 45mm Turbosmart Hyper-Gate wastegate and electronic boost solenoid regulate boost, and a set of Injector Dynamics ID2000cc injectors make sure there’s enough fuel for all that air being crammed into the engine.  He then hit it with the Science of Speed catalog.  SoS is represented by a catch can, V Mount intercooler and twin pass radiator, surge tank system, axle spacers, billet twin disc carbon clutch, and flywheel.  Most people would be cool with that, but not Rhett.  Oh no…

NOPE! He also hit the suspension with the SoS catalog a few times! Spherical suspension joints, extended ball joints, and bump steer joints join billet aluminum reservoir clamps and non-compliance toe joints.  Somehow the camber ball joints are from SPC and not SoS, but you can’t win em all.  There’s a Gendron Motorsports sway bar up front, and on all four corners are RZ RS dampers with Eibach springs on them.  Those Eibachs are 1100lb/in in the front, and 1000lb/in in the rear.  Why?  BECAUSE THIS IS NOT A GAME!!!

You may notice that this body work is familiar.  If you’re weeb trash like myself, you’ll know that this is the J’s Racing Type GT widebody in all carbon.  It provides all the street cred one could need, and is actually functional!  I asked him why he went with an off the shelf kit, as opposed to getting buck in the garage.  Here’s what he told me

Make no mistake I really enjoy cutting stuff up and making parts, as I have changed many things on the wide body kit to make it better. Seriously though if something is already manufactured that has been wind tunnel tested and proven why start from scratch? Just because you can make it doesn’t always mean its the best or most cost effective approach. We do this as an after hours shop so making time to work on cars can be very limited. On some things like the J’s Type-GT wide body kit that puts you leaps and bounds ahead of the curve even though we have made many changes to improve its functionality.

And about adding stuff to make it better.  He made and installed hood and fender vents.  There’s that big ass APR GT-1000 swan neck wing that’s attached to the chassis for maximum effect.  That hood vent necessitated the cutting of the Seibon hood, carbon fiber of course.  And the Seibon carbon trunk kind kits around the wing. Oh, and there’s MORE SCIENCE OF SPEED STUFF HERE TOO!  Just some tow hooks, but still.  And the hard top isn’t some super rare, carbon-kevlar piece of magic.  It’s just the OEM one.

The interior is just as much business as the outside is.  Which is to say: nothing but.  Race TechnologyDASH2 Pro dash, CAN and GoPro interfaces, and data logging capture and relate all the information Rhett needs to improve lap times.  He maneuvers the roided up roadster with a 350mm Sparco wheel.  He has another Cobra Evolution seat in this Honda, and a full on fire suppression system.  This si the last of the SoS stuff: a NSX Type S shift knob, AND AN ENTIRE ROLL CAGE.

Because the car is serious business, it runs on serious tires.  Hoosier A7’s to be exact.  He’s got 18×11 and 18×12 Forgestar wheels, and behind those massive rollers are StopTech brakes.  Up front he has the C43 system, and in the rear is the ST22.  Despite the different kits in the front and rear, he’s running one pad compound: the StopTech race compound.

I like the S2000, I really do.  BUT I was curious as to why Rhett went with one, instead of another front wheel drive chassis, or even an NSX. 

The S2000 still to this day has massive amount of aftermarket support, and parts availability. The aftermarket availability for aero, turbo kits, suspension, etc.. is still plentiful and being developed despite the fact the last S2000 was discontinued almost 10 years ago. I will always have a passion for the NSX and the majority of the FWD Hondas. The issue with the NSX are parts are very expensive, as they made very few of them, and the aftermarket availability is very limited. We were pioneers for going fast in a turbo FWD Honda and helped shape some of the current big names direction to get where they are now. I really enjoy problem solving, designing, and creating to overcome a problem, but when we started to make the integra really fast and competitive the parts that were available through manufactures began to fail far to frequently, and being a privateer, it became too expensive to keep the integra on the track.

Fair enough.  This car is amazing, and as is evident in his performance at Super Lap Battle the S2000 is one of the chassis to beat for the RWD classes.  I’m just glad this thing gets on the track, as opposed to be a garage queen/hard parker.

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

Patreon
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
The CAMcast on Apple Podcasts
The CAMcast on Google Play
The CAMcast on Spotify
YouTube
CAMautoSwag

*Article, Photos, Videos, and Audio clips are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
14th Oct2016

2016 TresDuro: Tres Means Three Part 3

by Michael Chandler

Time Trial C

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-292

With a total time of 7:24.302, Max Dufford claimed a big TTC win.  Having to drive three different tracks in one day, including one that nobody has driven on in a couple of years, is a test for anyone.  Max rose to the occasion, and drove his Boxster to the limits set forth by the modifications allowed in the rulebook!

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-69

Taking home a shiny piece of silver neck wear was Rod Kujaczynski. Still rocking a RaceCo decal, but sans cowboy hat, Rod’s total time was an impressive 7:29.662!

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-356

Bringing home the bronze was Joe Evers, with a total time of 7:30.852.  Three medals went to three people who drive German cars.  Coincidence?  I THINK NOT!

Time Trial D

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-298

Trever “with an E” Pope managed a combined time of 7:53.343, not too bad for running around in a more practical Miata.  Trever is one of the many drivers who helps out, and instructs the HPDE drivers.  The young up and comers, or older up and comers, can learn some things from Trever.  He may be alone in TTD, but he’s consistent and he doesn’t get caught up trying to run down someone in a faster class.

Time Trial E

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-215

Piloting his trusty Mazderati, Tyler Nisonger threw down a total time of 7:41.375.  As you can see in this photo, Tyler saves weight by only having one door mirror.  These are the little things that separate the winners from the “also ran” crowd.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-302

Erick Gerday also ran, but wasn’t an “also ran”.  His combined time of 8:02.322, while not stellar, is nothing to sneeze at.  Explore the limits of the rulebook a little bit, and get some more seat time, and Erick should start knocking seconds out of that time.

Time Trial B

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-157

Darin Beaudoin, the goofy fella in the best Miata ever, took home the TTB gold.  How?  NO CLUE!  But I do know he waved at me on one of his out laps.  Did I get a picture of it?  NOPE!  Blame Andy Moench.  He was ahead of Darin on track, and waved at me first.  Quick PSA: If you’re going to wave at a photographer do it on an out lap, a pace lap, or a cool down lap.  Don’t do it when you’re trying to set a flyer, or mid race.  It’s one of those things that’s cool for the two of us, but will be infinitely embarassing if I have to write “and as they waved at me, the accidentally dropped two tires off track, which caused them to spin, which got them stuck in the sand trap”.  Ok, with that out of the way we can move on.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-159

Jan Gerday, running both TT and Spec Z, had a combined time of 7:32.775.  Running six total session in the same car is quite the feat, and it’s validated when you get a medal at the end of the night.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-231

Another Z getting a medal.  The 350Z is a useful tool in a racing situation, if you know how to use it.  And Justin Jones knows how to use it.  His 7:38.607 was six seconds off the pace of the Spec Z driver Jan Gerday, but eight seconds ahead of fourth place finisher David Muskovitz.

Time Trial 3

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-72

James Pasquier was back, after some noticeable absences in the recent past.  The lack of a doctor’s note notwithstanding, James’s combined time of 7:06.328 got him another gold medal to add to the sizable pile.  I assume it’s a pile.  What I’m trying to say is James wins a lot.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-78

In a stunning upset, Mechanic Mike Bratsch beat out Andy Moench!  This after Mike helped Andy fix his car between sessions.  Sponsored by crippling instruments of debt, AMEX credit cards, Mike pounded out a 7:08.188.  You can’t drive fast enough to out run your debts Mike.  You just can’t.  Sounds cryptic, but really is absolutely meaningless.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-306

Andy Moench, with a car fixed by the skilled hands of Mechanic Mike, drove slower than Mechanic Mike.  He did drive all of the sessions, and he wasn’t that much slower than Mike.  His total time was 7:09.727.

Time Trial 2

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-218

Shawn Murphy continued to set records.  He reset his record on the Outer Loop, and took over the East and Full track records.  His car still has a full interior, and he drives it around on the streets.  His total time was 6:37.029.  It was the fastest of the TT drivers.  His car, and how fast it is, hurts my brain.  I don’t understand it, I never will understand it, and I’m ok with that.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-156

Finishing in second place was Jenn Wolthoff in the Makes & Models Porsche 911 GT3.  Her total time was 7:09.621.  I understand that time, and how fast that car is.  There is no witchcraft involved in it.  Just good, clean, wholesome, pure, unadulterated speed.

Time Trial 1

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-228

TT1 had two drivers who drove in all three races AND all three TT sessions.  And they did it in different cars.  David Gilliland hopped out of his Spec Z and into his Viper T/A.  His 6:58.015 was deserving of a gold medal at the barbecue.  I agree with the decision to give him a gold medal.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-222

David Bradshaw was a nother Spec Z driver who was jumping between cars all day.  He would jump out of his Spec Z, get some feedback on his race, then hop into his 996 Cup car for a TT session.  Then out of the Cup car, feedback, into the Z, and race.  His game of musical cars didn’t hurt his times, as he ended up with a 7:03.08.

Time Trial Unlimited

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-219

Mike Kresser got himself a gold medal, after playing musical cars like his Lyfe teammate David Bradshaw.  Mike drove like a man possessed and posted a total time of 6:48.304.  Not too bad for a guy with a bad back and another race car to drive.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-220

Greg Warnock, and his widebody M3, came up just short against Mike’s 997 Cup car.  His total time was 6:58.414.  Again, not bad for someone who was pulling double duty all day.  And if you’re someone who says “I hate flares!”, then you haven’t seen this car turning laps.  It needs those flares to cover the massive slicks it uses to grip the tarmac.  You don’t hate flares, you just hate useless and/or ugly flares.

nasautah2016tresduromichaelchandlercamautomag-221

Rounding out the top three is James “1000% not Jordan” Collier.  Less than two seconds separated him from Greg.  James’s total time in his Viper ACR was 7:00.335.  Notice how a lot of the photos are with the headlights on?  That’s because they got way behind schedule at some point.  So far, in fact, that the final TT session got underway AFTER sunset.  I made the most of it, and got some very cool pictures.  The corner worker at Tooele Turn had a brief, but loud meltdown.  We were all out of our comfort zone, corner worker.  But we survived.

And there it is, at least for TT.  Looking for Thunder and/or Lightning coverage?  I’ve got them in separate posts.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

Off
22nd Jul2016

NASA Utah Round 5: The Melty Way

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-63

It was hot.  Very hot.  So hot, in fact, that some competitors ended up being less than competitive because of it.  Andy Moench’s and Mike Bratsch’s TT3 cars were feeling the heat, as were some of the Spec Z cars.  Greg Warnock’s E92 M3 racecar succumbed to overheating issues, but he just hopped into his Cayman GT4 Clubsport and got some more laps in.  I mean, who doesn’t have a back up race car in this day and age?  Speaking of Greg’s race…

THUNDER

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-37

That’s where we start our coverage.  Surprisingly, it was pretty drama free.  At least from where I was.  We had one GTS3 competitor, and that was Mayor McCheese himself: Blake Troester!

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-96

Byron Smith was back!  Unfortunately for him, Darrell Troester was still there.  He finished a lap up on Byron, and claimed another GTS4 win.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-66

Despite going spin cycle early in the race, Gerry Shear (who gets it) got everything straightened out and took home a GTS5 win.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-61

NASA Utah’s own BFG, Bob Evans, took the Snickers Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup High Downforce Prototype to the top of the podium in ST1.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-95

J.R. Smith, proving that good things can be made better with the addition of an LSx, claimed another ST2 win.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-97

Benevolent Overlord Matt Guiver hopped in the Minion (or banana mobile) and out drove five of the Ford Performance Racing School Mustangs.  Five!  That’s a lot of Mustangs to beat out.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-99

In the Super Unlimited class, Pirate Supreme Les Long threw down some blistering laps and took home the class win.  Could he take home the overall win?

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-60

Well, no.  Makes & Modesl had their Huracan Super Trofeo back on track, and Derek was a man on a mission.  Despite rising temperatures setting off alarms, he managed to claim the GTSU win AND the overall race group win.  Speaking of that white, German/Italian super-weapon…

TIME TRIAL

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-11

Brendon Stewart hopped in the driver’s seat for the TT sessions and threw down a best time of 1:35.580 to take the TTU win.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-15

TT1 saw a few Vipers.  Definitely not a bad thing, especially given the news that FCA will be killing the big snake after 2017.  Topping the podium was one of those snakes, the one driven by David Gilliland.  He slithered around the East course of UMC in 1:41.8.44

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-12

Shawn Murphy wasn’t there that long on Saturday.  He had a wedding to go to.  I suggested someone Facetime him in, but that one didn’t fly.  My brilliant idea didn’t fly, but Shawn did.  And in the crowded combined session to boot.   His best time in his “street car” was 1:40.988.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-13

As mentioned earlier, Andy and Mike’s cars were feeling the effects of the heat.  The heat didn’t seem to be a problem for James Pasquier, and his reliable as the sunrise 993 911.  He set his best time in the last session of the day!  Clearly we should all get 911’s, and be immune from heat.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-94

Darin Beaudoin barely escaped the day with a win in TTB.  He had Stephen Martin hot on his heels.  Stephen posted a best time of 1:47.795, which was so close to Darin’s time.  Darin, in his Honda Miata, posted a 1:47.760.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-93

For those keeping score at home, Porsches have claimed five wins on the day so far.  After this, they will have claimed six.  Max Dufford, in his Boxster, ran a 1:48.977 in TTC.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-9

Todd Green, listed in the #60 which I don’t have a picture of nor even see, took home the win in TTE.  He posted a best time of 1:47.335 in the second TT Storm session.  I don’t have a photo of that car, but I do have a photo of the mythical beast that is L’oreal! I MEAN PAUL MITCHELL!!!  Speaking of things that you could hear about later…

LIGHTNING

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-91

Things got a little spooky, then kinda violent.  Some Spec Miata drivers got too close coming out of Release, and one spun.  Later in the race: a couple of Spec Z drivers got together, sending one into the dirt.  Aside from those events, and another Spec Z losing an engine over the course of the race which left the car stranded at pit in, the race was fairly straightforward.  Let’s start with Spec Miata, where Chris Bond returned!  He took home with win, and managed to stay clear of any sort of shenanigans.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-30

Otto Silva wasn’t the only 944 Spec driver this weekend!  He was still the winner, but he wasn’t alone!

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-90

We haven’t had any open wheel races this season, which has meant that the usual drivers have been doing other things to occupy their time.  Apparently one of those “other things” for Troy Duffin is getting a hold of a Datsun 510 racer.  He brought it out this weekend, and took home the win in PTE.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-38

Here we see the GTS2, PTB, and Thunder Roadster winners, all at once!  Tom Rogers got himself a win in GTS2, Nathan Rohner in his RX7 (which was originally built as an autocross car) got another PTB win, and JD Stull took the win in Thunder Roadster.  This was JD’s first race, and it was great seeing him out in competition.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-44

We had one, lone GTS1 competitor: Steve Burns.  He and Chris Bond had a solid battle all race, which was great to watch.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 5 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-92

And in Spec Z, we had the #42 DXDT car, driven by David Askew, atop the podium.

PHEW!  What a day!  On to some miscellaneous stuff:

  • Todd Green usually dominates PTE, except this race.  Why?  Because he had a dead battery.  He got a push start, but ended up being two laps down.  Wouldn’t know it by the way he drove.
  • The Spec Z that lost an engine was the #46 DXDT car, driven by James Burke.  It was smoking on every downshift from what I heard from some of the other drivers
  • It was Kyle Schick who wound up in the dirt.  Can’t quite remember who hit him though, but I do have footage of the contact!
  • I ran around and slapped some CAM stickers on to some competitors cars.  If you’d like one, shoot me an email and have some space on the passenger side of your car clear.
  • For those of you who want to purchase photos: go to here

And that is that!  We’ll be back for Round 6, and the 6 Hour Enduro on August 6.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
18th May2016

Where They Stand: Time Trial Standings

by Michael Chandler

 

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

Now it’s time to take a look at the Time Trial standings.  There aren’t nearly as many classes in TT, but there are plenty of close battles.  Like TTE!  Paul Mitchell, the most fabulous Miata of them all, sits atop the class with Tyler Nisonger 40 points behind.  How is this going to shake out?  Well, back in third is Ben Lamberson.  He’s 70 points down, but definitely not out.  It’s a long season, and that’s not an insurmountable gap.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

Trevor Pope is sitting atop TTD, riding high on three straight wins.

NASA Utah2016  Round 1 Saturday Winners Michael Chandler CAMautoMag  -5

TTC didn’t have a single competitor last weekend, so Tom Rogers is still leading the group.

NASA Utah TTB Points Leader Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

New Miata owner, and fella with a jaunty last name, Darin Beaudoin is sitting atop TTB, with Adam Hurdman 100 point behind him in second place.

NASA Utah TT3 Points Leader Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

 

One of the BRZ/FRS drivers to step up to TT3 was Andy Moench, and he finds himself in first place.  Another driver who made the jump is Mike Bratsch, who currently sits in second place.

NASA Utah 2016 Round 2 TT Winners CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

Shawn Murphy and his “street car” are 45 points ahead of the Makes & Models 911 GT3.  The 911 is tied with the Pink Ribbon Racing BRZ, which is getting some fresh new rubber.  Shawn is throwing on some new sideskirts and fender flares for the next round, so this weekend is going to be interesting.

352A1254 (Medium)

David Gilliland and his bright orange Viper are leading the way in TT1.  Nice to see that bright, menacing thing running around and winning.

Rainbow (Medium)

At the end of the rainbow is an Italian/German race car driven by a collection of talent that used to drive a German race car.  That would be Makes & Models and their shiny new Huracan ST.  They have a 20 point lead over Wade Hall in TTU.  If you were to take in to account the wins Makes & Models scored when they took their old R8 LMS out for Round 1, they’d have a 220 point lead over Wade.  Regardless, Makes & Models is still learning the car while Wade is sharpening his driving skills.  This one could get interesting.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

22nd Mar2016

The Big Bad Wolf

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Thorne Big Bad Wolf CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-7

The first NASA Utah event saw a hot shoe pro driver show up.  The driver was Robert Thorne, who was last seen driving for K-Pax Racing in Pirelli World Challenge.  Unfortunately we missed the K-Pax team last year when the series stopped in Utah, and hopefully they’ll be back this year with their McLarens.  Since we missed him last year, we got some photos of him and his machine this year.  Well, not so much of him, but of his machine at least: his boosted Honda S2000.  How do we know that it’s boosted?

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Thorne Big Bad Wolf CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

He’s either all about on track air conditioning, or that’s an intercooler designed to handle some serious boost.

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Thorne Big Bad Wolf CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

The car has massive tires on all four corners.  315’s tend to poke out *just* a hair.

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Thorne Big Bad Wolf CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-6 NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Thorne Big Bad Wolf CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

Big, sticky tires and copious amounts of boost require a bit of assistance to be useful, so there’s a massive rear wing and splitter.  And the headlights are pretty sweet too.

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Thorne Big Bad Wolf CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-8 NASA Utah2016 Round 1 Thorne Big Bad Wolf CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-9

The interior received some minor upgrades.  Nothing crazy, just some Racetech Seats, a set of harnesses, a new shift knob (heh), and a MOMO steering wheel.  Marvel at it’s awesomeness!  And marvel at this!

GALLERY TIME:

 

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

14th Mar2016

“Pro Am”

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah2016 Round 1 teasers Pro Am Michael Chandler CAMautoMag -1

One of these cars is driven by a guy who has driven a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 for K-Pax Racing, and the other is being driven by a guy who set an Evo on fire.  Guess who’s driving which.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
10th Mar2016

2 Days

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2015 Round 6 Sunday Michael Chandler Photography-34

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
17th Feb2016

Wheel Wednesday

by Michael Chandler
Nathan S2000 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

Enkei PF01

Since it’s Wednesday, and society at large has decided that each day has a title with the same first letter as the day (Transformation Tuesday, Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday), each Wednesday is now Wheel Wednesday.  So let’s look at a nice set of wheels.  Today we’re looking at the Enkei PF01’s that Nate had on his S2000.

Nathan S2000 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-15

Nathan S2000 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

Nathan S2000 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-17

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
13th Nov2015

A Superb Roadster

by Michael Chandler

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

I’ve said it many times before: the Honda S2000 is the best Miata ever made.  It has near perfect weight distribution, has an amazing engine and gearbox combination, and (to me at least) looks much better.  It never got the stigma of being a “hairdresser’s car”, but it never really changed much over the course of its ten year life.  And Honda axed it in 2009, and left rear wheel drive behind them.  Thankfully, S2000s are rather widely available, and there is a huge aftermarket for these cars.  Jonathon Esmeyer’s S2000 is an excellent example of a well done street car, that’s inching closer to becoming a track day terror.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2 Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8 Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-9

 

The car has an OEM+ look to it.  While there are plenty of options as far as widebodies, flares, and monstrous wings, Jon went far more subtle.  A Greddy Gracer front lip and a Speedhunter’s tow strap are the only changes made to the front of the car.  An OEM hardtop and decklid spoiler are the other big noticeable modifications to the exterior, or at least the ones you notice at first glance.  It’s when you look closer that you notice the little details, like the smoked S2000 CR side markers, shorty antennae, and badges redone in black chrome.  Getting closer makes the carbon fiber single exhaust cover and ForbiddenUSA carbon side strakes readily apparent.  These little details add up to that OEM+ look.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-10

Lowering spring can do wonders for making an S2000 more ground bound, but coilovers are the way to go for the burgeoning track day hero.  Since Jon plans on taking this thing to more NASA HPDE events, he went with the ubiquitous KW Variant 3 coilovers.  To help stiffen the chassis further than it already is, a Cusco front lower cross brace and a Comptech rear lower tie bar have been installed.  And to eliminate the vibrations coming from the driveline because the car has been lowered, a set of Megan Racing driveshaft spacers were added, along with Megan’s anti bump steer kit.  eXedium differential collars help minimize the amount of flex in the OE differential bushings.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

Stoptech slotted rotors are gripped by Axxis pads on all four corners, with brake fluid delivered to the calipers via Agency Power lines.  A good set of wheels and tires can do wonders for any vehicle, and this roadster is no exception.  Desmond Regamasters aren’t a foreign sight on a Honda, and the Marquis Promada Brights look amazing with the Silverstone Metallic paint of the car.  The wheels measure 17×8 +35 in front, and 17×9 +38 in the rear, and are covered in Hankook Ventus V12 tires, 225 width in the front and 245 width in the rear.  Don’t focus too much on the tires, stickier meat is on the way!  All of that is held on KICS Leggdura lug nuts.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-19

How do you make an incredible engine better?  Some would say “leave it alone”, but the rest of us would say “add more power”.  And that can only mean one thing: forced induction.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-16

A Science of Speed supercharger kit, based around a Paxton Novi centrifugal supercharger, was chosen to up the power.  The heat exchanger upgrade box was checked when the kit was ordered, and one of their ported throttle bodies made its way into the box as well.  A Comptech Ice Box was modified to work with the supercharger setup, but the Berk header, high flow cat, and HKS exhaust didn’t require any modification.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-11

 

A Mishimoto radiator with slim fans help keep the boosted mill cool, while a plastic intake manifold gasket help keep intake temperatures cool.  A PasswordJDM Kevlar cooling plate makes sure that radiator gets all the air it needs.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-21Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-20

 

The interior has the same OEM+ feel that the exterior has.  A MemoryFab Kevlar bucket seat on Buddy Club seat rails replace the factory red seat.  Yeah, red seats.  They’re pretty bad ass.  The optional titanium shift knob one could get from the factory has been replaced with an Aspec titanium knob (heh), and the shifter has been extended with a Moddiction shift knob extender.  The interior is dripping with Go-Tuning suede products: elbow pad, A-pillars, sun visors, shift boot and e-brake cover.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

Jon doesn’t have any concrete plans for the car, aside from more track days and driving the car whenever he can.  He has no plans on making it a trailer queen, so be prepared to see this thing prowling the streets and cruising to the track for years to come.

Supercharged S2000 feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-18

 

Mazda’s Miata is entering its 4th generation, having been in production for 26 years.  Honda’s roadster was only built for ten years, 1999-2009, and lasted two generations.  In those ten years though, it rivaled Mazda’s grip on the roadster game, and may have even surpassed it.  It represents a time when Honda was building fun, rear wheel drive cars alongside their front wheel drive selections.  As we bring Honda Week to a close, I can’t think of a better car to close the curtain.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
26th Jan2015

Old Man Yellow

by Michael Chandler

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

In this era of instant gratification, where some measure their worth in the amounts of likes, shares, favorites and retweets, taking time and doing things right is lost.  A lot of people’s “builds” are nothing more than installing coilovers or airbags, and new wheels.  It seems that people have forgotten that the more time you put into something the better it can be.  This 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 300 two door post sedan received a frame off restoration, something that takes year to accomplish in its own right.  Daniel Chillinski, the owner, has taken ten years to bring the car to this point.  It was worth the time.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-20

Daniel bought this car when he was 18, from the original owner.  A little old lady who only drove it to church on Sundays, and to the store once a week.  Or something like that, because the math says the Chevelle did less than 5000 miles per year in its forty-seven year life span.  The car was still packing the 230 cubic inch straight six engine, and three speed transmission with a column shifter.  Most of the original things have changed about this car, except the color.  According to Daniel “the color was going to be much more radical burnt orange, and gunmetal grey but after so many years I couldn’t part with the original Butternut yellow.”  That Butternut yellow was dubbed “Old Man Yellow” by a friend of his who was in town, on leave from the Navy, was refreshed by Nocturnal Performance.  They also threw the color on the custom hood that’s sporting an L88 style hood scoop.  All the emblems were taken to Unknown Coatings to be powdercoated in black chrome.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

In his decade of ownership, Daniel has made quite a few changes to this retiree.  The Johnson-era suspension is long gone, replaced by more modern equipment.  Up front he installed a set of Hotchkis tubular upper control arms and lowering springs.  To settle the motion of the front end there’s a set of QA-1 twelve way adjustable shocks, and to help keep it planted there’s a PST sway bar.  All the old suspension bushings have replaced with pieces sourced from PST as well.  Hauling this Nimitz-class carrier to a halt are BAER two piston calipers clamping onto 13.5″ rotors.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-21

The rear has also seen its fair share of upgrades.  It too has BAER brakes, just smaller: single piston calipers on 11.5″ rotors. There are more Hotchkis control arms in the back (upper and lower), but just like the front they’re tubular.  It’s lowered on Hotchkis lowering springs, and stiffened up by a Hotchkis rear sway bar.  The main attraction is the rear end: a Moser twelve bolt piece, with 3.55 gears and Positrac to boot.  Why does this classic need such a beefy rear end?

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-9

Because it has 489 cubic inches of America under the hood!  The 489 (that’s 8 liters to those playing the modern version of the home game) started life as an equally massive 427 cubic inch (7 liter) tall deck big block, but then was bored .030″ over and stroked half an inch to come to the massive displacement it currently sits.  Seeing as how this whole build took ten years, you can be assured he didn’t just drop a big block in the cavernous engine bay and call it a day.  He did things to it.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-11 Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-13

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-10

Things like put a big Howe Racing aluminum radiator in the nose, which he had covered with cardboard (the radiator, not the nose) because it was so cold on the day we shot.  Sanderson shorty headers mate to a Pypes three inch exhaust, and an MSD 6AL box and plug wires help get the ignition boogying.  Hanging off the front of the motor are some Billet Specialties V-Belt accessories. And then there’s the stuff on top of the massive motor…

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-12

This artsy* photo has the Dart Pro 1 heads and intake manifold in it, along with the Barry Grant Mighty Demon 850 CFM carburetor.  This whole set up provides for a lot of forward propulsion.  Propulsion that the old three on the tree couldn’t handle… Probably.  In place of the three speed is a beefy Tremec TKO 600 five speed gear box, with a floor shifter.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-15

A Husrt shifter at that!  We’ve seen some cool shift knobs in our history here at CAM, and this one is right up there.  But that’s not the coolest thing about the interior.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-14

“During the initial build of the car when I started dating my wife I actually told here that the car was more important than her and she ended up sewing the interior for the car.”  She did a killer job.  That is the seat she sewed up in black leatherette with orange inserts, and she did not pull a Marge Simpson and knit some seatbelts.  Daniel grabbed a set of Corbeau four point harnesses.  He also has an Art Morrison four point roll cage in there for that extra little bit of protection.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-17

The dashboard received the custom touch.  A set of Autometer Cobalt gauges relay important information to Daniel.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-18

On the day we were shooting he didn’t need to keep cool, but on days he does there’s a Vintage Air air conditioning system to blow conditioned air throughout the cabin.  Below the “I can’t believe that’s not an OEM a/c control panel” sits a Pioneer DEH-800PRS head unit, an upgrade from the old AM radio.  It sends signals and sounds to an MB Quart Q Series amp and mono amp, and 6.5″ component speakers.  There’s also a trio of RE Audio 8″ subwoofers in individual ported boxes.

Old Man Yellow Chevelle 300 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4

This car took ten years.  In those ten years Daniel dated a girl who became his wife, graduated college, and moved a couple of times.  During the restoration, which he did in his two car garage, the car took up more space in their house than they did: doors were in the office, drive shaft was in the guest bedroom, etc.  His wife really got to see his passion for cars, and is seeing it again.  He’s building a four door Integra for the LeMons race at Miller Motorsports Park coming up in October.  But that’s not his only Honda project.

S2000 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag

Daniel used to daily drive an Integra LS, which is a fun little car in its own right.  But then it his 210,000 miles, and that’s a lot of miles.  He needed something different, and up popped this AP1 S2000.  He picked it up in November of 2013 and it’s been pretty mild since, only receiving a K&N FIPK intake and JDP carbon fiber duck tail spoiler.  This level of modification shall not last, as he plans install a set of KW Variant 2 coilovers, and more aggressive wheels and tires.

S2000 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

It has taken ten years to transform the Old Man Yellow Chevelle from lightly driven, straight six powered cruiser into a 489 powered boulevard bruiser.  Could he have thrown in a 350 and called it a day years ago?  Definitely, but it wouldn’t be as impressive as it is today.  This Chevelle, and the S2000 down the road, rolls as a testament to taking time to get the ultimate build: one that will stand the test of time, and THAT is the ultimate gratification.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

*Not terribly artsy, but it’s still pretty cool

 

 

Off
Pages:12»