2003 Honda S2000 – Import Tuner Magazine

13 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2003 Honda S2000 – Import Tuner Magazine
Honda S2000

Rami Qasem’s S2000 has had its ups and downs, but the results were worth the experience.

Rami Qasem of Baton Rouge, LA, was chillin’ at home one day when a friend rolled up to his house in an S2000 he had just purchased and told him excitedly that he had to take the car for a spin. Initially, Rami didn’t share his friend’s enthusiasm and looked down at the Honda roadster skeptically. Why?

Well, Rami is 6 feet tall and 250 pounds, so it’s easy to understand why this car, or even this type of car, hadn’t crossed his mind as one to own and fix up. Previously, he owned a ’98 Mazda 626 and a couple of ’94 Honda Civic coupes-two entirely different types of vehicles when compared to the snug, rear-wheel-drive convertible S2000. Nonetheless, he accepted his friend’s offer and got in the vehicle and drove it. That one drive changed everything.

The S2000 didn’t seem practical at all for me but once I sat in it, it hugged me, and I drove it around, and immediately fell in love. He decided right then and there that he had to have one and immediately began looking. In just two short weeks Rami found an S2000 for a great deal and although the car had its fair share of flaws, decided to make the purchase.

Now that the car was in his possession, Rami could begin to modify the vehicle to his liking. The thing was, he wasn’t 100 percent sure what route to take with it. That was, until he laid eyes on one S2000 in particular. My true inspiration came from an S2000 in Georgia most know as Leng’s AP2.

The clean paintjob, slammed stance, aggressively sized Work Meister wheels, and J’s Racing rear diffuser all played a role in making that car stand out to Rami, but one aspect of the build really resonated with him. The fitment of it is what really took over me, and I was quickly steered toward the ‘hellaflush’ route. I know, I know, some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now and I get it, believe me. That whole style of modifying cars isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure.

And Rami knows that. The thing is, he likes it and it’s his car, so it really doesn’t matter whether you or I care for it. Although not for everybody, it’s what I like and enjoy.

I love the effort and workmanship you have to put into it as far as achieving that fitment and look that you want, Rami says. I think we can all respect that perspective.

Honda S2000

Rami decided in the very beginning that he was going to build the car as a head-turning daily driver. All I was trying to achieve was a very clean daily driver-not a drag car or a track car, just a cruiser that I could enjoy riding with the top down, going about my business. First was to find a set of wheels that would achieve the type of fitment that Rami had become so attracted to.

The first set that he went with were limited edition matte black Enkei NT03+M wheels from Touge Factory sized 18×9.5 +27 all the way around. Trying to fit these was a pain especially because no one in Louisiana we knew was into the fitment scene. So Rami turned to the web. After reading various forums, he went with a set of 225/40-18 Falken Ziex tires to mount on the wheels.

The next problem was finding a shop in the area willing to stretch and mount tires of that size onto his wheels. Rami ended up being referred to Sumo Dinh of SuWorks Auto who solved that problem quickly and easily. Putting the wheels on the car, Rami then realized that they poked out from the body of the car way too much, so he set out to get an alignment to get the wheels and tires to fit the body of the car.

Once again, finding a business willing to do that type of alignment proved to be an obstacle; a majority of alignment facilities refuse to do this type of work. But Rami was referred to Chad Jackson, who took care of the alignment and made the necessary negative camber settings. With these newfound resources at his disposal, Rami felt comfortable switching to different wheel setups, which he eventually did, putting his car on an awesome set of SSR Professor SP1s wheels.

The car was now ready to roll and that’s exactly what Rami did, attending various meets and events and just cruising the car around. But one event in particular stood out, and for Rami, brought about the next phase of his build.

It was the summer of 2010, and Rami had driven to Nashville for the ever-popular Import Alliance event. It didn’t take long before the vehicles at the event had an effect on him. This event made me realize I needed to step my game up tremendously. Everything out there was executed so nicely and I was able to see many builds that intrigued me. Rami decided that as soon as he got home some modifications would occur.

If the event and the cars within weren’t enough to get him going, the 10-hour commute that he and his friends had to get back to their hometown from the event would be. Apparently, a friend of his leading the caravan ran into and kicked up all kinds of debris, resulting in Rami’s OEM AP2 front bumper and lip being completely ripped off. It wasn’t a big deal to Rami, though.

Since I already had my mind set on going to a whole new level this was just more of an excuse, I guess you could say, he says.

Clearly experiencing his fair share of problems during the course of the build, Rami has continued to keep his positive, optimistic perspective. All I know is that this car has been through a bunch of ups and downs and has brought me along with it.

I can tell you that we have had way more ups though, and I have enjoyed everything that we have been through thus far. With that attitude, I’m sure that no matter what happens, Rami will continue to modify cars and be a part of the ever-growing, multifaceted import tuner culture.

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Honda S2000
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