Text by Joe Gustafson : Photos by Guy Haynie : Issue 43
What’s your dream car look like? Maybe it’s brand new… perfect off the showroom floor. Maybe it’s a tuner where all your parts fit perfectly right out the box. Maybe it’s a classic ride, perfectly customized with your skill set + your extensive tool set. I used the word ‘perfect’ in each of those examples. But let’s get one thing straight, ‘perfect’ almost never happens. At least not without a brawl.
This car belongs to Andrew Long. He’s a friend of Guy & Wooley’s, and a mechanic for a dealership… so he knows his way around a car. At purchase, the S2000 was bone stock. And then, life hit. He unexpectedly hydroplaned one rainy night on the way home. The car snapped around (as S2000s tend to do) & ended up in a guard rail.
It was a on odd crash. The frame was not damaged, but the hit took out the front/passenger suspension. It also took out the rear bumper & popped out the rear taillight. But strangely, there was no damage to taillight, nor did it scratch either rear 1/4 panel… which is a miracle. BUUUUT – insurance totaled the car anyway, citing that, “The price of OEM parts were too high on the S2000.”
Other things that can total an S2000 these days? Seats being stolen. The top being ripped. Or an accident that damages both front headlights. Usually a car being totaled-out is the end to every project. It’s also the end to a project ‘beginning’, because who wants to start with a totaled car?
Or… or you can evaluate your options, and potentially seize an opportunity. As cars age a little, they are written off for far less than you’d think – minor bumps & scrapes, slight water damage, tiny fires… like really tiny. But seriously, the chances that your dream car is out there for less is higher than ever.
The insurance company gave Andrew 14.5k for the S2000. He did a little further poking around, and was able to buy back his S2000 from the insurance company for 2 grand. Do the math, and see that he got his wrecked S2K back, plus a check for $12,000. Hmmmm. He put in some mechanical work, and had the car driving again for an additional $600 worth of parts. That left him with $11,400 to make her beautiful!
He took the car to a mutual friend, Bucky at Superstar Customs. Superstar did the bodywork & aero additions, fabbed all-metal rear flares, and painted it Vermillion red (BMW). Andrew went through engine & suspension, and treated the car to some new aftermarket parts.
Cut to the the end – and you have a fully custom S2k with a little money to spare! The car may be ‘damaged’ on paper, but it’s no worse for the wear in real life. And that’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s always been the same ol’ story for us enthusiasts… the best results are born from mistakes, regrets, and giant holes that we need to find a way out of. Remember that the next time you find yourself in the thick of a screw-up.
Seibon carbon fiber ‘Mugen style’ hood
ASM front bumper with lip
J’s Racing front fenders
Top1 side diffusers
Custom rear widened all-metal fenders
‘Mugen style’ hardtop (Rockstar Garage)
Seibon carbon deck lid
Seibon GT wing
‘Mugen style’ rear diffuser
Moddiction wing mirrors
Vermillion Red color change
XXR 526 – 18×9 +25 front and 18×10.5 +20 rear
235/40/18 BFG G-force sport front
265/40/18 Michelin pilot sport ps2 rear
StopTech drilled/slotted rotors front & rear
Hawk HPS pads front
EBC yellow pads rear