Mayday Garage | Back in Action: Richie Ngo’s Track/Street Honda S2000.

Back in Action: Richie Ngo’s Track/Street Honda S2000.

Stance is dead.

No doubt if you and some buddies get together, it’s pretty normal to do one of a few things- talk about cars, talk about women, or talk about more cars. A very controversial subject that is now coming up while talking with booze in one hand is the state of stance. When I was talking to a colleague of mine recently, he boldly declared, “stance is dead.” Now I’m not going to be stirring any pots here by talking about what most people think HellaFlush/Stance is, but I want to clarify what exactly “Stance” means to me. In my opinion, “stance” is not about how a car looks in correlation with its tire/wheel fitment, or even how low the car sits on the pavement. It’s about “presence”, or how a car makes you feel by taking one glance at it. I often use the term presence to describe a car that I’m attracted to. We’ve all felt this presence in one way or another, Darth Vader felt this when Luke Skywalker walked onto a spaceship, I’ve felt this presence when I looked directly into the eyes of a raging bull. I have the urine stains to prove it.

When Mikey was telling me about his buddy Richie Ngo’s Honda S2000 I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical because, for one, it was in The Woodlands, and two, it was a Honda, which typically meant that it would be somewhat understated. My stereotypes were put to rest when I finally laid eyes on the beauty that you see before you. The first thought that came to mind after seeing the front of the car barely hovering over the cobblestones it was providing shade for was how the car gave off a track like presence as dictated by its stance. You didn’t have to be Darth Vader to realize that this car’s presence was from the dark side, but in a good way.

When I first looked at Richie’s AP2, it was a little over six months ago at a restaurant where he and Mikey had worked at in The Woodlands, which is about thirty-five miles north of downtown Houston. It was a rare occasion that Richie had brought the S out for me to look at it as it had been sitting in his garage in this exact state for over two years collecting dust. With a new job and different priorities, the S2000 took a backseat to the more important things that were going on in life, but that didn’t mean he was going to sell it, no sir. Richie instead, opted to keep his beloved Honda exactly like what you see now despite being enamored with the idea of parting it out and recouping some of his money that was poured into the FR sports car. He said that this car took a major part in his life and he couldn’t bear the thought of selling it or parting it out, so he made due and kept the car.

When I had been bugging Mikey to ask Richie to bring us the S2000 for us to do a photoshoot a few weeks later after initially seeing the car, Richie had informed Mikey that the car was in pieces as he was trying to fix a few problems with the car here and there. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months until Mikey promised me that he would get the car running and presentable in a matter of a few days. I called his bluff, and sure enough, Mikey, armed with a set of tools and a six pack of beer spent a few days at Richie’s place turning the wrenches and dusting off the literal cobwebs off of the wheels and gave the car a much needed wash. They both spent the entire night with no rest preparing for our little photoshoot. I made sure to do the car justice by providing the backdrop and tools necessary to make the car look good.

When the AP2 showed up at Danny’s and my place late that afternoon, I walked out to greet Richie and the feelings of giddiness I felt the first time I saw the car just six months earlier came back in an instant. Maybe it was because of the fact that the car looked like it came off a hot lap at Tsukuba Circuit or maybe it was the rear ASM overfenders that gave the CCW Classics the much needed breathing room without needing a ridiculous amount of negative camber that got me excited. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew we were about to do work on it.

As I lined up the S2000 on the street with Richie, Khiem, one of our photo aces, began to get the bazooka ready for action. And by bazooka, I am talking about the Canon 400mm 2.8 IS lens that Canon USA so graciously allowed us to use for two of our photoshoots, the first one being Jose Jimenez’s Drag Civic. The lens weighed a ton, and at one point we had Mikey hold up part of the lens while Khiem steadied his shots as John and I looked on. It’s quite a site actually, and even the cops that drove by us gave us the thumbs up.

Shooting the car in downtown Houston brought out some curious bystanders that were wondering what kind of car we were shooting. I asked them to take a guess, and the results were mixed, ranging from Ford Mustang to a Ferrari. Clearly it’s neither, but could you blame them for not knowing? The car has some serious battle armor that was never intended by the carmaker in Togichi, Japan. Part of this armor included the Spoon front and rear bumpers, with the latter adorned with even more artillery in the form of wicked rear and side carbon fiber diffusers and a T1r sparrow 70mm dual exhaust shooting through the two cutouts in the rear. Actually, taking a strict look at the ass of this fine specimen, one would assume that the car is ready to go a few laps on the Twin Ring Motegi because the rear diffuser is merely inches from the ground.

But it’s not all Japanese with this particular S; one look at the super polished 17×9.5 CCW Classics and you’d know the car was built in America. Although the car is lowered via Tein Type FLEX coilovers, you’ll see that this Honda isn’t hella slammed like much of its brethren you’ll see all over the internet. That’s mainly because the car was built as not only a street car, but an actual performance car as Honda Japan had intended. But before you cry out “needs moar low,” just remember that not all cars have to be tucking tire to make it look good. Sometimes a car, especially a track looking car, just needs to sit just at the tires to give it the best looking and proper “stance.” I am by no means dogging on any super dumped cars out there. I am merely stating that with certain themes of car builds, scraping tarmac isn’t necessarily going to compliment a car’s looks, and I believe Richie has made the right decision in driving his car at this height.

So is “Stance” dead?
Hardly. But then again, it depends on whom you ask, and what their interpretation of stance is. If Richie’s S2000 has educated us on what “proper” stance is, I’d say it’s just a matter of time before other enthusiasts become more aware of adequate camber, tire sizing, and offsets in future builds. On the other hand, as someone had eloquently put it, “it’s like a girl in high heel shoes. Who cares if she can’t run a mile, she’s looking sexy as hell. If she needs to run a mile, she can put on some running shoes and run then.” I think in this case, Richie’s sexy girl has on some sexy running shoes and is ready to stomp on your face.

Richie Ngo’s Official Mod List:

Spoon front bumper
Spoon rear bumper
ASM rear over fenders
Carbon fiber side diffuser
Spoon Carbon fiber rear diffusor
Seibon carbon fiber trunk
Shine auto hardtop
Spoon antenna
T1r sparrow 70mm dual exhaust
Spoon x brace
Rear cusco sway bar
17 x 9.5 + 25 ccw classic w/ Falken tires
Wilwood 4 piston brake kit
Sparco s-light dry carbon seat
Prodrive 5 point harness
Nardi Orido Style steering wheel with NRG hub and quick release
Password JDM dry carbon center console
Spoon shift knob
S2000 CR radio door
Alpine CD head unit
4 point Cusco roll cage with option bar
Painted keyhole covers
T1r test pipe
Spoon venturi throttle body
Spoon reservoir cover
Password JDM Kevlar intake
Password JDM Kevlar cooling plate
Password JDM bolts
Password JDM hood damper
Tein type FLEX coilovers
Project KICS R34 lug nuts
Spoon valve cover
Spoon spark plug cover
Spoon radiator
Spoon radiator cap
Spoon oil cap
Spoon race oil cooler
RS*R headers
Spoon certified badge
Odyssey lightweight battery
Password JDM battery tray
Buddy club condenser
Chargespeed mirrors
Clear side markers
Apexi afc neo
Zoom silver carbon fiber interior mirror
Feels strut bar
T1r radiate hoses
Spoon radiator stays
Clifford alarm

–David–
David@maydaygarage.com

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