The Second Chance: Matt Hatton’s 2005 Honda S2000

We’ve all been there when we get our first project car, and due to some unforeseen circumstances, we’ve had to sell or get rid of it. A few years later, you’re finally in a good position to restart the project, but finding the right car can be an obstacle. This describes what Matt Hatton went through with his current S2000 build, but he got a second chance at building his dream car.

Why the Honda S2000?

Did Johnny Tran’s $100,000 Honda 2000 engine build from The Fast and The Furious influence Matt to build the S2000? Nah. While he was working at a Lexus dealership, a Honda S2000 was traded-in. After one test drive, he instantly fell in love with the front-mid-engine rear-wheel-drive sports car’s handling and looks.

Matt owned his first S2000 for 10 years and had plans of an LS swap with a well-crafted Tamon Design MS-R widebody kit finishing off the exterior. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in his cards to build the first chassis, so he had to part out the car and the Tamon Design MS-R kit, which was never installed or painted.

The Second Chance

Matt tried to fill the void of his missing Honda S2000 with a few cars after, but nothing could compare. That’s when he decided to look for another example in good condition and to source the illustrious Tamon Design MS-R kit that he initially dreamed of. It took Matt awhile to find an S2000, but eventually, he stumbled onto the perfect project. A 2005 Honda S2000, and who would’ve thought it would also have the Tamon Design MS-R kit already installed? It was like a sign — another chance to start over. Although far from finished, it was precisely where Matt had left off on his first build.

When his new project car arrived off the transport truck, it was one of his most memorable days with the car. Matt wasted no time working on the Tamon Design MS-R kit by wrapping it himself to get the exterior looking more akin to his liking.

The Modifications

A beefy, staggered set of Volk Racing CE28SL wheels — measuring 17×9-inch +22 in the front and 17×9.5 +12 in the rear — sit in the widened arches. Super sticky Yokohama Advan AD08R rubber contacts the road in 245/40 and 255/40 sizes, respectively.

Next on the to-do list was the engine build. To add a bit more power, Matt went with a turbo kit from Full Blown Motorsports. Because living in Texas, where the highway is called ‘Mexico,’ necessitates some extra juice. The kit includes a Precision 6266 ball-bearing turbocharger to compress the air flowing into the F-series’ cylinders. Tuned on AEM Performance Electronics Infinity engine management, the S2000 made 582 whp on the dyno. The turbocharger is rated up to 800, so there’s room to grow, but he chose to stay under the 600 whp mark while running stock internals — for now.

Once the engine work was done, it was small dress up details next. This included a wire tuck and an engine bay refresh with gloss black paint. Colorful titanium hardware and trim pieces from Chasing JS and Renegade Motorsports adorn nearly every area of the build, while certain carbon fiber delights like the Zoom Monaco ASM rearview mirror contrast that color nicely.

The Future

Future plans for the car include StopTech’s new nickel-plated Trophy Big Brake Kit, air cups, and to utilize even more titanium anodized hardware. Overall, the build is where he wants.

Matt would like to thank, “Kevin at M2K Motorsports for the fabrication and the dyno to tune the car, Aaron at Nth Moto for remote tuning the car, Justin at Full Blown Motorsports setting me up with everything needed for the turbo build, and Joe Gaska for repairing and improving the Tamon Design carbon splitter after it was damaged.”

After being bought, Matt’s 582 whp Tamon Design MS-R widebody Honda S2000 took just over a year to build. If that seems like a quick completion time, it’s because this new project is essentially just a continuation of where he left off with his last S2000 build. He had gathered the thoughts and the plans in his head. He was given the perfect opportunity at a second chance, and he took it!

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