The Proverbial “Barn Find”…

Getting back after a very relaxing week of R&R in California’s Central Coast (which is incidentally, fantastic!) things are slowly returning back to “normal”.  Very hard to do after all the wonderful sights, lodging, food and WINES we had a chance to sample.  Normal?  Yeah right.  Such is life.

As it turns out, I’ve gone Dark Side.  I need to have my head examined.

Did I sell bowtie6?  Hell no – you kidding me?

Did I drink the purple Kool-Aid?  Looks like it.

Did I join a cult?  That would be an accurate way to put it.  Yes indeed.   Let me explain…

Ensure your seat back trays are in the stowed and locked position and your safety belts are securely fastened.  It is going to be a bumpy ride…

Prologue

About a week before vacation-time in California on one of my daily visits to my cousin Jim’s shop where we discuss our daily list-of-things-to-talk-about, we end up discussing a certain phone call Jim had received from our friend Marion C earlier in the day.  Marion told Jim that a friend of his had called about two cars he had for sale.  These cars were stashed away in the proverbial “barn find” you often read about in spam emails and in articles in magazines.  They were tucked underneath “car covers” with a bit of dust and the executor of the estate needed to get rid of them.  You get the idea.

Needless to say, the conversation piqued my attention.

As we were talking, start getting images of a 60’s vintage Corvette, 1st gen Camaro, maybe an XKE or perhaps something else.  Well my guess was half right.  One of the cars in question is supposed to be a very nice MGB.  The other car is a bit more exotic.  A bit more modern.  Something with F1 DNA in its lineage…

The Deal

After Jim and I talk and I have a chance to get home and do a little research I get more excited about the “barn find’.  I talk this with the Missus and get her “approval” – for the record, I am my own man and this was merely a formality.  At any rate, the car in question was built in 2003 with authentic F1 DNA in its lineage and best yet, with an obscene low mileage.

I give Marion a phone call and we discuss the particulars.  The cars in question belonged to a gentleman who passed-on sometime in early 2011.  His estate was being settled and the executors were searching for a possible buyer.  As the details emerge the car has only 4,7xx miles on the odometer.  Damn!  This is one of those deals “too good to be true”, the ones us gear heads lime me have wet dreams about.  Well, they say every dog has his day and this certainly was shaping up to be my day.

Marion and I talk for quite some time on the phone and he tells me the car still wears its original tyres, the leather is immaculate and the convertible top is pristine.  It is so “original” the thing looks as if it had left the showroom floor a month ago.  A handful of low-resolution pictures arrive on my email account and I hooked.  We agree on a price an then three agonizing days slowly go by while we await the “suits and bean counters” approve the offer.  Finally I get a phone call from Marion:  my offer has been accepted.

I send a check to the executor of the estate to seal the deal.  As if we did not have enough drama, the Missus and I are about to go on our vacation to Cali.  Damn.  I’ll have to wait another week before I can pick the car up.

The Barn Find

Friday the 27th.  Finally time to go retrieve the “barn find”.  Jim and I jump in the rental car and we head out at first light..  With a cashier’s check in my backpack we embark on a roughly 500 mile one-way drive in the rental.  After our arrival, pleasantries are exchanged with the folks handling the exchange and we head out to the “barn”…  After about 5 minutes out of town, in the middle of nowhere we pull up to the following driveway.

And this is the “barn” at last at the other end of the drive:

OK – maybe not a “barn” but nevertheless it was tucked away where folks had no clue what was inside….

And here it is:  a pristine 2003 Honda S2000 in Sebring Silver with a black top and optional red leather interior.  There were only a handful of these made and this one is in as-new condition as could be expected (remember I said this car had 47xx miles)…

So what is a Honda S2000 and why do I make such a big deal out of it?

The S2000 was created for the 50th anniversary of Honda.  This car packed quite a punch:  the latest and greatest Honda had to offer, all manufactured at their state-of-the-art plant in Tochigi.  This is the same plant the legendary Acura NSX was built and would share the same hand-assembled production line.

The S2000 was so named after its ancestors the S500, S600 and S800.  My S2000 is from the early production run from 2000-2003:  it has the F20C 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder engine that redlines at 9000 RPM’s.  At 6000 RPM’s VTEC engages – this is Honda’s variable valve timing.  When it does, the surge in thrust and glorious engine song is amazing!

Yea, I’ve gone Dark Side.  After taking delivery, signing papers and driving another 500 miles back home, Jim and I  had a serious perma-grins on our faces.  This thing is amazing!  It is like driving a time-capsule.  The paint is flawless, the engine is amazing and the interior is immaculate.

Oh and you want proof of mileage?  Take a look:

Finally, I though you might get a kick out of this…  9000RPM’s and this is legal!!!

So yes, bowtie6 has a new stablemate.  So far my initial impression is very favourable.  The engine lacks the bottom end torque the Ecotec has but when the VTEC kicks in, it is Katie bar the door.  This thing explodes.

I’ll have more pictures and more to tell once I start exploring what this machine does.  I can’t get too much into it though because the original Bridgestones are way past their expiration date.  Once I get some fresh, sticky rubber on I’ll feel more confident to push the S2000 more.

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