20K Original Miles: 2002 Honda S2000

I have fond memories of the 2002 Honda S2000 roadster, as a good friend of mine from high school got one not too long after landing his first real job. The car was a dream of his, and while I was skeptical of its ability to offer driving pleasure due to the armchair quarterbacks criticizing its torque rating, all of that was put to bed with one test drive. This low mileage example here on craigslist is a desirable 2002 model with the glass rear window and 9K RPM redline. 

Prices for the S2000 have been rising as of late, and this is one is listed for a heady $25,500. But the reason for the price escalation is not unjustified; the likelihood of Honda making another car like this is near zero so it’s the last of its kind, a final moment in time when Honda wasn’t afraid to build a car with a very limited target market of buyers.

The interior was the first to bring the push button start to the masses, and now it’s practically standard equipment. The cockpit was for the minimalist, with very basic controls but an amazing digital tachometer that shocked first-time drivers as to how far and fast it would rise. The radio is hidden behind the panel just beyond the Honda-perfect shifter.

While these do need more love and care than your standard Civic, the S2000 operates in that unique space like the Acura NSX, where the sportscar experience is easily reachable by most enthusiasts, and comes with a maintenance plan that won’t bleed you dry. While this one is going for all the money, it’s one of the best years and milage is incredibly low. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Christopher J. for the find.

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Comments

  1. TobesEtc

    The interior was the first to bring the push button start to the masses…
    …if you ignore the Fiat Coupe.

  2. jpvogl

    Absolutely love everything about it. High-revving Honda engine and that perfect short throw 6-sp manual, just like what’s in my 04 TSX. Back when Honda/Acura still had a sense of style; those days are gone. Great find, hope it goes to someone who will enjoy it and put lots of miles on it on twisty roads.

    Merry Christmas, everyone

    Like 5
  3. Andre

    Really nice car… I agree with jp in terms of style – I love AP1s.. one of the few Japanese cars I’ve owned was of the similar era.. an 05 Acura RL A-Spec.. Honda was really nailing things then.

    Not sure I can say the same about their space ships today.

    I clean, stock, and low mileage AP1 I think is a sound investment.

    Like 3
  4. Jay E.

    I drove one when new and missed torque, plus the seating does not offer any adjustment so that a tall driver can sit lower. I think they were made for shorter drivers. The one I drove was a carbon copy of this one.

    Like 1
  5. Gaspumpchas

    the body shop I work for does a lot of Hondas, and within weeks of these coming out, had 3 of them in the shop for collison repair. Looks like this model has rear wheel drive?? Nice looking car with Honda quality. Good luck to the new owner.

    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  6. Ike Onick

    A former plant manager where I worked was a 250lb woman who actually owned one of these . We always wondered how she managed to squeeze into and out of it. We also wondered what the sales people thought when she strolled into the store and headed over to the sporty one and not the SUV. And lastly we wondered what would have happened if the driver-side airbag ever deployed.

    Like 4
  7. Jon

    I saw this as a concept car years before and when it came out I jumped on it, mine too was silver with a black interior. What a rocket. With a red line at 9,000 RPM, you could downshift this puppy, floor it and get pressed into several G’s in the seat. Only downside was the high performance tires on it that get crap mileage, at 11,000 miles they were worn off. At $250 each, I was looking at chunking out $1,000 twice a year for new tires. I was commuting 2,600 a month so I was looking at replacing them every 4 months. If you didn’t keep the performance tires on it, it voided the warranty. The interior just wrapped itself around you. Loved that car, except for the cost of tires.

    Like 1
    • jpvogl

      Must have been a blast to drive, Jon. Such a great sound when those Honda mills approach redline. VTEC kicks in and it feels/sounds like there’s a turbine running the show. Didn’t realize that non-spec tires voided the warranty on S2000s, interesting. Had a friend with a first-gen NSX back in the 90’s, same story except those were close to $500 per tire, at the time. Pretty high dues to stay in that club, but what a car.

      Like 1
  8. Mike R in De

    These cars were built to blow away the Mazda and to show off Honda’s high revving engines. Definitely much more track focused. Back off the rear camber and toe-in, you can get more tire life at the expense of rear grip. These cars had 50-50 weight balance. I worked as a tech at the local Honda dealer when these came out. What a great little car for a for a smart driver! One of our customers had one with a super charger installed. It would boil the rear tires , just drop the hammer in the first 4 gears! Just what that owner wanted!! I saw a blue one sell last year in Florida Meachum for $9k . That was a deal!! Good luck to the new owner and seller.

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