A Different Take: Spoon Style On Air
Scheming & Shooting

My favorite thing about car culture is the intense variety of what you’ll find in any given corner of the world. Even when two cars use some of the exact same parts, the outcome can be so very different.

When I saw that Dino had shot Kohei Miyata’s Honda S2000 in Japan I thought that I might as well not feature Inspire USA’s AP1. But after looking at the details in Dino’s story I realized that these two cars could not be more different. Beyond the fact that both are finished in a color Honda called Spa Yellow Pearl, both make use of a Spoon front bumper and rear diffuser, and both are US left-hand drive versions, nothing is the same.

Parts list aside, what clearly differs here are the owners’ philosophies. Again, the same car and many of the same parts, but very different approaches and very different results, especially behind the wheel.

Eric began hoarding S2000 parts from Spoon before he even had the right car to put them on, which is evidence enough that he had a succinct vision in his mind from the get go.


I can’t say that I blame him for acquiring the kit before the car; I personally love the details of the S-Tai bodywork which transforms the soft lines of the AP1. After seeing a good number of these cars floating around at the track, I really feel a stock S2000 is aesthetically too tame for 2018.


While undeniably phenomenal from the factory, I just couldn’t be satisfied with that anymore. It just goes to show how strong the aftermarket is for these cars and we’ll dive into what sets this particular S2K apart in just a moment.

Perhaps due to a lapse in judgement (just kidding), Eric tossed me the keys to the Honda so that Mark Vasilyuk could get some footage of the S2000 in motion. I have to say the camera car was like none I’ve ever used and perhaps deserves a quick look in the future.

Mark did a nice job of making me appear cooler than I actually am, which is always a plus. But perhaps more importantly, the video, like my title, gives away one of the main aspects of this build which makes it so different than its Japanese counterpart that Dino discovered.

Gasp! Air Ride!

To allow that glorious Spoon bodywork to rest just above — or more accurately, directly on — the tires, Eric Tsoi has opted for D2 air struts coupled with Air Lift Performance’s 3P management setup.


I’m aware that this will be a polarizing aspect of the build, but I love how the stance accentuates the edgy Spoon fenders at this exact ride height. There’s realistically no other way that this car could sit this low and still be of any use as a car. Perhaps an air cup setup coupled with coilovers could have been made to work, but Eric is more than happy with the route he’s taken.


At the click of a button you can go from full 4×4 mode to daily driving height, or end up completely aired out.


It’s this convenience that Eric loves, and it’s prompted him to convert several of his other once-static cars over to an air-based suspension setup. He can even fiddle with the setup on his phone.


As the car’s been built primarily as a driver, this is a choice that makes good sense. It would only take a couple of destroyed bumpers — a sad inevitability on California’s shoddy Bay Area roads — before the air setup pays for itself.


A massive chassis-mounted Battle Aero wing and a matching AP2 hardtop replace the GT wing and Spoon S-Tai hardtop that Eric previously had on the car. While some may cry foul, saying that the Spoon bits should stay together, it’s not an entirely creative way to go. This current pairing makes for incredibly aggressive body lines as your eye moves from the front of the car to the back.


The choice of wheels, which are wrapped in Falken Azenis rubber, also furthers this effect. RAYS Volk Racing ZE40s in Matte Blue Gunmetal complete the aggressive balance the car is teetering on.


Eric couldn’t resist an AP Racing big brake kit for the front end either.


Without so much as opening a door or popping the hood you can learn a lot about a car. But nothing is more eye-opening than getting in the driver’s seat.

Take A Seat

As the owner of Inspire USA, it follows that Eric has filled the car with loads more JDM goodies.


A Vertex steering wheel wheel complements Bride VIOS III LowMax seats that, surprisingly, I actually fit in. Behind the seat there’s a custom-polished Spoon Sports 4-point rollbar that does wonders stiffening the chassis.


I really enjoyed how the JDM aftermarket parts, old and new, played nice with the stock S2000 bits that still remain. I feel that this is something we’re missing in the American aftermarket with parts that are all too often garish and clash when placed in our domestic OEM environments.

Let’s Drive

While nothing too insane has been done under the hood, it’s enough to give you a bit more kick in the pants, especially as you move up the rev range of the S2000.


You’ll find the Spoon name on the carbon-Kevlar intake, which works alongside their front bumper, as well as on the radiator, hoses, caps, and scattered elsewhere around the engine bay if you look close enough.

You’ll find other iconic names under the hood as well, and with that extra bump in stiffness and power without sacrificing reliability the S2000 is an awesome cruiser. Add in the proper air setup coupled with an easy-to-use and, more importantly, reliable management solution, the car behaves really well on the street.

It’s tight, firm, and fun. Not only that, I was able to enjoy the S2000 without worrying about busting the $2,000 front end; who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?


Eric is a guy who loves his cars and his S2000 is no exception. It’s a car he’s owned for over 10 years and that he’s built entirely for himself rather than likes on social media or trophies at shows. The only work that Eric foresees himself doing on the car anytime soon is installing his Kraftwerks supercharger that’s been sitting on a shelf for a few years.

Certainly the S2000 is one of Eric’s favorites, but hardly the only feature-worthy Japanese car in his collection. Be sure to let me know what else you’d like to see from Inspire USA in the comments section below.


Their workshop is full of rad cars and rare parts; I know it’s a matter of time before I’ll be back. But on this topic of parts I know there will be those who insist that one of the greatest handling cars of all time has been ruined with air suspension. But this just isn’t true.

The fact that we’ve seen more and more track cars making use of air ride aside, this is a setup that makes sense for a car that’s mostly driven on the street. Absolutely nothing is lost; it’s comfortable but still tight. You can enjoy the style of a low-down setup without the drawbacks of scraping around town on a harsh ride.

Or, you can build your own car and ruin your own parts. The choice is yours, and this is what makes the automotive aftermarket so addicting.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto

Video by Mark Vasilyuk
Instagram: skuraweekly
Youtube: SkuraWeekly

Low Low


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Beautiful Car! ....The Video makes this Article POP !

Joakim Karlsson

I want to see more of the Abarth!


whatever pays the bills in the right way to tune


more on that Abarth please!


Let me see what I can do ;)


Is anything going on with the Eclipse in the background of that shot? Seems those are disappearing from the scene, and I've always thought they had fantastic body lines. Especially the more aggressive Talon version.


I don't think much is going on, sorry mate


So at any point are you guys going to feature cool S2000 or just these really tasteless ones?


agreed. This is a total show pony that belongs in the 90's. It also pains me to read false type like the 'spoon roll bar stiffens the chassis'. Wrong. These are one of the greatest drivers cars of their generation and as an owner of a heavily tracked example I find this one vomit inducing. Stick to your Abarth. Who knows how much you've also screwed up that GTR.


It's great that you have your own opinions. One thing I am curious on, is the S2000 except from the general rule that a roll bar or any partial cage will reduce chassis flex?


No, a proper welded roll bar or cage will stiffen it. A bolt together style cage like the Spoon or Cusco not.


That's weird because when I push on the air above the car the air moves, but when I push on the roll bar the car moves. Therefore forces can be transferred through the roll bar... Must be my imagination.


Bahahaha! Your engineering prowess amazes me. If I push on the seat of a car I can move the car. Do you think the seat adds stiffness to the chassis?


Is the seat bolted between where the B pillars would be? Does that apply at all to what I said?

If you want to get semantic, fixing anything between any two points is going to make flexing the material between these two points more difficult. So I'll say yes, just to make your day.


Does this car affect how you enjoy your own? No? Is it dangerous to others? No?

What’s the problem here then?


Good point, but it's far easier to say something negative. The owner of this car has built so many different cars so many different ways that he's become immune to any keyboard warriors but you'll always find those complaining to be the loudest.


As an s2000 guy, I can say that a few small points of the article are a bit irking. The car is nice, but it's 100% for show. Strut bars and bolt in cages do nothing for s2000's because of the x-frame and suspension setup inherently make them pointless. Air ride is cool, but no propper 'track car' will ever have air ride. Just because you can have fun at the track in a car doesn't make it a 'track car' and it's kind of annoying to read these types of justifications applied at the same time you're saying he should just enjoy the car the way he built it. My biggest gripe with the car is that wing. Battle aero / chassis mounted wings that look like erector sets is cancer. There are so many amazing s2000's in socal, literally several dozen feature worthy s2k's in the LA area alone. Why this one is a feature is beyond me.


not the point Christian. people with education can openly criticize things that suck and this car sucks.


More on the abarth 500 please


sorry to say, but im getting pretty tired of S200's too. Next please.


nice stock engine


At the push of a switch you can go from rediculous to stupid alignment and detached axles...progress


I like the little spacers that make the bumper line up to the fenders. Makes a huge difference compared to the car Dino featured. I'll never understand all the hate for minimal engine mods and an air ride set up, his car, his choices. Great article!!


It's funny how most car enthusiasts will appreciate track builds, but the track guys can never understand why anyone wouldn't do it their way. There's more than one way to enjoy a car. I think this one looks badass and nice choice of parts. Air ride makes a ton of sense for this street driven build.


Like this build a lot! But what i would have done different is to put the nice Spoon carbon hardtop and a more decent rear wing.
Anyway really nice car! This guy has a nice collection too!


Hey the body panels actually line up nicely! Already a step up from the last S2000


It's a lot of fun to see the thing fully aired-up.

On its tippy-toes!