139 Reasons Not To Kill The S2000 – An Open Letter To Honda
Upon returning from Wake the Dragon 2011, our member LittleBlueS2 was inspired to pen an open letter to Honda. The scenic vistas, mountain roads and, above all else, the camaraderie shared between members of our community made a lasting impression on LittleBlueS2 to the point where a touching and heartfelt open letter was written to Honda. It is our hope that someone at Honda reads this and comes to understand that the sentiment echoed by LittleBlueS2 is shared by the entire community. Click through to read LittleBlueS2’s letter to Honda on 139 reasons not to kill the S2000.
On April 16, 2011, I had the privilege of eating dinner with 229 other enthusiasts at a remote resort in the North Carolina Mountains. Parked outside were 139 of your most fun, amazing, and drivable roadsters ever created, with one common mission: to drive on one of the most exciting roads in the Eastern United States, if not the entire country – the Tail of the Dragon.
My husband, Taylor, and I started our journey in the early morning hours of April 14th in Tampa, FL. We met with our local S2000 Owners group to form a caravan of 15 cars and started on what would become the best road trip we had taken in our entire lives.
After two days of driving along some incredibly curvy and picturesque roads, we arrived at Fontana Village Resort to join the celebrations for Wake the Dragon 2011. This Honda S2000-specific event has happened every year for the past 9 years with no plans of it ever stopping. “We will not quit, even if you have” seemed to be the motto of the S2000-faithful gathered there.
The afternoon of April 15th would prove to be a combination of rushes of adrenaline, nervous giggling, heavy concentration, and some very strong G forces as my husband and I made our first attempt at taming the Dragon. It was an exhilarating top-down ride through unbelievably tight turns and rolling hills with incredible acceleration and quick braking coming in fast sequence. If you haven’t driven a road like this, it’s hard to explain the rush of emotions you feel. Fear, excitement, nervousness, and joy all rolled into each other.
I leaned back in my seat and looked at the beautiful mountains and trees that stood before us while our “S” laid claim to the pavement, hugged the turns, and tore up the straights. It was a thing of beauty – a synergy of nature and machine. Nature, in its chaos and disorder, and the machine, in its preciseness and perfection, together creating a symphony of breath-taking sights and sounds as we wound our way through the Dragon.
That evening, the whole group convened at a banquet hall and shared pictures and stories of our travels and adventures all with the same underlying theme: our love for a car that you chose to stop making. You may have stopped production for economic or global climate reasons. I’d like to think that your assumptions are wrong. There is still a market as well as a strong desire and need for this car. Yes, you need this car just as much as we do.
The owners that converged on the Fontana resort in North Carolina that weekend were from all over North America. There were at least 30 people from Florida, several from Ohio, Illinois, South Carolina, Georgia and even a group that came all the way down from Ontario, Canada. We were all aware of the price of gas these days and yet we made the trip happily because at the end of the day, the S2000 makes us smile. Therefore, if you claim you stopped production only because you want to focus on more gas-economical cars because that’s what your customers want, you would be incorrect.
These are amazing pieces of machinery and I’m sure I’m not the only person that views them as works of art. From an aesthetic perspective, there is NO better looking roadster out there. You cannot convince me otherwise; nothing out there stacks up. Some people might contend the Porsche Boxster is a thing of beauty or that the BMW Z3 or Z4 far surpass the looks of the S2000. I would be quick to tell them they are wrong. I can tell that Honda didn’t take the design of the S2000 lightly.
Which is why we are all left pondering: How can you, Honda, walk away from a car that means so much to so many people? How can you so easily theorize that all the world wants are economical Civics and gas-sipping SUVs? The bottom line is that you can’t throw all of the world’s consumers into a box and expect them to be okay with it. I’ve seen far too many S2000s lovingly doted upon by their owners to ever believe that the market for fun, exciting, dare I say it, fast 2-seaters is disappearing. The only things that are quickly disappearing are cars that exhilarate us.
The lifestyle established by the S2000 is at danger of dying and you’re allowing it to happen. It’s only a matter of time before the world is down to a handful of properly working S2000s and eventually, those too will fade away. Without your active support, this car’s glory days are all but behind it.
I wish I could competently convey to you what it felt like to be sitting in a banquet hall with 229 other people that all love and respect these cars as much as I do. To feel that kinship and celebrate these machines together in such a grand yet intimate setting is something that is forever branded into my heart. It is a memory, an emotion, a feeling that will never leave me for as long as I live.
The morning of April 17th arrived and my husband and I packed up our car for the grueling 12 hour journey back home. For a long time, I silently reflected back on the last two days reliving every moment and realized that it was all possible because of the S2000. I’d give anything to be back there on that mountain, slaying the Dragon and feeling the cold wind nip at my cheeks as we tucked into each turn and roared down the straights. I fought back the tears of a stupidly emotional woman who gets too sentimentally attached to inanimate objects like our beloved S2000. But I can’t help it. To me, that car has soul. You, dear Honda, breathed life into it the moment it rolled off the factory floor. And to think that soul may one day pass from this earth hits me right in the pit of my stomach.
Your discontinuation of the Honda S2000 leaves all of us enthusiasts with more questions than answers. All we know is that you made the decision to stop making a car that is valued and revered more than you may realize. Two hundred and twenty nine enthusiasts and owners are only a small percentage of the population that owns or has owned an S2000. But if you did some further research, collect data, and get some measurable metrics on the collective population, I am sure you would be amazed at the interest this car holds. All you need do is to visit www.s2ki.com to realize what a special creation the S2000 is. To turn a blind eye to the incredible amount of people that have a passion for this car would be irresponsible. My only wish is that someone at Honda reads this and understands the relevance of a car like the S2000 both to owners like us and to a company like yours.
The 139 S2000’s at Wake The Dragon certainly convinced me of the need for a car like the S2000. To you, it may be just another car, but I hope that can change.
Owner of “Elvis” a 2007 Laguna Blue Honda S2000
Edited version based on an original write-up by LittleBlueS2
A tip of our editorial hat to Indyana for the suggestion
Images courtesy of LittleBlueS2, S2k Dude and Yflyer
NOTE: S2KI welcomes the opinions of its members on the S2000 and on all topics related to the S. Should you feel the creative urge to pen a few words then by all means do so and PM Energetic, JulieU OR Aashish2 OR send us links to what you would like us to write about and we will feature you (or your community) on the S2KI Home Page.