Blue Monday

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Member Patinum says farewell to his CR, and shares the experience with us. -SF

Three and a half years after I purchased my 2008 Honda S2000 CR delete model, it’s gone. I had traded in my AP1 to buy it new because I was getting more involved and competitive in racing. Now it is gone so I can build a true race car out of my recently acquired 2006 S2000.

It was sold the CR to a Honda dealership on a Saturday. I got a pretty decent quote from Carmax and the Honda dealership edged them out. 10% depreciation on a new car isn’t bad after 3 years – especially given all the fun I had in it. Wish I could have sold it to some of the SCCA trophy winners I spoke to, but unfortunately that did not work out.

A lot of good memories in those 18k miles. From my trip to the Dragon, to the late night cruises, to the multiple autocross wins, to my win at Redline Time Attack, to my lap record at Gingerman Raceway. The CR and I have been through a lot together and I will always miss it.

I truly believe it is the 2nd best car Honda ever brought to the US (#1 being the Zanardi NSX). I was thrilled when figured out it was 1 of 699 CR’s, 1 of 59 delete models, and 1 of 21 delete models in Apex blue. Beautifully appointed in cloth and suede, in a color that was, in person, a pleasant surprise to most. Exterior styling effective both on track and at car meets.

But more than the rarity and beauty of it, was the driving dynamics. Raw like an AP1, but forgiving like an AP2. Perfectly balanced with every part working together. I really believe that was key for some of my wins – that while I was working with “inferior” parts compared to some of the full race setups, I was working with a car that was set up perfectly from the factory. While everyone else was playing with their shocks and sway bars, I really only dealt with tire pressures and was able to focus on my driving. While that can be said of any stock S2000, the CR was set up with that little extra that put in line with a more prepared car.

I believe Honda really wanted to build the CR as a Type-R, but couldn’t because they couldn’t find more power from the F22. Many of the elements were there – lighter, more agressive suspension, different interior, even the colors outside of Apex Blue were similar to the Integra Type-R (white, yellow, black). In Japan, they called a CR with a soft top the Type-S. I believe that makes the CR something of a Type-S Zero, like they made for the NSX.

But sadly, the day I foresaw years ago has come. When I was deciding to purchase the CR I talked about building up my AP1 into a race car. And essentially that’s what I’m doing with my recently acquired 2006 S2000. Should I have built up my AP1 in the first place? Maybe – but I’m glad I didn’t. If it weren’t for the CR, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to sign up for Redline Time Attack. It was winning that event that lead me to seek tougher competition in NASA Time Trials, which is my new passion. It’s in NASA TT that I really learned what I would need to do to build proper race car. If I built my AP1 3 years ago, it would have been a lot more trial and error whereas building it now is based on a solid foundation of experience. The CR gave me that experience, and knowledge, and I had a blast doing it.

So farewell to my second S2000. The car that will probably be the best car I ever own. Not that I don’t expect to own very good cars in the future, but given the direction cars are going, I doubt we’ll see many cars that embody this much raw driving passion in the future. I expect to drive cars that are faster and more comfortable – but nothing that danced the line between race car and fun street car so beautifully.

To the future owner of my CR. I drove it like it was meant to be driven and I hope you do as well. Don’t be tempted by fleeting joys of impressing parking lot pimps or hella flush fad followers. Please don’t add a heavy soft top or audio equipment. There are other cars and S2000’s for those things. Yours is not just 1 of 59 – its 1 in a million. A car built by a manufacturer with a rich racing history. A car designed by Shigeru Uehara – the genius that brought us the S2000 and the NSX as a final farewell. The car is meant to be driven. To be raced. It’s in it’s name. To quote Soichiro Honda – “The value of life can be measured by how many times your soul has been deeply stirred.” Drive the CR like it’s meant to be driven, and the value of your life will surely grow.

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