© 2020 kertong © 2020 kertong

2006 Honda S2000

Car #8! 

I started off as a “car guy”, more specifically, a “camaro guy”. But if you ask me, that’s just the first step of being a car enthusiast. I think it’s a real shame to spend your entire life on one car or brand without knowing what other delicious fruit lie out there waiting to be tasted. The transformation of “car guy” to “car enthusiast” is a long and surprising journey as you discover what the world has to offer beyond your initial enabling passion; and in the process you discover surprising things about yourself, too. 

And in that journey, mistakes are made. I don’t want to call the Elise (car #7) a mistake; but let’s just say I went back to a previous love – 75% of the thrill of the elise, with none of the compromises. 

I remember getting back in this car, the 2006 Honda S2000, after selling the Elise, and feeling it was soft, insulated, and that it was floating through turns (especially as 2005 was the last year of awesome, communicative seats for the S2000). Many will tell you the S2000 is hard, uncompromising, sharp, raw, and mind-readingly-responsive. But coming from an Elise, this car felt like a Lexus LS400. While that sounds like a downgrade, my spine and butt welcomed this change. 

As I acclimated to the car, my senses grew more “sensitive” and was able to listen to the car. It gave me the sporty handling I was looking for, and I didn’t mind the peaky power curve as much, as it was a joy to shift (the shifter in the Elise was terrible). It was comfortable and snug, and the interior was so well put together; far better than anything I was used to at the time. The stereo was worthless, but it was also worthless in the Elise so no big deal here. 

One of the most enjoyable drives of my life was in this car. It was around 8pm, and I had just finished up a Meebo team dinner. It was in Los Altos, where a bubble tea shop was, so I decided to surprise Katherine by bringing her some late night tea action. I picked up tea, then put it in the passenger footwell (this car had no cupholders!). Blasted the a/c to keep the tea cold. It was also a balmy summer night, so I dropped the top, and drove spiritedly home. 

Hearing the high-strung 4 cylinder whizzing at 4.5k rpms through the open air while driving down 101 and 237, it was the moment I truly began to appreciate and understand the roadster. It wasn’t about the power – it was about the sensory experience of being one with the mechanicals of the car. Shifting the gears, hearing the engine effortlessly spin at 4k, 6k, 8k rpms; I didn’t really care that a mustang could beat me off the line, because I was having plenty of fun. I was so glad I had stepped out of my V8-musclecar tunnelvision; had I not, I would never have understood just how wide the breadth of joy that car enthusiasm could provide, is. 

But you know what else is awesome about the car enthusiast journey? Repeating your mistakes – because I ended up buying another 2006 Lotus Elise later on in life… 

I sold you too soon