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Auto NewsWheeler Dealers Windback – 2003 Honda S2000 

Wheeler Dealers Windback – 2003 Honda S2000 

What happened to the Wheeler Dealer cars? Season 12, episode 17 (aired 12 October 2015)

Wheeler Dealer Mike Brewer and mechanic Edd China tackled a 2003 Honda S2000 in the rare Imola Orange colour. 

Sold to Mike for £3000, the previous owner wanted to restore it but the project had stalled. Mike took the car to Edd who replaced the faulty oxygen sensor, oil seals and O-rings to fix the VTEC issue. The wheels were refurbished as were the rusted metal engine brackets refurbished using vapor blasting method and the cam cover. The corroded EPS rack and rusted alarm casing were both replaced along with the headline washer pump. The faded headlamp lenses were ground, sanded and polished, before the aftermarket stereo head unit and gear shift knob were replaced with factory units.

Mike sold the car back to the previous owner at £500 over the asking price. 

Purchase price: £3000
Final cost after restoration: £4380
Final selling price: £7000
Profit/Loss: +£2620

Current Owner: Russell Cockerton

I bought the car almost by accident, after seeing it for sale on Ebay (I wasn’t specifically looking for an S2000 at the time, the advert caught my eye and I took a chance). I think I am the second owner after the guy who bought it from Wheeler Dealers.

Sadly, it seems that while the car had not done much mileage since appearing on the show, it also had not received much love – while it looked great, it had some issues. I knew that it would be a long project, and that basically any money I put into the car would not be recovered if I ever decided to sell it on. (The words ‘mid-life crisis’ have been muttered several times by my wife). It’s also important to remember the car is now 17 years old and had driven over 130,000 miles when I bought it, so many things needed attention simply due to age.

One of the first things I did was to join the UK S2000 Owners Club. This has proven to be incredibly useful as they have provided a wealth of knowledge, support, and are just a great bunch of people.

Almost all work on the car has been done by me:

  • New 17inch wheels and tyres
  • Upgraded the interior leather (centre console and door cards)
  • Upgraded the stereo to Bluetooth and DAB, and mobile phone car kit
  • Added additional soundproofing to all panels (doors, floor, boot and bonnet)
  • Serviced the gearbox, replacing a leaking oil seal and replacing the clutch
  • Replaced worn shock absorbers, and upgraded to polyurethane suspension bushes
  • Replaced leaking hoses on fuel system
  • Added front fog lights
  • Custom sports exhaust after the original one wore out
  • Installed a Geotab telematics device, not only to provide tracking but also to show me engine data such as RPM, fuel consumption etc

It was mentioned a few times that the engine had been rebuilt before appearing on the show. Unfortunately, it seems that whoever did the work didn’t perhaps do it as well as they might, and so the engine was very noisy, eventually throwing a big-end bearing. (Fortunately I caught it before the damage became terminal – the Geotab unit notified me of the engine fault code just in time!). The engine was rebuilt by Ring Engineering in Hayes who did an absolutely sterling job. The engine is now absolutely sweet and runs like new. I’m easily getting 35mpg if I drive it properly (although that 9000rpm rev limit and accompanying engine note are usually just too tempting…)

The only remaining job is that some rust has appeared on the rear wheel aches – a common fault with cars of that age. I have sourced replacement panels through the Owners Club, which are due to arrive in July, and then I need to locate a good bodyshop to do the work.

The car is my pride and joy: I use it for my daily commute, it literally puts a smile on my face every time I get into it. While it has been recognised a few times, the glowing orange paintwork turns heads all the time – and again, there’s that famous 9000rpm redline…

Mike Brewer remembers:
“I remember the test drive with Edd, as there’s nothing better than testing the cars after all the work we do to them. The Honda S2000 deserved a good road so we decided to tackle the Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. Windy, twisty and quite challenging in a quick rear wheel drive car. Both of us knew it was a special place and the Honda delivered. The sound of the screaming VTEC at 8800RPM bouncing of the canon walls was a delight, the handling terrific and we both had a brilliant day. Edd even managed to take time to take a bit out of Director of Photography John!

Suppliers featured:
Wheel Refurb by The Wheel Specialist

Mike goes to see the Honda S2000 and meet the owner

Mike and Edd take the Honda S2000 for a joy ride

Watch the full episode on MotorTrend (Billed as Season 14, Episode 9)

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