End of Summer Meet and The Le Mans Start

Thursday, July 22. 2004
End of Summer Meet and The Le Mans Start

At the end of summer, we hadn't really had a good get together for the S2000 gang. As has become the custom lately, a new owner took the initiative and helped get things off the ground. You can read more about the meet and cruise below, but first download the Le Mans Start video
Download the Video Here: The Le Mans Start
We met up at Moanalua Gardens and headed toward the Windward side for lunch at Windward mall, and then on to the 13 turns.
Back on the leeward side, we headed up to Tantalus and the long back roads. There was enought time to pose for pictures in front of the lookout facing Diamond Head (for all the guys on the mainland....)
When we were heading to the back roads of Tantalus, we had a little driver change and I ended up riding shotgun with Mike. Sadly, this is where the idea for the Le Mans Start video got cooked up.
So Mike says to me, "you know, when I see everyone sitting down lined up while we take pictures, I'm reminded of the old Le Mans Starts where the drivers run to their cars to start the 24 hour race. Wouldn't be funny to video everyone running to their cars....." So now I'm thinking, "yeah.... that might be long as nobody crashes into each other" So what you see in the video is the result of having Mike and I share a car. You will be relieved to know that we have been forbidden from spending any time alone again.

The still images are courtesy Steven M. and used with permission....
Video Notes/Comments: This video sat "in the can" for a few months until I managed to run across some Le Mans footage to splice into our video. Without the historical footage, it really didn't make a lot of sense. I believe it was shot with the JVC again, but I know that some scenes were with a tripod, Fran is on the camera and also served as our "director." This was edited with Sony Vegas 4.


Farewell Cruise

Sunday, May 2. 2004
Farewell Cruise
Chris was leaving the islands. How would we cope? What was the local S2000 community going to do for (slightly) used performance and appearence parts? Were we condemed to an existance of only buying parts .... ah new?
Download the Video Here: A Farewell Cruise

Of course we just messing with Chris, but if you know him, you also know that the average amount of time any part stays on his car seems to be a few months. Then its taken off the car and he's on to his next project.
With his impending departure, we decided to have one last get together and go for a drive and have lunch. We decided to meet up at Blaisdall Park in Pearl City and head over to Haleiwa town for lunch

We had a number of new faces and a bunch of the "regulars" were present. Remarkably, most everyone arrived on time and the weather was perfect for top down driving.

Everyone had a chance to check out the latest mods. We took a few photos before heading to the freeway and our drive through Kunia and into Haleiwa for lunch at Pizza Bobs.

Once we hit the road again, we made out way past Turtle Bay and through Punaluu. When we stopped for a "pit stop" at a small state park, the drama for the day began. (there's always something)

Apparently as we were pulling into the parking lot, one driver came a little too close to someone's kids (about 10 of them) that were playing in the street. Now I don't know about you, but when I see a car coming, I get out of the way. This technique has served me well over the years, and so far I haven't been hit by a car. Come on, it's common sense!

However, as many pundits will tell you, "common sense is not that common"! I look at like this: Back in the caveman days, if a member of your brood was not smart enough to run when the tiger came around, they got eaten. This is called Darwinism. We don't have a lot of tigers around these days, but there are still a lot of things that can kill you if you're stupid. I call this Urban Darwinism.
After we finally made it out of the parking lot, we made our way back to Honolulu via H-3. Those that have been on a cruise with us know that we use FRS radios to communicate while driving. These are a great help when plans change, and also just for fun banter and chatting.

As we're driving and talking, we hear strains of Wham coming over the radio. WTF? Wham? ..... "Wake me up before you go-go, don't leave me hanging on like a yo-yo....." Who the hell is listening to Wham! Allegedly, it just happened to be on the radio when Chris was talking. Yeah, right!

Well Chris, we love ya, even if you're a "closet" George Michael fan. I hope you enjoy the video, the 80's music is just for you! Good luck on the mainland, and do visit us in the Hawaii Forum from time to time.

Video Notes/Comments: This video was fun to make, probably because of the silly music. I learned that the JVC camera is pretty piss poor in low light situations, there is a discernable slow down in the frame rate. This is why the interior parts in Pizza Bob's were shown in slow motion - (to try) to hide this problem. As in my other videos, it is edited in Sony Vegas 4.


Cruizin' Hawaii - NSX/S2000 meet

Sunday, March 30. 2003
Cruizin' Hawaii - NSX/S2000 meet

When our friend Kingston mentioned he wanted to make a combined Honda/Acura cruise, we jumped at the chance. King, had owned an S2000, but he had just picked up an Acura NSX. The meet was set for for March and notices were sent out. As expected, turnout was excellent!
Download the Video Here: Cruizin' Hawaii

Our day began at Kakaako Park at about 10:00 AM. As is Hawaii custom, participants continued to arrive over the next hour. It seemed like theer was always "one more person" on the way, and our departure was delayed about a half hour too late. It started to rain!
Fortunately, the rain was confined to short cloud burst just before Waikiki, and by the time we passed Diamond Head, the skies were clear.

With this many cars, keeping everyone together along Kalanianaole Highway was difficult, but with everyone helping out, we managed to stay mostly together. We pulled aside just before the climb up toward Hanauma Bay to regroup.
Then it was over one of the most scenic roads on the way to Sandy Beach park for a little picture taking. I love the sight of 16 S2000s and 6 NSXs twisting along the rocky cliffside by the Blow Hole.

Getting this many cars out of the Sandy Beach parking would have been near impossible without our RSX buddies "running interference" and holding up traffic to let us in. The incurred the wrath of the other motorists to allow us to stay together! mahalo to them!
Our caravan of Honda's best drew quite a few stares as we moved through kailua town on the way to Windward Mall for Lunch.
We ended up parking at the end of the lot to keep everyone together, and this provided another opportunity to take a few more pictures.
After lunch in the Food Court, we headed towards Kuualoa Beach park. Once again our RSX friends provided blocking to help everyone get out of the parking lot.

Once we arrived at Kuualoa, we realized that some other car clubs were cruising and had monopolized all the parking! After a "drive throug" we headed back to town. Some drivers left after Kuualoa, and on our way back, the rains returned with a vengence!
As cruises go, this one was well planned and executed, and my thanks go to Kingston for getting the ball rolling. The S2000 Club of America provided the liability insurance and fortunately it wasn't needed. Except for the rain at the beginning and end, it was a wonderful day and everyone had a great time.
Video Notes/Comments: Looking back at this video, if I did it again, I'd make everything fit into one song to keep it moving better. This was all shot with one camera, my small JVC. I believe that all the shots were handheld so there is a lot of camera shake. Edited with Sony Vegas 4.


Windward Oahu Meet

Saturday, August 17. 2002
Windward Oahu Meet
Our Windward Oahu drive started at Triangle Park near Diamond Head. We had about 8-9 S2000s meet us at the park as we planned our route to Kaneohe.

Once we hit the road, everyone managed to stay together pretty well on Kalanianaole Highway, and once we got past Hanauma Bay, we made a quick stop at Sandy Beach for some obligatory "pictures at the beach" pictures that make those on the mainland so jealous.
One of our members graciously offered the use of his grandmother's house to host our barbeque. The pot luck menu consisted of Chieh's BBQ chicken, Kielbasa, BBQ meat, chile, and other local favorites.

While we were relaxing, a few more S2000s joined us for lunch. When we looked out and say 11 S2000s out there, we decided to find a more suitable location for a group picture.

We ended up at King intermediate and I think the photos below are some of the best group photos we've taken. Someone suggested that we try a "10 Best" style picture where the cars appear to be parked randomly. This turned out to be harder than we thought. There was a lot of directing each car to move "1 foot more to the right" to get all the cars in the picture.

In the end, everybody had a great time!


April "No Showers" Meet

Sunday, April 14. 2002
April "No Showers" Meet
It had been a while since our last S2000 event, and on April 14th we decided to take our chances with the unpredictable Spring weather and hold a drive/meet/picnic. As has become "customary" we began our meet at Moanalua Gardens. This offers an excellent place to gather since there is ample parking, and easy access to the freeway in both directions.

Our group of S2000 owners were supplemented with five Acura RSXs in what was their first real gathering. It presented a great opportunity for these owners to meet fellow auto enthusiasts and share some of the modifications each group had performed. The skies were pretty overcast as we headed over the H-3 freeway towards Kaneohe. Most of the S2000s had their tops down, so we were hoping for great weather as we emerged from the tunnels.

As always, the urge to "rev it up" in the tunnels took hold and we were treated to the "F1 soundtrack" courtesy of Honda's VTEC and Stephen's J's Racing Exhaust. (Franceen mistakenly thought Stephen's car was a sport bike! :o ) Sorry, I'm not sure if you consider that a compliment or not???

I had a true car enthusiast and future (we hope) S2000 owner along as my camera man and he took these great shots of our cars on the road. Mike's wife rode shotgun with Franceen and both had a great time experiencing the high reving, top down fun that the S2000 brings to the party.

Along the way we shared a number of road and driving stories we've each experienced over the years.As we cruised along Kahekiki Highway on the way to Kualoa Park, the skies really looked dark, but thankfully things remained dry, and all the chatter on the radios regarding rain, was quickly silenced with strong warnings of "you'll jinx us if you keep talking like that!" Fortunately, the skies stayed clear and we reached the beach park without incident and still in our long train of cars!

Once there, we all started unloading our trunks with all the food for our lunch, and spreading things out on some of the picnic tables.As before, we had quite a lot of food, and a stunning variety of choices were available. Franceen thought it would be cool to feed a few of the birds, and before too long, there were dozens just "staring" at us and waiting for more food.

After our bellies were full, some of the RSX owners swapped rides with some S2000 owners to get a feel of what each others cars were all about, and I think in every case, each person came away with a greater appreciation of the remarkable job Honda has done with each car. It really shows why each does so well in the marketplace (small sales pitch, sorry, I couldn't help it).
While we were eating, an S2000 owner who had missed the rally point at Moanalua Gardens drove up and joined us. Kingston had read about it at the website and decided to join in. After we left the park, we headed towards the Laie Point lookout and this is when our luck with the weather ended.

We encountered a brief cloudburst that prompted many of us to stop and put our tops up. Kingston went ahead to fill gas, and when we turned off to go to Laie Point, he drove past us. I later learned he was speeding along trying to catch up with us! Too bad we hadn't exchanged cellular numbers, we had no way to tell him where we were.

As we snaked our way around Waimea Bay, we decided to make a pit stop for some Shaved Ice at Matsumoto's. Everyone had a chance to stretch their legs and have a cool refreshing snack. As we were leaving there was a slight miscue regarding our route, but once everyone was gathered up again, we headed up Road.

I absolutely love this two lane road! It twists and turns as it winds it's way through ironwood trees and pineapple fields. On the other side of the road is a breathtaking ravine with little more than a small strip of shoulder and a guardrail that looks 50 years old separating you from the cliff. We made a quick run up the road and cut through Wahiawa, Schofield Barracks and Mililani to get to the new Waipio District park. This brand new facility has numerous soccer fields and baseball diamonds and lots of extra parking (on this day at least).
In the end, everyone had a great time. It was great to see the Honda/Acura enthusiasts enjoying an afternoon together, and although the weather looked threatening at times, everything stayed pretty dry for the most part. Thanks go to Rick for helping with the S2000 participants, and Derrick (visit his website by clicking here) for helping with the RSX's. Unfortunately Rick was unable to attend as he and Roxanne caught a cold that week and were still feeling a bit out of it. So until our next event..


2001 Honda S2000

Wednesday, June 27. 2001

It's been a week now and I'm still asking myself how this happened? What brought on this madness that made us get two, two seaters! Our Silverstone Metallic 2000 model is holding up well, and the Integra was only 2 year old, so why did we do this? The S2K should be called the "S2Krazy" because it seems to induce moments of madness in otherwise normal people.

It all started when I mentioned we had a White with Red 2001 in stock. I only mentioned it casually when Franceen commented she wouldn't mind such a combination. Hmmm, this got me thinking, "I wonder if we could manage with two of these cars?"

Over the last year, I've developed a strong attachment to my car, I guess I'm always like this, I don't want to drive anything else but my car! This created a bit of a mileage problem for the Silver car. A second S2000 would allow us to feel free to drive it on the weekends and park the other car to slow down the miles.

What are the downsides? Well for starters, we can't carry furniture home anymore. We can't take anyone out to dinner without meeting them there, and there is no truly "secure" car. Hopefully we have all the furniture we need, and since we live in Kunia, we usually have two cars in town anyway so we're generally meeting people separately. We are pretty confident that this will not require a major lifestyle adjustment.


S2kCA - East Oahu/Tantalus Meet

Friday, June 22. 2001
S2kCA - East Oahu/Tantalus Meet
In anticipation of our next event, and we were a little worried since it rained the day before, but on Sunday, July 22nd, we had nothing but gorgeous sunny skies, perfect for top down driving. At the start, we met at Moanalua Gardens so everyone had a chance to meet each other and have our first photo shoot of the day.

There were eight cars, of which we had at least one of every color. For this event, some of us brought Motorola talkabout radios so that we could keep in touch while on the road and regroup our cars where needed.We headed out Ewa bound on the freeway and immediately got on the H-3 Freeway over to the Windward side. After exiting into Kailua, we proceeded to Jarons in Kailua for brunch.
Back on the road we drove through Kailua, got on Kalanianaole Highway, through Waimanalo, and stopped at Sandy Beach for more picture taking. This gave the opportunity for another member to join us. After more talking and picture taking, we headed back on the road through Hawaii Kai, ending up on the H-1 Freeway towards our final destination, Puu Ualakaa Park.

The road up to the park is well known as Tantalus and is extremely curvy. A Porsche 356 Speedster quickly followed our tail revving his engine and the driver was howling like a wolf! We all parked at the lookout for more picture taking, while this Speedster stopped, let his dog out, and went past us “driving” his dog at about 1 – 2 mph. We all laughed.

After the picture taking was complete with some breath-taking shots of Diamond Head and Waikiki in the background, we left to our final destination of Puu Ualakaa Park. All in all, it was a perfect day, beautiful weather and we all had a great time. We had some suggestions for our next event, in September, for a picnic get together (see Page 2). Looking forward to seeing everyone again, and meeting new drivers to our club.
Click on the image below for a large Panoramic view!


S2kCA - Laie Point Excursion

Sunday, May 6. 2001
S2kCA - Laie Point Excursion
It's been over 10 months since our last gathering of S2000s and I've been wanting to plan a 'round the island drive for some time, but I simply didn't have the time. When the national S2000 Club of America was announced, it provided the nudge I needed to get something started.

In the weeks preceding the event I test drove the route to scout photo locations and lunch possibilities. Once I had these details set, I sent out our invitations. With the help of our local Honda Dealers, I managed to get invitations to around 30-40 owners on this island. I'm pleased to say we received replies from 10 enthusiasts who decided to join our club, and 8 who were able to join us for our meet.
For several days prior to the our Sunday date, we had a good deal of rain in the afternoons and I was hoping for clear skies and lots of "top down" weather. Fortunately, the weather cooperated! Sunday morning dawned clear and bright!

We met at Moanalua Gardens so that everyone could get to know each other and to set the ground rules for the day. Moanalua Gardens is an excellent location because it is near a freeway onramp that allowed us to all get on the freeway together and not get separated too much. We settled into a comfortable cruising speed as we headed Ewa towards Kunia Road and a scenic drive through the pineapple fields.
Once we cleared Schofield Barracks and Wahaiwa town, it was down the twisting winding road towards Waialua and into historic Haleiwa Town where we had lunch at Pizza Bob's. After lunch we saddled up again and headed towards Waimea Bay and on to our destination Laie Point.

As you can see below, the view is spectacular! Laie Point is a peninsula that juts out forming a perfect fishing spot and scenic view location. As you can see, my fears of a rainy day were unfounded, we had more than enough sun! After the pictures were taken and we had a chance to stretch our legs, we were back in the cars and headed back into Honolulu. Interestingly, when we were stopping for a "pit stop" I saw a Silverstone S2000 pull into the parking lot. The driver spoke to a few of our group then got back onto his car and drove off. It seems he received our invitation but was busy that day, my wife urged him to send in his information so we can contact him next time we have an event.
Click on the Image below to see the larger version!
Our route would take us through the H-3 tunnels and this provided the opportunity to snap the last pictures below. My wife took all the photos you see here today and that's why you don't see here in any of the photos. It appears our fist event was a success, everyone had a good time and we're looking forward to our next event when we'll plan a drive around the other side of the island. I'm also hoping to have a driver training class again this summer and hopefully we'll get a few of our members out to try the S2000 on the race track.


S2kCA - S2k Sunday

Monday, April 23. 2001
S2kCA - S2k Sunday
What started as a simple meet/picnic, snowballed into our largest meet yet! We had 13 S200s join us for a leisurely drive to the Windward side and Kualoa Beach park for a pot luck picnic. We had been planning this since our last East Oahu Drive and we had new people joining in right up to the last minute.As before, we began our day at Moanalua Gardens. This has proven to be an excellent meeting place both for it's central location, and it's easy access to freeway onramps.

Unlike all our previous meets, we were greeted by overcast skies and the threat of rain. Since the weather can drastically vary from one side to the Island to the other, our Windward members were responsible for giving us the "heads up" on the feasibility of our plans for Kualoa. Although things were cloudy, it looked like the rain would hold off. As we proceeded through the Koolaus and the H-3 tunnel it was amazing to hear the sound of 13 cars each turning 7-9,000 RPMI was amazed at how well we were able to keep all 13 cars in an orderly row, thanks go out to all the drivers for keeping speeds in check.

Unlike all our previous meets, we were greeted by overcast skies and the threat of rain. Since the weather can drastically vary from one side to the Island to the other, our Windward members were responsible for giving us the "heads up" on the feasibility of our plans for Kualoa. Although things were cloudy, it looked like the rain would hold off. As we proceeded through the Koolaus and the H-3 tunnel it was amazing to hear the sound of 13 cars each turning 7-9,000 RPMI was amazed at how well we were able to keep all 13 cars in an orderly row, thanks go out to all the drivers for keeping speeds in check.

Everything went smoothly and except for the lead car missing the off ramp (no names will be mentioned, but his initials are Rick Stark) were progressing nicely. Once we were all pointed in the right direction again, it was a quick run on a two lane road that twists through some pretty dense vegetation and before you knew it, we were at Kualoa Park.

By the time we arrived at the park, everyone was pretty hungry and all the food was laid out. Man what a feast! There was quite a variety of meats, chicken, sushi, chili, noodles and rice. Everyone seemed to eat pretty quickly, maybe because we were pretty hungry or maybe because it looked like it could rain at any minute (we did get a very light passing shower).

Before we left the park to return to Honolulu and our drive up to Tantalus Park, an ambulance and fire engine came and cleared out the grassy area across from where we were picnicking. Soon after a medivac helicopter landed to transport a patient to a distant hospital.
Our drive over the H-3 to return to Honolulu was much quicker, it's happened before, and I'm sure it will happen again, but a few guys sped off once the road opened up. Fortunately we were able to regroup before we reached H-1 freeway, and we made it off in one long train.

Once we got to the top of the park, we positioned the cars for another great group shot, when a and then we had an older Integra pull into the end of our line and park, ruining our picture opportunities. All the spaces across from us were empty and we were obviously taking pictures, but I guess they decided to "get in the act." Ed decide to ask them to move but they "declined" What a bunch idiots! I hope you read this! Oh wait, you probably don't know how to use a computer.
Just as we were discussing our day, one more enthusiast joined is at the park. That made 14 S2000s in one place! This was a Hawaii record. What a turnout!
The picture below is a huge panorama of our local chapter of the S2KCA.


Aloha 500

Sunday, February 18. 2001
Aloha 500
It’s been about a week since we finished our track day at Hawaii Raceway Park as a part of the BMW sponsored Aloha 500 driving school. After taking time to reflect on the day, I’ve got to say it was well worth the money spent. There was more track time available to us than in the lapping day at the end of the SCCA Regional race, but the big advantage was the additional one-on-one instruction.
After the tremendous heat generated by the rear brakes at the previous weekends track day, I was determined to be sure I had sufficient stopping power. It may sound kind of silly, but I felt like I was upholding Honda’s honor with all those BMWs present. To help me in this, I upgraded my brake pads to Porterfield R4S “hot street” carbon metallic pads. To keep the fluid from boiling over, I replaced the (one week) old Honda DOT 4 with some fresh Motul 600 DOT4. Since we were anticipating much higher speeds than we are used to, and since the SCCA will require newer Snell rated helmets, we decided to upgrade this part of our hardware as well.

The organizers of the event wanted all the drivers there at 7:30! Man that’s early, unfortunately there were delays starting so even though it looked like the drivers were ready, we got off to a late start. This would prove costly later.

For the first session on the track, we would run the “short course” with John my instructor at the wheel for 4 familiarization laps. We then pulled over and swapped positions. I felt really confidant since I had been out on this course only one-week prior. I was determined not to spin again, and approached the S-turn section carefully as I worked myself up to speed. The “Rubber Room” (the sweeping turn leading onto the main straight) still made me feel VERY uncomfortable and demanded my full concentration. When you drive through that section, you are only too aware there is no room for error, no run-off, and lots of hard things to hit!

John and I practiced different lines approaching the Rubber Room in order to try for the best launch onto the front straight. The Honda S2000 needs to be kept in the higher part of the rev band to have good power, and if I shifted into 3rd in the Rubber Room, the car was less sensitive to throttle input and felt more stable, but there was a painful lack of power because we had to wait for the revs to build and this made overtaking on the short straight much harder.

The rules for the day were simple: no passing unless the car in front waved you by. With about a dozen cars on the short course it did not take long for everyone to “stack up” behind the slowest car. I don’t want to seem too harsh, but once there were more than 3 cars in a line, there was no way to get around and the whole group was forced to tool around at speeds so (relatively) slow that the challenge was gone. I spent the last 10 minutes of the session driving at 6/10ths.
At lunch, Franceen brought my extra rims and race tires that I had loaded into her car the night before. The organizers were opening up the track to run the long course and I was looking forward to the challenge and higher speeds.
After mounting the race rubber, I dashed across to track to the office where lunch was waiting. As I was eating a sandwich, I heard a familiar sound. I turned around just in time to see my car streak by at 9000 RPM. My first though was, “Hey, who’s driving my car?” Followed by “Man that car sounds great!” It seems Franceen was going for a ride with Lindsey in my car! That will teach me to leave the keys in the car. She emerged with a great big smile and said there was no way she was interested in driving the long version of the track, “it’s just too fast for me.” Lindsey got out of the car and said, “your car has a LOT of power!” High praise considering his normal car is an immaculately prepared Porsche 911.
After our classroom session, we were ready to buckle up and hit the long course. This configuration uses the entire length of the ¼ mile drag strip including the staging area (the Rubber Room) and the area after the timing lights, allowing almost ½ mile of straightaway. I was making my third gear change as I exited the Rubber Room and shifting into fourth halfway down the front straight. On a good lap, I saw over 115 MPH before I needed to brake for the 2nd gear turn 1. This leads onto the back straight, which has a slight kink in it, but is still taken flat out and you can get almost as much speed as on the front straight. You need to tap the brakes to slow down for the 3rd gear Guard Shack Esses and then get heavy onto the brakes for the Off Camber turn that is taken in 2nd. Once you have the car pointed straight, it’s hard on the throttle for the run into the rubber room, again taken in second.

My run group had a bunch of Z3s, a Maxima, Reid’s Type-R, and Ray’s 328. For the most part, I had no problem getting around any of the cars, except for Ray’s 328. I followed him for several laps, slowly closing in under braking for turn 1 and through the Esses. Again the only place to pass was on the front straight and I had to wait for Ray to wave me by. The problem was, he waited too long (he did this on purpose)! I got so close to his bumper that I had to back out of the throttle, and only then did he stick his hand out the window. Once I lost my momentum, I couldn’t get it back quick enough to get by him and was forced to tuck back in and follow him for another lap. This time I got closer in the Rubber Room, and he waved me by before I had to get out of the power and the pass was made without drama.
Once we were out of our cars, Ray said, “I was passing everybody and doing great until you came up behind me. You were the only car I had to wave by all day long.” When I asked about the first attempt to get by, he chuckled and said that he couldn’t make it too easy for me and wanted to make me “work for it.” I guess he didn’t like the view of Honda taillights because I heard the next day he had placed a deposit on new 2002 M3.

If there weren’t restrictions on passing, I could have gotten around more cars, in some cases I followed the same car for 2-3 laps, but not all the drivers were looking in their mirrors or watching the flags. Since we started so late, we were forced to abandon our last session. This was really too bad, since we were getting ready to run on our own, but over all I felt the day was a success. I feel like I learned a lot, I had a chance to run on the full track, and I drove without putting a wheel wrong all day. I never even had a scary moment!