Ruben Lopez's Honda S2000 is definitely widely known in the local community. Whether it's for Autocrossing, Stray Cats meet, or just having another red car, people know when Ruben is around. Don't let that fool you, though, this S2000 is special.
Like I said, I knew about this S2000 before I got in contact with Ruben. I found that this car was parked along my regular route almost daily, and I could never turn away when I passed by. I mean look at it. It's one of those cars that begs for attention, without begging at all.
To the untrained eye, this Honda is no more special than the next. Sure it looks a little cool, and has nicer rims, but what's the big deal? It's pretty obvious to any car enthusiast that this S2000 has something tricky going on, yet it's not obnoxiously bold.
The fact that Ruben has built his S2000 not to impress the crowd, but to move (and turn) quickly makes it that much more attractive to people like us. Am I saying this car doesn't impress the crowd? Absolutely not. This thing is beautiful, and it's Ruben's daily driver (which makes it even more beautiful).
If you somehow miss the fact that the hard top is carbon fiber, or this car is sitting on Work Emotion's wrapped with Dunlop Direzza's, then the interior gives you a good idea of what this S2000 is used for. No bubbly shift knob, no galaxy wrapper headliner, no removable steering wheel, only what's necessary to go faster.
It wasn't until I met Ruben that I knew his car what AutoX'd. I'll be honest, I usually picture AutoX cars either beat up or living their lives in a garage. I never knew there was an in between. When I learned this S2000 is AutoX'd, daily driven, AND looked this good, it took me a while to soak it all in.
When I asked Ruben what his future mod plans are, I was surprised when he told me he doesn't really have any more plans for this car right now. Ruben believes this car has more potential than he can achieve himself, and that he has to work on his skill as a driver before anymore modifications need to be done. This is something most drivers won't admit, but is true 99% of the time.
Ruben also helped create a group, The Stray Cats of Cars and Coffee (in Wilmington, NC), that meets monthly. Any mature car enthusiasts in the Wilmington area are highly suggested to go to one of their meets. The Stray Cats is a group that businesses actually like, and that isn't known for doing burnouts or revving engines. It's a refreshing group, and speaks a lot to the kind of car owner Ruben is.
If there's one thing I've learned from my time with Ruben and his S2000, it's the significance of modifying a car. I believe the fact that this car is built with a purpose is the reason it always attracts my attention (and everyone's attention). The way everything works together is no coincidence, and gives a refreshing meaning to the word "modified".