Please Don’t Hoard the S2000s
S2000s are designed to be driven and thrashed on. Hiding them just ain't right.
Bring-a-Trailer, revolving door of overpriced and under-driven machinery that always seems to end up selling for ridiculous numbers, is hosting an auction for this Silverstone Metallic over black S2000 with just 950 miles from new. With a couple days left on the auction as of writing this, the high bid is an eye-watering $32,250. All that for a car that is ultimately worse for not being driven.
The Honda S2000 is one of the greatest sports car of the last 20 years. Engineered by Shigeru Uehara, project leader of the NSX and DC2 Integra Type R, the S2000 was like his love letter to driving purity. Uehara was a driver and he made his projects answer to the driver, especially the skilled driver. With the combination of Honda reliability and razor-sharp dynamics, an S2000 is a car I would do many miles in. The car begs you to drive it, but apparently that beckoning wasn’t enough for the four sad bastards who owned this 950-mile S2000.
I cannot abide any low-mile car being sold on BaT, they’re all terrible usages of time and money. But an S2000? Seriously? They’re track rats, performance cars, designed to be driven and thrashed on. It’s almost anti-cruising in character; nothing happens below 5,500 RPM, and the only luxuries it has are a radio and air conditioning. It was born a future classic, but Uehara-san took steps to make sure that the AP1 would be a poser-proof machine.
Yet somehow, we have this example, standing against everything Honda intended and especially what Uehara-san wanted for his creations. This isn’t even the most egregious example, the most absurd one being this $112,000 black, 985-mile S2000 CR that sold about two months back. You read that right. Porsche GT3 money for a (admittedly fabulous) Honda.
BaT isn’t a great bearing on what’s going on in real life, and nobody really knows if any car on any auction site sells for the headline price. My own experience with bidding on BaT has been losing, being second or third highest bidder, and getting contacted a month later because the high bidder backed out. BaT, or any auction site, doesn’t want to talk about what cars actually sell for when they trade below closing price because the higher prices set precedents for more higher prices which reel in higher fees and sellers with more valuable hardware.
Similarly though, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace S2000s are definitely more expensive than they were three or four years ago. Not by much, to be frank. Just two or three-thousand dollars more on asking price. Generally, I see nice examples listed for $15,000-$20,000, with cheap beaters getting as low as $10,000-$12,000. Sure, you won’t get dumb low miles, but you’ll get a car that was loved and driven. Point is, it used to go the other way – used cars got cheaper as they got older, no matter what. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
But regardless of the used car market’s status is now, I don’t think ultra low-mileage cars are worth the hype in general. When a car sits around for a decade and a half, rubber gets dry, tires get old, fluids break down, and stuff starts leaking. You do not want that 900-ish mile S2000 if you really care about driving, like an S2000 owner should. Save your money, and get the example with 50,000 miles, or even 100,000 miles. It’s a Honda, after all. It doesn’t care about miles. It just wants to, and deserves to be driven.
Bring-a-Trailer pricing is dumb, but don’t lose hope in good driver-quality cars being for sale in the future. The truth is, this sorta thing is an aberration and we can just ignore it with a car that is as common as an S2000. Buy cheap cars, people!