In part 1 of our visit to Honda’s Torrance, California, headquarters for the 2021 Homecoming event, we took you behind the scenes of the well-orchestrated roll-in procedure that featured segmented rows of matching models and colors strategically lined up within the campus parking lot. Some of the vendors and special guests were also highlighted as they made their way through a makeshift parade path lined with attendees. For this installment, we’re giving you a look at a few more, as well as those that accompanied the vendor booths, along with a handful of gems borrowed from Honda’s museum.
Taking Home a Little History
Like any big gathering, there was event-specific apparel available to fans, along with a huge raffle that included various performance goods and even a complete set of wheels. Those that purchased raffle tickets also took home a little piece of Honda history with a mountain of classic, official Honda goods that were handed out throughout the day. In addition, a scavenger hunt was organized and one-off prints based on the models being celebrated were available to everyone at keepsakes, along with Homecoming window clings, stickers, magnets, and other “extras” so that everyone went home with more than a few unique items that can’t be had anywhere else.
The vendor section featured some very well-known brands including PRL Motorsports, Hondata, Titan7 Wheels, and more. Each brought out one or more demo vehicles to show off their latest parts and field questions from showgoers. As great as social media is for answering fan questions, nothing beats standing face to face with a brand’s representative to fill in all the details in real time.
The brand 27Won brought out its honda civic Type R development car which carries the brand’s signature colors on its custom vinyl livery. Pronounced “2-7-Won,” a name inspired by Honda’s RA271 F1 car, the brand is young but began making waves in the 10th-generation Civic market almost immediately with its performance parts. Its “Redefine” strategy aims at giving enthusiasts a much more immersive experience and one that it’s building on with constant parts research and development, including tearing into the 11th-generation Civic.
Why did Science of Speed display this K20C1 Civic Type R engine in its booth?
Probably because the brand’s successfully installed that same turbocharged four-cylinder in its Honda S2000 demo car. The Arizona performance shop was given an HPD crate engine to install into a track car and this S2000 build is the result. Fully bolted in place and relying on a V-mount configured cooling set up, the engine-to-firewall clearance is a bit tight, but everything is in place and we hear the shop is working on a complete kit for the DIY crowd. Two other engines were handed out by HPD with one going to the Gridlife team, which will be powering a Honda CRX, and the other provided to Mountune USA, who’ve already completed its swap into a 1990s-era Accord wagon.
Not on board with swapping the S2000’s beloved native F-series? Perhaps adding a touch of boost is more your speed. The legend himself, Oscar Jackson Sr., and his son Oscar Jackson Jr., debuted their upcoming Rotrex-based supercharger kit.
At a time when intakes and cat-back exhaust systems were being fought over by industry newcomers, Jackson Sr. was busy developing complete bolt-on supercharger solutions for various Honda models and digging into C.A.R.B. exemptions. Decades later, after having found success in the Scion FR-S/Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ forced induction market and more recently, the Honda powersports segment, the Jackson Racing brand returns to Honda road cars with this well thought-out system, which the family plans to legitimize with 50-state street-legal status.
If you’re wondering why a Chevrolet pickup truck is flying Honda colors, you may need to brush up on your American Honda history. In the late 1950s, Honda purchased a fleet of these to use as delivery trucks for its booming motorcycle business. This one was purchased and restored to look exactly like one of those fleet trucks from Honda’s earliest days.
There are dozens of aftermarket S2000 bumpers available but none carry the precise fitment of an OEM unit. This bumper, introduced at Tokyo Auto Salon ’20 by Honda’s Modulo division, updates the look of the front end and celebrates the roadster’s 20th birthday.
Spoon Sports USA put on a show of its own with a row of interesting builds extending from a large-scale booth setup. The company even brought along the president himself, Mr. Ichishima. Though it was a little dusty, this FD2 Civic sedan has some incredible stories to tell. It’s gone to war at multiple Super Lap Battle/Global Time Attack events and even knocked off the long-standing front-wheel-drive record back in 2015. A few years later, the car was retired from competition but not before its driver’s seat was relocated to the center of the chassis.
Serving as essentially the polar opposite of the time attack car is this mild-mannered N-One RS, which takes a slower approach to life. Like the Honda Fit, its outward dimensions are somewhat deceiving as the interior is unnaturally spacious, even for a kei car. We got a chance to take this car on the road recently, which you can read about right here.
The combination of old-style wheels and modern cars really shouldn’t work this well, but the 18-inch SW388 suits the style of the FK8 Civic perfectly. The dry matte finish is unmistakably Spoon. Paired with the tuning firm’s carbon fiber-trimmed front bumper, it makes for an aggressive touch.
This is the center bracing that helps support Spoon’s one-off multi-layer glass top that’s been a love it or hate it affair ever since it was unveiled.
According to Spoon Sports USA, this item will probably never see production due to the sheer cost involved from a manufacturing standpoint, not to mention its price point would scare most consumers away.
Essentially the poster child for authenticity, Tristan Ha’s S2000 CR is a rolling catalog of high-end Japanese goods including a newly painted and installed dry carbon fiber ASM front bumper. There are absolutely no corners cut on this build. It’s brutally apparent once you get up close for a better look in person.
It was only fitting to have this roadster on display at the event. If not for Honda’s gutsy effort to produce the outside-the-box S500/600/800, there would simply be no S2000.
From a distance, rows of the same model in the same color might look like a blur, but for those that aren’t lazy, there were plenty of gems to find within Honda’s parking lot. Take this red NSX, for example, sitting at a respectable ride height atop custom gray Volk Racing RE30 wheels.
It’s no easy task, piecing together a grand event like Honda Homecoming, especially in the settling dust of a global pandemic and within the confines of a strict professional corporate structure like American Honda’s headquarters. There’s no monetary payoff for Mike T. when it’s all over and the additional gray hairs and loss of sleep in the weeks leading up to the event are simply by-products. (Group photo courtesy of @white_rice_photography.)
When we asked if there would be a part five to this series that’s spanned the last 14 years, we didn’t even get to the last word of the sentence before Mike blurted out, “no way, this is it.” With that said, something tells us that if Honda were to make a big move in the next five years with a model that stirs up as much enthusiast emotion as the S2000 or NSX have, this will not be the last Homecoming event …
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