Honda S2000 2.0 i-VTEC GT, £8995: As a classic in waiting, a Honda S2000 makes a great buy. Trouble is, there are lots of tatty examples out there.
Not so this 2006/06-reg GT with removable hard-top. It has done 91,000 miles – nothing for an engine with a carbonfibre-lined block and forged pistons – and has full Honda service history, supported by tons of invoices.
Being a 2006 car, it benefits from the so-called AP1 facelift of 2004. This brought stiffer body bracing, retuned springs and anti-roll bars, fractionally slower steering and larger wheels (from 16in to 17in). Meanwhile, the gearbox gained much stronger carbonfibre synchros in place of the softer brass ones.
The interior of this one looks a little shabby. (The driver’s seat leather appears to be badly creased.) We can’t comment on the carpet but it’s known to get a little damp in S2000s from water getting in via tired seals between the hood and windscreen.
If we were to take it further, we’d pop the bonnet and have a listen. If the engine is ticking from cold, we’ll be thinking sticky hydraulic pins, which can be cured by blipping the throttle or letting the engine warm up. If it’s rattling when hot, it’s likely to be the timing chain tensioner.
Regarding the transmission, it’s likely to have had a new clutch (the paperwork should confirm this) because they can let go at 50,000 miles. Given the full Honda history, the suspension bolts and fixings should be well greased. If not, they can seize, meaning the geometry can’t be set up properly, leading to abnormal tyre wear and woolly handling. Rust? The underside can suffer but we’d also check the rear wheel arches.