The World’s Best S2000: Amuse vs. ASM

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Amuse S2000 GT1

I’m going to ask this question out loud that I’ve been unable to answer for many years. Which is the best S2000 ever made – The Amuse GT1 or the ASM Widebody time attack car.

Before I go any further, I should admit that I’m equally biased. It was Amuse’s titanium exhaust for the S2000 that made my relationship begin with them in 2001. Around the same time it was ASM’s Tsukuba Special S2000 that was the first to break into 59 second range at Tsukuba that made me approach them and become their first US distributor. I’ve since remained involved with both companies for many years and watched them grow and evolve with the S2000 (as well as their other cars). In the case of ASM, we went as far as to buy the actual dry carbon widebody shown in the picture below and we keep it at our warehouse as it is the only one in the world produced (they switched over to the version 2 and we happily took version 1 off of their hands back then).

So the question is – which S2000 is better? Amuse went on to turbo their GT1 and ASM went on to further refine their aerodynamics and replace every bolt with titanium to squeeze every last drop of lap time reduction.

These cars are truly the best of everything. No expense spared. ASM uses Challenge for their dry carbon which is where the OEM’s shop when they build their Super GT machines. Amuse uses titanium springs for their coilovers which nobody else can mess with. There are tricks within tricks within tricks that make both of these S2000s in a league of their own.

But which one is better?


Photos courtesy of the Bulletproof vaults.

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Bulletproof @ Speedhunters Event.

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Bulletproof S2000 R35 GT-R SpeedHunters Event

On Saturday the guys over here at Bulletproof rolled out to the SpeedHunters event to hang for the afternoon. We brought out the S2000, the new 2012 GT-R (pre-modding spec), Alex’s Genesis and Jason’s Evo X. It was great to see some nice rides and to have good conversations about this crazy hobby we all love.

We will be putting up a few more pictures up on our facebook fan page shortly. Thanks to all of those who dropped by and said hi!

(special thanks to William from Night-Import blog for his great coverage and support)

Here’s the link to our facebook page:

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Customer Car – Bobby Taylor’s GT1 S2000 (Revisited)

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Bobby S2000 GT1 Amuse

Bobby and I got this project rolling back six years ago when he dropped by our old Gardena, CA warehouse ready to do something big. Despite the years since then somehow this car has remained under the radar of the media…until now. Super Street Magazine just last month recognized what an incredible job Bobby did with his S2000 and wrote up a feature article on his car! Congrats Bobby! It is well deserved!

Bobby GT1 Amuse S2000

I really love cars that 6 years later not only still look timeless but are still so fresh that they’re magazine feature cars. In a world where most cars are trendy and the styling is played out 2 years later, this car is proof that a car can be built the right way and remain timeless!

Bobby GT1 Amuse S2000Bobby GT1 Amuse S2000

Super Street link:

The earlier blog post here from 2008:

Thanks to The Chronicles for the hi-res goodness!

Bobby GT1 Amuse S2000Bobby GT1 Amuse S2000

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Tamon Design Gang Rolls Deep

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Tamon Design Crew Rides

Seeing many of my favorite Tamon Design demo cars together at one time is a rare occurrence worthy of sharing. Getting that much awesome in one picture just isn’t easy. I can’t imagine how incredible it must have been to see and hear all of these cars ride by on the freeway!!! Only in Japan.

Tamon brought out all of the heavy hitters for a cruise, including an incredible looking Porsche that I’m not sure has been seen before. Check out some of the pics!

Tamon Design Crew Rolls Deep - PorscheTamon Design Crew Rolls Deep - Porsche

Tamon Design Crew Rolls Deep - PorscheTamon Design Crew Rolls Deep - Porsche

All the hitters were there. You might recognize the red Tamon Design FD3S RX-7 for being a kit also used on the legendary Scoot Sports 4 rotor RX-7. Then there’s also the ridiculously expensive Tamon 370Z, a Super GT inspired JZA80 Supra, and another FD3S as well. The only thing absent is Tamon’s FC3S which is another favorite of mine.

Tamon Design Crew Rolls Deep - Porsche

Lets close this out by looking at one of my favorite S2000s.

Tamon Design Crew Rolls Deep - S2000

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The First Bulletproof / GT-RR / The Real JDM Meet – Recap

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The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010

After a partial night’s sleep I’m happy to bring a somewhat official recap of what went down last night. What started as a humble old school style meet ended up becoming quite epic. As I mentioned last night, we were going to be happy if 20-30 great cars and people came through. Instead the advance sign-ups exceeded 100 and guys started rolling in deep who didn’t even sign up (which was fine with me).

For those of you who know me and know this blog, I’m not huge on quantity but I am huge on quality. It’d be one thing if 150 cars came through, but what struck me as awesome was the quality of cars and people who dropped in. I’m easily disappointed at car shows in recent years, but the quality that I saw represented last night had me very proud to be associated with the evening!

Seeing friends, past/current clients, readers of the blog, guest writers on the blog, and a bunch of guys who are just down for the cause was really incredible. There was more than a handful of cars that were better than some of the best Japanese cars we just saw at SEMA a week earlier.

A few of the many that stood out to me were:

Full Do Luck widebody Evo 9 with Top Secret TE37s and Okuyama full cage

Full Voltex Evo

Midnight Purple 3 R35 GT-R

TWO Amuse Vestito 370Zs

Phil’s sleeper S2000 with 500+ wheel HP

Randy’s Kenstyle/Top Secret SC’d G35 Coupe Show Car

Jon’s Evo X that we featured on the blog earlier with loads of nice parts

Two of the owners of NAGTROC (GT-R community) who live out of state and stopped by

Numerous tuning shop owners

Mugen’d out CR-Z

A few VIP tuned sedans

Waizzz’s Nismo’d out super clean 350Z

A ton of 350Zs, S2000s, Z32s

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010 Do Luck Evo 9The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010 - Do Luck Evo 9

The layout was unique in that the venue is a retro American diner with car hop service and neon signs. While we could only fit about 15 cars up front, there was room for 100+ at a time in the back (which was unfortunately dimly lit for night time photography). Ultimately we did this to bring great people together and to have a good time, not to stage a photo shoot so I’m happy with the results even if the pictures don’t do it justice. I think if you ask anyone who was there they’ll tell you how incredible the cars were that attended!

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010

We had roughly 8-10 GT-Rs drop in over the course of the evening. I drove out my GT-R with the newly installed Pro Stock racing canards, Do Luck front diffuser, Tommy Kaira side skirts and gloss black powdercoated R57GT wheels (I run low offset 20×10.5″ front and rear on mine which is a bit unusual for R35s to run non staggered). In the picture to the left you’ll see Steve’s white gt-r, Chris’s midnight purple 3 painted GT-R and mine.

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010 - R35 GT-R Midnight Purple 3The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010 - GT-RR GT-R

Below is Jon’s immaculate Evo X and Phil’s sleeper S2000. You know a car is special when it looks nearly bone stock yet it draws a crowd instantly from guys who are all overwhelmed and desensitized with so many highly modded rides in the vicinity. Phil’s 520hp or so S2000 is one of the fastest I know of out here and he’s about as hard core as guys come with engine mods. What makes it that much more awesome is that you would not expect it from Phil or the car when looking at them for the first time since Phil is retired and spends his time touring the country in RVs and racing his S2000.

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010Phil's S2000

Here’s a small lineup of 350Zs, I’m guessing there were 20+ that came through over the course of the evening. And then yes…one of a couple Voltex’d out Evos.

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010

Two full Amuse Vestito 370Zs. Watching these two cars leave for the night and do a fly by was one of the sexiest things I’ve seen in a while. I hope these guys became great friends and roll together more often, necks will be snapped often. I know of at least 5 conversations that stopped mid sentence when these two drove by. Funny note…these two guys not only have similar taste but also share the same name, Andrew.

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010

The amount of incredible cars there just can’t be done justice…I’m featuring only a small portion of great rides that showed up. Here’s a Varis’d out Evo X and a Spoon fed S2000 that looks track ready.

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010

A little BIPPU (VIP) ARISTOcratic action and what appears to be Tom’s old S2000 project we collaborated on a few years back (now with a new owner I believe) EDIT – Incorrect, the S2000 is actually a new project and a really nice one at that!

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010Bulletproof The Real JDM Meet 2010

Here’s a few more awesome cars below from Night Import’s capturing of the event!

Bulletproof The Real JDM MeetBulletproof The Real JDM Meet

Bulletproof The Real JDM MeetBulletproof The Real JDM Meet

Bulletproof The Real JDM Meet

As the night wound down, it was time to take our two cars back home. Thanks goes out Kristoffer who drove the S2000 was happy to demonstrate the durability of the Amuse front diffuser for everyone on his entry. 🙂

The Real JDM Meet by Bulletproof November 2010

Bulletproof S2000 GT

Even though the event started at 6:30, I’m told guys started rolling in at 4:30! I showed up thinking I was early at 6 and the lot was already nearly full. Thank you to the two guys who gave us their spaces so we could put the S2000 and GT-R up front! Speaking of…THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT. This event was about making new friendships, and unifying around the love of Japanese tuning. I feel like it was a massive success on both fronts and it was a great pleasure to see it all come together.

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH! I’m grateful everyone was down for the cause. Lets keep this quality JDM movement moving forward!!! I’ll keep doing my part, you’ll see a new t-shirt campaign coming soon. Perhaps we’ll even do another event like this if enough guys are wanting it (let me know if you’re down for another one next year!).

For all of you who couldn’t make it, I took a short walk with my iphone to try to capture a brief moment in time…You can check it out below. The degree of quality cars was really overwhelming for a local meet, I think you’ll agree when you see the video. 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to share links here to those who have pictures from the event…Please feel free to comment with more links and I’ll continue to update this.

Thank you for all of you who took pictures! I’m taking some liberty above with the pictures, many of which belong to Waizz, Calin and others (thank you!)

Thank you again to everyone, I really can’t say that enough! You guys made it an awesome night!

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Bulletproof S2000 Canyon Run

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Bulletproof S2000 GT Canyon Run

After being without my S2000 for what feels like forever, I am very happy to have it back freshly off of a new tune (thanks Shawn Church). The car currently is putting down 421 wheel horsepower at very close to its 9000rpm redline. Rather than have my first experiences with the new tune be in rush hour traffic, I decided to take her out to the Malibu canyons Sunday evening to get reacquainted. After driving the GT-R lately, the S2000 is such a massively different car in more ways than I have time to explain here.

One thing I can elaborate on is that while the GT-R has monster torque and power everywhere, the S2000 felt initially sluggish by comparison (even with this larger power tune). That is until passing 8000prm….The last 1000rpm on the tachometer, especially in this particular S2000 is what separates the S2000 from the GT-R. Whatever the GT-R has on the S2000 (which is as you might imagine quite a lot), the S2000’s last 1000rpm makes up greatly for its losses and shows the car’s true colors. Ultimately the difference between the two is that the GT-R unleashes the fury early and often, but this S2000 has soul and a fight in it that the GT-R in it’s current state can’t match. Just when I think the S2000 feels slow compared to the GT-R, that last 1000rpm in which the power rises to 421 wheel hp reminds me that the S2000 was a beast all along and it just needs to be provoked more brutally for it to bite your head clean off.

In the canyons the difference between the GT-R and the S2000 was found. The GT-R runs effortlessly hard out of the gate but this S2000 when truly engaged and tested to the limits proves that it indeed has the truer spirit of a fighter.

Here’s a video below I took to showcase the scenery. If you want to hear the full Amuse exhaust you can skip to the last couple seconds (Amuse titanium header, Amuse sports catalyer and Amuse Euro 7022 dual exhaust)

(video also available in 720p HD)

Bulletproof S2000 GT Canyon Run

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The Joys of Driving by Kristoffer Friberg

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Growing up on the East Coast, I hadn’t spent much time near the ocean.  Minus the occasional trips to Coney Island or my vacations in South Florida, I can count the number of trips to the ocean I’ve hand on two hands.  So naturally, when I moved out to Cali to work at BP, I started spending many of my free weekends on the west side of LA just to be near the Pacific.  (now how this relates to cars)


Throughout my life, I’ve heard all about the SoCal car experience – traffic, the best tuning shops around, high gas prices and more traffic.  Of course, I always wondered how people could tolerate having modified cars, while spending more than half their time driving on freeways and sitting in bumper to bumper in traffic (as it is now, I spend, on average, an hour in said traffic on the way to work everyday).  I had heard of the legendary Muholland Highway, and of course the canyon roads in Malibu with their spectacular views of the Pacific and amazing curves, so when I got out here and started driving, I knew where I had to go.


At this point, I’ve been to the canyons a few times (including one faithful trip that ended up with Ben’s S2K on a flatbed ride home), but I hadn’t taken the time to really appreciate the experience fully.  This past Labor Day weekend, I took a trip up to Malibu to hit the beach with my girl, but before we laid out, I had to scratch the itch and take a drive up in the canyons to see the beautiful view and have a little fun driving (safely, of course).  I stopped along the way and snapped a few photos at what has become my favorite spot for viewing the mountains and the Pacific ocean in their full glory.


The point of all this is, we’re all car guys and of course we love driving, but I feel like a lot of the enjoyment gets lost for those of us that are too busy with life, or live where freeways are essentially parking lots.  I think my message here is that it’s important to take some time every now and then and take a little trip somewhere where you can really take it all in, be one with your car, and love the experience of driving…and life.


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