Have You Priced a Honda S2000 Lately?

While working on the Honda S2000 Honda Car Catcher item for Classic Motorsports, our sister title, we noticed something: Hagerty shows prices for top cars sailing past the $45,000 mark while, oddly, the rest of the field looks stagnant. 

So we checked our Bring a Trailer for some real world sales: Yep, lotta cars selling in the $10,000-$30,000 range with several in the $40,000-$50,000 zone. Their top sale is $70,000 for a 2009 model showing just 91 miles on the odometer.

We’ve spent a lot of time driving S2000s over the years and, yes, it’s a keeper. What does the rest of the class think? Is it worth such a premium over a Miata? Will values keep increasing? Will the S2000CR be the Shelby GT350 of its day? And are you bummed that you didn’t buy one when you had the chance? (We are.)

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/22/19 9:15 a.m.

And some screen shots of those values and prices:

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
11/22/19 10:24 a.m.

If miatas were a one-generation low production flash in the pan halo model like the S2000 was, their values would be much higher too. 

I think the prices are more of an indication of what people see as the significance of the model in the world of cars, than they are of the drive. 

I put a clutch in a heavily raced but near-stock and very nice s2000 last year and spent some actual time with it on the street. To me it is exactly like a Miata but worse, in the sense that everything it's good at makes it better on a track and worse on the street. Is a stock S2000 a good racecar for $40-70k? LOL. If it were priced purely on its ability to be a good street car there'd be none of them even selling over 5-6k! So the valuation isn't about objectivity, and it isn't about driving them on the street, and it isn't about driving them on the track. It's romanticism being acted out by buyers who have well enough escaped the foibles of the unwashed masses that they can spend a whole year of middle class income on the imperfect manifestation of an idea that appeals to them: A zingy little escape pod from the real world where you don't actually want to meet your heroes and 70k is many people's attempt at retirement savings. 

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
11/22/19 10:48 a.m.

I think these prices are being driven by people my age who are now realizing that the cars of our 20's might actually be collectible some day, i.e. the "Fast and Furious" effect. In terms of actual motorsports potential, there are many cars that can be had in that price range that would blow the doors off an S2000.  I'll have a 987 Cayman S, thanks.

_
_ Dork
11/22/19 11:03 a.m.

I'm finding them in "run down" condition around me for the low sum of 6-7k. It's a had me rethinking my NC plan. A little bit of elbow grease and parts and you could hold onto it until the time is right. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/22/19 11:13 a.m.

Honda made the S2000 for ten years, with US production around 66,500 units.  Compare that to the MX-5, produced for 30 years and still in production, with US Production around half a million.  Desirability and rarity will keep prices going up.

Flyman615
Flyman615 New Reader
11/22/19 11:20 a.m.

Nice car, but almost any Porsche Boxster S is a better performer and buy.

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
11/22/19 11:22 a.m.

As many social commentaries as i vomit up in response to the general ickiness of BaT, i have to say.. I do greatly enjoy their charts. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/22/19 11:33 a.m.
_ said:

I'm finding them in "run down" condition around me for the low sum of 6-7k. It's a had me rethinking my NC plan. A little bit of elbow grease and parts and you could hold onto it until the time is right. 

Keep in mind an S2000 is something like 350-375 lbs heavier than an NC. Add in the cheap/easy 2.5 swap. And I like that it's a bigger car as well. I had a '90 Miata track rat. Drove a friends NB WRL car............full cage, nets, containment seat, HANS.............I'm not a big guy but I still felt very claustrophobic in it.

I'm already beginning planning on how I'm going to redo my garage and tools so I can try to pick up an NC next year and start turning it into a track toy.

 

freetors
freetors Reader
11/22/19 11:56 a.m.

From what I've seen it's mostly just the ap2 cr models that are experiencing strong appreciation. It seems like the ap1s haven't quite hit rock bottom. And finding a clean damage free ap1 seems to be much less common. I'm hoping someday my 02 will be with more than 10k again but I'm starting to get kind of doubtful. 

_
_ Dork
11/22/19 11:59 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

Same plan, but I'm looking for an automatic

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/22/19 12:01 p.m.
_ said:

In reply to z31maniac :

Same plan, but I'm looking for an automatic

Although, I literally just came across the Keisler kit to swap an LFX into an RX-8...........that would be pretty awesome.

JimS
JimS Reader
11/22/19 12:06 p.m.

Sold mine to buy 911. Miss it. Brother had Miata that I drove many times. S2000 is better in every way including on the street. 

BA5
BA5 Reader
11/22/19 12:14 p.m.

I thought they were significantly better than a Miata from a sporting perspective.  There's not that many of them so I suppose you've got to pay up if you want one.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
11/22/19 12:15 p.m.

The S2k will always be cooler than a Miata.  Enthusiast's car vs Hair-Dresser's car.  

I cross-shopped them when I got my Viper.  A little too small and buzzy for my taste but very very cool and I remember how awesome they were when they came out.  Plus a major departure for Honda.  A guy down the road from me has one, very nice stock one.  Its always peacocking in front of his house.  Last year he hauled home a fake Christmas Tree in it (in the box) with the top down in early December.  My kind of guy!

kman91
kman91 New Reader
11/22/19 12:31 p.m.

I've never driven an S2000, so maybe this is an uneducated opinion, but this is priced as a collector car.  It's value has nothing to do with street manners, track manners, or even performance.  I think it's easy to see there are much cheaper alternatives for pure performance. 

It is a really nice looking car, but factor in that in stock form it's, what?, 600 lbs heavier than a Miata NB?  That's a heck of a weight handicap!  Buy a Miata NB in your favorite color, throw in a Flyin' Miata turbo and you've got an S2000 killer for 1/3rd the price, in a package that IMHO is almost as cool looking if not as cool.  O.K. maybe add another $1000 for suspension mods, but still about 1/3rd the price of a similar S2000.

I heard 2 years ago that any kind of decent S2000 was running about $12k here in Texas.  At the time I had just bought my 2004 Mazdaspeed for $6K (granted I got a good deal on it).  I couldn't believe it was that high then and now it's even higher. 

Maybe it would be a good investment.  Japanese cars like this seem to be peaking in price, or at least on the rise.  Miatas may do this someday too, but not so far.  It kind of surprises me that after all these years there are so many on the road, despite people tracking them to destruction every day.

Like I said, I do love the looks, but the weight penalty alone makes it a non-starter for me.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
11/22/19 2:09 p.m.

 

Maybe it’s a bunch of us six-foot-plus guys, that don’t fit in a Miata but will fit in the Honda, that are buying them up.

spacecadet
spacecadet Dork
11/22/19 2:15 p.m.

The big part of the S2000 is that Honda VTEC charm that no other roadster can deliver.
People can talk about better values in miatas and a brand new 2019 Club Miata is waaaaaaayy better value for money than the S2000's commanding $25k+

But nothing comes close to the noise they make and the experience that comes with it.. except a K Miata. Which still doesn't have the same feel.

 

They're a very special car.

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
11/22/19 2:23 p.m.

I have nothing to add other than someone I knew tried to convince me that since his ~'01 S2k made about 240hp, and my '01 Dodge Cummins also made about 240hp, his S2k would be just as good towing a trailer as my Dodge if he could find a good trailer hitch for it.    

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/22/19 2:52 p.m.
spacecadet said:

The big part of the S2000 is that Honda VTEC charm that no other roadster can deliver.
People can talk about better values in miatas and a brand new 2019 Club Miata is waaaaaaayy better value for money than the S2000's commanding $25k+

But nothing comes close to the noise they make and the experience that comes with it.. except a K Miata. Which still doesn't have the same feel.

 

They're a very special car.

And a fairly clean '06 S2000, 68k miles, advertised under $20k just popped in the area. Too bad I'm not in a position to make a move yet.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/22/19 3:04 p.m.

Top of the market cars selling for a premium but typical cars at unchanged prices? That sounds like a collector effect, not the results of an overall increase in values. Only the top-end collector cars are getting the price bump. You see the same thing with MGBs - they are still highly affordable except for the top of the market, which stand out. The BaT MGB scatter chart doesn't show the increase the S2000 chart does because MG values have stabilized, but you see that same upper strata that's disconnected from the primary body.

I've driven a few S2000s. To me, they're like an FD. Fast, but not playful. You don't get to really experience the best part of the car on the street.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/23/19 6:37 a.m.
93gsxturbo said:

The S2k will always be cooler than a Miata.  Enthusiast's car vs Hair-Dresser's car.  

 

Amusingly, the only person I've ever met who owned a S2000 was the g/f of a guy I met through the MINI club. She was a hairdresser. 

_
_ Dork
11/23/19 10:24 a.m.

There's a guy in my town that has a s2k, he has long, goldy locks. Might be a hairdresser. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
11/23/19 10:50 a.m.
Flyman615 said:

Nice car, but almost any Porsche Boxster S is a better performer and buy.

Boxters don't hit 9000.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
11/23/19 2:44 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Some S2000s only do that once, too .

S2000s seem to follow the "Miata price trajectory" in the sense that grotty ones can be had relatively cheap, and the good/really good ones command pretty high prices. The CR has gone a bit nuts price wise, but that was a very limited production model anyway.

I suspect that one of the reasons behind the price stability/increases on the S2000 is that the prices on the NSX have gone through the roof, too. So people who otherwise may have considered an NSX back when they were roughly a/c 911 money decided that S2000s are pretty cool, too.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
11/23/19 3:08 p.m.

One other thing I just learned from looking at the Hagerty price guide is that Hagerty will insure a non-DD S2000.

Oh, and they now give an SCCA discount, too.

That smug grin is the grin of someone who just halved the annual insurance premium on one of his toys. So GRM indirectly saved me some extra money, too.

NoGuarantee
NoGuarantee None
11/24/19 9:54 a.m.

I've got a 253,000 mile s2000. It hits 9000rpm every  time I'm it.  It's not pretty, but I love it.

rdcyclist
rdcyclist Reader
11/27/19 4:29 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Neither does a C5 Z06 'Vette but that doesn't mean it's not a better performer than an S2000 in the points of horsepower and torque.

The place the S2000 tends to kill the Boxster (and 'Vette) is basic automotive reliablility. My experience with them indicates they will hold up better as cars. The Boxster will out handle one and the Vette is much faster in terms of straightline performance. All three of them are in a similar price point right now. Any would be a gratifying vehicle to have in my garage...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/27/19 5:08 p.m.
NoGuarantee said:

I've got a 253,000 mile s2000. It hits 9000rpm every  time I'm it.  It's not pretty, but I love it.

Pictures, please? smiley

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