The imports are coming. We have been watching the sun rise on Japanese cars from some time, knowing that they couldn’t remain cheap forever. The Honda S2000 has been on the front of the wave as values have shot up for the best examples of particular models.
Arguably one of the best S2000s to come up for sale in recent history, a New Formula Red soft top just sold on Bring a Trailer for $48,000. If you just raised your eyebrows, scoffed, or yelled at the screen, settle down and let’s talk about why this number could have been even higher.
This particular convertible had one big thing going for it—low mileage. It has just 1001 miles on the odometer. There were more than 400 photos too, which presented the car in flawless, as-delivered condition. The hang tag airbag warning on the dash is intact, for cryin’ out loud.
This is not the only super-low-mileage S2000 out there. Heck, it’s not even the only one to appear on Bring a Trailer recently. So that somewhat quashes the “try to find another one” argument that can drive up prices. The 2000 model year was also the first for the S2000, so this car holds to the general belief that cars from the first and last years of production are more appealing to collectors.
This is a benchmark sale, no doubt, but even more noteworthy is that there are a couple of things that might have pushed the price even higher: the right color combination and a factory-option hardtop.
First off, while the New Formula Red paint and black interior makes for a visually great combo, from a production standpoint it isn’t rare. According to the research of a member on s2ki.com, we can see that the black interior was the most popular pairing with the four exterior color choices. The other option would be the red interior. Only 384 cars received Berlina Black exterior and red interior, making that combination the rarest in 2000. New Formula Red with black interior was chosen by 2116 buyers.
Another factory fit that would have boosted value is the OEM hardtop. Rarely ordered, those tops tend to stay with cars and are very difficult to source. Aftermarket hardtops do exist, but they tend to be less desirable than the factory-fitted pieces.
We aren’t about to state that this car was a bargain, but it is indeed hard to imagine a cleaner example. The main takeaway is that appreciation for Japanese cars has been on the rise and shows no signs of slowing. When it comes to these rare-opportunity cars—price doesn’t matter when someone wants it bad enough.