Meet Holley's Michael Seymour
Seymour didn't even know '76 Novas came with four doors until he stumbled across the one he actually bought. It had exactly the patina he had in mind, and, since it brought to mind the '70s Holdens of his native country Australia, he had to have it. It has, by his estimation, at least 200,000 miles on it, but by the time he's done with it, he wants it to be a pro-touring-style ride. Don't laugh – the front suspension is not that different from the front end on a Gen II Camaro, and the rear suspension is somewhat similar to that of a Gen I Camaro.
Before buying the '00 S2000, Seymour had never owned a Honda of any kind, and that's saying a lot because despite still being in his 20s, he's already owned, by his count, 19 cars. "I'll buy a decent car that needs a little work, modify it, enjoy it, sell it, maybe break even on it, and move on to the next one," Seymour said in his distinctive accent. This one is different. This is one car he's going to hang on to for a while. The roads around his Virginia home are what got Seymour interested in S2000s in the first place. "Before I moved to Bowling Green to start working for Holley, I lived in the mountains of western Virginia," he said. "It was a 20- or 30-minute drive to work each day on tight, twisty roads, and this kind of car is just perfect for that kind of driving. I never even considered buying a Honda before this one because there are so many of them out there, and they're not the fastest things in the world, but it's really fun to drive. To me, it's like a street-legal go-kart. It's driver's car and super reliable – the engine is just about bulletproof – so you can spend your money improving it, not on repairs. There's a lot of potential for modifications."
Since purchasing the little convertible, Seymour, who works in Holley's marketing department has removed the aftermarket cat-back exhaust it came with, installed headers, added a cold-air intake, and delved into the sometimes tedious world of bodywork. "When I bought it, it was in pretty rough shape," he said. "I restored it and made it more drivable and fixed all the rust in passenger-side rear wheel well – these things are notorious for rusting there. I thought I'd just have to sand it and paint, but I ended up having to cut out a bunch of rusty metal to fix what turned out to be a really botched repair job by somebody else. There was Bondo everywhere."
Seymour, who maintains his own YouTube channel, "Garage Topics," which has more than 5,000 followers, had never welded anything in his life. He taught himself that, too, with a Lincoln welder he acquired, practicing on scrap metal in his garage. To finish the job, he painted the quarter panel himself – another first – with a can of spray paint. "It's about 95 percent perfect now," he said. "And doing the whole rear panel only cost me 100 bucks." Now the plan is to make the car handle as well as possible for the next motorsport he plans to conquer: autocross.
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