Earlier this year, Kempt declared a six-month moratorium on Steve McQueen. Amusing and all, but there’s a reason we didn’t sign on. McQueen madness comes in waves, and it’d be a dereliction of duty to ignore the one about to break. Not in fact on the style front; until you burn all your shawl collar cardigans in Tompkins Square it’s useless to debate his permanence and pre-eminence on that score. But we’re feeling more McQueen than ever this summer thanks to various happenings in the land of the King. For starters, his wicked 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo is coming up for auction in August during Monterey Car Week. A new graphic novel called Steve McQueen: Full-Throttle Cool is about to become our favorite beach read. And a documentary about his classic 1971 racing flick Le Mans which debuted at Cannes was just tapped for theatrical release this fall. And we all know that three makes a trend piece.
There’s been this massive and insane run on old Toyota Land Cruisers in the past few years. Recently there have been sales of FJ40s at auction for insane amounts, which has been wild to see. As someone who has lurked in the FJ vintage market for the past five years, I can’t believe how high things have gone for a vehicle that at one time was a totally unimportant. And while I haven’t pulled the trigger on an old FJ (yet), I have become a professional online hunter of trucks I will never buy or own. Jonathan Ward from ICON probably wants to kill me at this point because I ask him his opinion on some new random classified just about everyday, or at least once a week. He probably knows I am not going to buy (unless just the right thing came along), but entertains me nonetheless. But sometimes the thrill of the chase is almost good enough.
During one my many searches I would come across an outfit in Tampa called Volcan 4×4 (which may or may not have taken inspiration from ICON), who sells some very nicely reconfigured FJs and other assorted vintage off-roaders. Most of the stock originated in Central and South America only to be bought, shipped and overhauled in the U.S. by Volcan in Florida.
The scene consists of cars and vintage style of every stripe. The Goodwood Revival in England is like nothing I have ever seen. I’ve been to vintage clothing centric events and I’ve been to amazing car gatherings, but this blows everything I have seen out of the water. Earlier this year I went to The Quail in Carmel, California and to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and neither give off the nice vibes that Goodwood does. I’ve frankly never been to anything in America that is like this event. If you are someone who likes vintage style, beautiful rare autos and the spectacular surroundings of Chichester, England, then mark this on your list.
It’s not really an everyday thing for me to be spending time in the 4×4 forums looking for insane custom Jeep setups, but the other day this gent on Twitter passed me a link (hat tip) to a custom Paul Jensen Jeep which plunged deep into the crazy world of awesome off-road rigs. While I am much more into owning a custom Sprinter van (countless hours have been spent dreaming about one of those bad boys), these XV Jeeps need to be appreciated for the sheer craziness of it all — not to mention the craftsmanship on display from Paul Jensen. The idea of having a truck customized has to be something high on the list for all red-blooded males. Taking something basic and building in so much personalization and utility into a one-of-one truck needs to be commended here.
After watching motorsports of just about every species, I’ve ultimately evolved to appreciate one race more than the others: Le Mans. The 24 hours requires incredible endurance, driver skill and unparalleled reliability. It is unlike any other event in the world and is, in my opinion, the best racing in the world. One other wonderful aspect of the race is the fact that Le Mans has been followed very closely over the years and a lot great footage exists, much of which is on YouTube. I thought posting some of this footage is especially timely with the recent passing of American motorsports legend Carroll Shelby (more on that shortly) and with the race coming up in a little more than a month from now.
And if you haven’t seen Audi’s stunning 2009 documentary Truth in 24, you need to get on that. Audi also just announced Truth in 24 II which centers on the German automaker’s 2011 victory. With subject matter like Le Mans, there’s no way that this new doc will be anything but great.
1954 Part I
1954 Part II
There can’t be many better ways to spend a Saturday than to drive out to the valley and visit with Jonathan Ward, founder of ICON. I’ve been threatening to come and visit for some time, but hadn’t stepped up to make the trip until last week. The shop and showroom aren’t open on Saturday, but Jonathan didn’t mind coming by and showing me around on his day off.
LA-based Icon is one of those companies that I try to avoid. I mean this in the best possible way. I avoid it all because I want one of those fucking trucks really bad. I actually think it has transcended want, I need one of those things. The truth of the matter is, it ain’t happenin anytime soon. Unless I win the pick six next time I am at the track (Luck, anyone?), an Icon truck is sadly far away on the horizon.
Being aesthetically awesome (and retro), but still functioning well enough to be a daily driver is the whole point of the company. The guys over at eGarage caught up with Icon founder Jonathan Ward about the mission of the company and a little program that it is launching called Derelicts. Want to know more? Watch the film. Want an Icon? Get in line. [ICON]