After Cars & Coffee Irvine’s departure many years ago, there’s been a hole left in weekend mornings ever since. It was the originator, so to speak, and given the cars it managed to bring out on even the gloomiest of Saturday mornings, nothing has compared in the years that have followed. That’s not to say, however, that no one has tried.
I first encountered Brandon Miller’s work nearly 15 years ago. Photos of his gorgeous white E34, perched atop AC-Schnitzer Type 3s and photographed beautifully beneath a bridge, are permanently embedded into my mind. The photos marked the start of years of back-and-forth between us, ranging from photography to cars and everything in between.
It’s not all too often that I come across a car that excites me. Perhaps it’s a bad sign: nearly a decade of writing feature articles and submerging myself in the depths of automotive social media have left me a bit jaded. In fact, it’s a running joke; “Mike doesn’t like anything,” and rooted within every joke is a bit of truth. I hope, of course, that my sentiments aren’t misinterpreted. I encounter cars on a daily basis that I enjoy, respect, and have a desire to share.
Deep in the heart of Russia, Vladislav Shkurko has been hard at work, not only reassembling a rather unique Toyota Mark II, but also adding some incredible touches of his own. In blending classic Japanese styling with a hint of Russian flair, there’s little not to love about the future-classic. The true to heart Japanese aesthetic bestowed upon the car is enough to merit a feature of its own, and the work put into the car makes it doubly so.
“It’s a Japanese El Camino!” he jokes from across the parking lot. Even Dominic Le doesn’t take his project too seriously. After all, there’s just something about his truck, dubbed the “Hakotora,” that induces a smile with a sense admiration. Maybe it’s Dominic’s carefree character that has managed to rub off on his creation, or perhaps its a reaction based in astonishment itself: astonishment that such a creation can exist, and does so with unparalleled execution.