There’s something ineffable about icons. In human form, they have the power to disempower us or make us lower our defences. In fact, global stars such as Bono and Beyoncé – icons in their own right – have admitted to being unable to decline any requests from former South African President and freedom icon
Nelson Mandela. That’s the power of an icon.
However, when it comes to cars, we can all spot an iconic model a mile away. While the question of what defines an iconic car can be subjective at times, the coupés on the cover of this issue are – without a doubt – two of the most extraordinary cars you’ll ever see on our roads. Both the Toyota 2000GT and Lexus LFA are sensational. The thing about rare and iconic cars is that they evoke an assortment of emotions when seen in the metal. This isn’t completely surprising in the case of our cover stars. The timeless design of the 2000GT is a sight to behold, while the supreme craftsmanship found in the design of the LFA is almost second to none. There are 40 years between these legends, yet debates among aficionados about which one holds the title of “Japan’s First Original Supercar” will continue until the cows come home.
Rumour has it that the 2000GT raised eyebrows when it broke cover in the 1960s – and it still causes jaws to drop today. The LFA, on the other hand, may look graceful and charming, but that’s only until you turn on the ignition and hear it roar. Nothing compares with the sound that emanates from the trio of its exhaust pipes, courtesy of that magnificent and earth-shatteringly noisy 4,8-litre V10. Only 500 LFAS were ever built, compared with the 2000GT’S total of 351. Our heritage fleet at Toyota SA is teeming with other legendary cars, such as the Runx, Cressida, Corona, Camry, Stout and some Corolla Sprinter models.
Then we have iconic places: think Paris’s Eiffel
Tower, Cape Town’s Table Mountain, the pyramids of Egypt, India’s Taj Mahal and the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The reason they’re don’t-miss landmarks is not only their beauty, but their ability to conjure up powerful feelings in those who witness them. And, of course, there are countless sites deemed sacred by religious groups. Lastly, here are the top three things I’ve learnt about icons. One: your icon may not necessarily be mine. There are many reasons for this, including past experiences and varying tastes and ambitions. Two: not all icons are celebrated. Three: human icons are just like you and me – but it’s their success in the pursuit of doing good and their desire to make a difference in the lives of others that usually set them apart. Remember, it’s never too late to change your ways and, ultimately, the trajectory of your life if you haven’t subscribed to these values before. By putting others first, you may not become the celebrated legend you’d love to be, but you’ll be an icon in the eyes of those whose lives you’ve positively impacted.