Toyota Connect/Lexus Life - - EDITOR’S LETTER - Mzo Wit­booi Edi­tor

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.

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