LA LA Landcruiser



Hitting the exact spot when Central California becomes Southern California south beyond Point Conception, you enter a completely different world. Something about the self-conscious, understated coolness of San Francisco morphs into almost an exhibitionist way of being.

All of a sudden the sun gets hotter, the cars get louder and the highways become a physical presence, like the bulging veins in a gym-queen’s forearms. It is here in LA’s endless sprawl where the car revels in its reign as king.

Malibu is one of the obvious first stops as you the gravitational pull of the megalopolis begins to take hold down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Seedbed of modern surf culture (the left-field, anti-establishment kind as typified by Miki Dora), Malibu is the most famous right hand pointbreak in the world.

Situated just down the road from the Hollywood Hills and in full view of PCH, every time a summertime south swell hits the point, there are hundreds of surfers hustling to get their slice of the Malibu dream.

The place is a post-modern mish mash of old dudes in their sixties, tow-headed groms, retro stylists in the Entertainment industry and surfing moms. It’s a world in microcosm, California surf distilled.

Every now and then an interesting surf wagon pulls up to the point. Though it sometimes feels like it, not every American surfer has bought into Honda’s hugely successful lifestyle vehicle, the Element.


The most interesting wagon on the point this morning was undoubtedly Alain Briere’s immaculate 1972 Toyota Landcruiser (pictured above). With over three hundred thousand miles on the clock, original paintwork, a V6 petrol engine and the very same eight track stereo machine it came out of the factory with, it’s hard to believe this is a daily used vehicle pushing forty years old.

Forget the Toyota Prius. That’s what I call sustainable motoring.

Below is the trailer for the documentary/surf movie One California Day. It seems to sum up the vibe here in California about as well as it is possible to do.