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  #1  
Old August 17th, 2015, 04:36 PM
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ICON Interview

Wondering if a anyone here caught Joe Rogan's podcast interview with Jonathan Ward of ICON. Very interesting. He talked a bit about the defenders he worked on. Had some interesting (somewhat critical) things to say about Land Rover. Thought I would pass this along for anyone interested.
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  #2  
Old August 17th, 2015, 08:13 PM
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edit: He starts on the 110 (talking about purists) right around 1:27:30
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Old August 17th, 2015, 09:04 PM
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Yah, the guy does not like Land Rovers. Not sure why anyone would pay serious money for him to do one as you can see he is putting no heart into the work.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 09:06 PM
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He is a Toyota guy at heart, must be tuff for him to work on a rover.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 09:51 PM
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Toyota guy, Land Rover guy, whatever, he could be a Citreon or Tatra guy for all care, he's a genius and a craftsman and I respect that.
I particularly love his statements on "engineered obsolescence". Very pragmatic and observant.

He can hate on Land Rovers all he wants.
All that talk about engineered obsolescence in modern cars and the hampster wheel the manufacturers want all of us consumers to jump on makes me want to keep my Defender forever!
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Old August 17th, 2015, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post
Toyota guy, Land Rover guy, whatever, he could be a Citreon or Tatra guy for all care, he's a genius and a craftsman and I respect that. I particularly love his statements on "engineered obsolescence". Very pragmatic and observant. He can hate on Land Rovers all he wants.
Well said, Jackie.
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  #7  
Old August 17th, 2015, 09:57 PM
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Meh. If things were built the way he thinks is right, the cheapest car in the world would be $100k.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 11:01 PM
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[edited - saw the update on the original post]

I don't think he was particularly down on Defenders. I know I've said the exact same things doing my truck. There's a whole bunch of stuff about these trucks that are just...off. I mean, come on...how many posts have you seen where people say that Land Rover tolerances on Defenders is measured by the quarter inch?

His comment about the galvanic corrosion is spot on.

He also mentions people doing the VIN swapping.

I don't think he said anything during the Defender segment that I disagreed with. He sounds like someone who actually did the work on the restoration - and remembered all the frustrations. I can relate!
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  #9  
Old August 18th, 2015, 12:11 AM
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Wow, what an inspiration! Jonathan may not be a big fan of the Defender, but he's also right!
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  #10  
Old August 18th, 2015, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Sounds like the host is buddies with the West Coast Defender guy. Has anyone seen any of these trucks? Is he still peddling LandRoverSuk trucks or is he actually doing something of his own?

The host is pretty funny, but sort of a clown. At least he's a car guy at heart. But it makes sense that he's part of that Hollywood bullshit networking cult where everyone believes that if you promote yourself enough, you will make it. That is West Coast Defenders in a nutshell. I bet if you asked West Coast Defender guy what a 13mm was, he'd probably think it's some LA Gangsta rapper moniker.




Anyway, I enjoyed the interview and do enjoy his TV appearances. Much better than the two lovers that host "Trucks U" on the Velocity network!!!! or worse, "All Girls Garage"
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  #11  
Old August 18th, 2015, 10:21 AM
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I am fortunate to own both an ICON and a Defender and have spent a lot of time talking with Jonathan about both. He doesn't hate Land Rovers. He just appropriately recognizes some of the fundamental flaws in Defenders that make them poor candidates for his resto-mod business (issues that I believe are not debatable). He actually loves the old Series trucks and we are talking about an ICON version of a IIa, which is my dream. If only the wait wasn't 3 years!
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  #12  
Old August 18th, 2015, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
Meh. If things were built the way he thinks is right, the cheapest car in the world would be $100k.
True, maybe even more than $100K. And no manufacturer does build that way as a result (okay, with possible few exceptions of very low volume high dollar cars - Bugatti Veyron comes to mind). But I don't think any of us really believe that a Defender couldn't have been built with better Quality, Reliability and Consistency for what it costs.

Maybe Land Rover couldn't, but other manufactures have clearly shown it is possible..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul K View Post
Wow, what an inspiration! Jonathan may not be a big fan of the Defender, but he's also right!
I'm not so sure he is down on the Defender, just as others have stated, as much as we love these beasts, they have their flaws (lots of them)..

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
[edited - saw the update on the original post]

I don't think he was particularly down on Defenders. I know I've said the exact same things doing my truck. There's a whole bunch of stuff about these trucks that are just...off. I mean, come on...how many posts have you seen where people say that Land Rover tolerances on Defenders is measured by the quarter inch?

His comment about the galvanic corrosion is spot on.

He also mentions people doing the VIN swapping.

I don't think he said anything during the Defender segment that I disagreed with. He sounds like someone who actually did the work on the restoration - and remembered all the frustrations. I can relate!
x2!


Here is a more in depth Video of the Build, for those who have not seen it. I'm so bummed it was at the Cars and Coffee in my backyard, and I was out of town that week!

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...tml#post663672
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...tml#post663712

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  #13  
Old August 18th, 2015, 11:46 AM
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for those that couldn't sit and listen to the entire interview, ironically Jonathan speaks to one of the real reasons why I (and I suspect many of you as well) are drawn to the Defender.


This planned obsolescence with parts and systems not being available on a 10 year old vehicle ensures a repeat customer in many cases. I personally resent this philosophy. If I spend over $100,000 on a great modern car I expect that it's quality and longevity will be commensurate with the price. Does anyone want to own a 4-5 year old Bentley or Aston Martin? That said, Jonathan acknowledges that the consumer does share some of the responsibility in this trend as well because we all want modern vehicles to do the impossible (defy physics, protect us from everything and function as a command and control center).


This may be among the reasons Land Rover is stopping production on the Defender. Even in it's Puma iteration with all the TDCi modules etc, the Defender remains simple enough to rebuild completely when it's 10-15 years old and has 200,000+ miles. That's not a good business model for Tata's shareholders.


Jonathan also aptly points out that everything is cost/price focused these days. Very few companies are solely product focused at all. He makes an example of a $15 kids backpack one might buy at Wal-Mart that lasts 2 months compared to a $150 Filson backpack that might last 20 years. If you bought a Rolls Royce in the 1930s it's engineering and quality would ensure its longevity. Not so much the case now. The amount of money you spend on a vehicle does not mean that it is of THE VERY BEST quality. You expect plastic knobs that break on a Toyota, but now Ferrari is using plastic knobs and shit sourced from Fiat dressing them up with carbon fiber wrap and telling us its "the best".


ICON is essentially saying that we don't have to stand for that.
Wouldn't it be awesome if we had micro-manufactures like Singer, ICON etc, whereby if you spent $200,000 on a vehicle it was a legacy purchase you could hand to your kids, not a Bentley that depreciates 50% in three years and eventually ends up in the ghetto rolling on 22" Dubz?
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  #14  
Old August 18th, 2015, 03:14 PM
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I'm personally thinking, after listening to the Defender part of the interview, that ICON backed away from Defenders because of the ROW import problems (he certainly knew the details) AND the fact that even shitty rusted out NAS110's are bringing $50K.
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  #15  
Old August 18th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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Weird points of view. He complains one minute that Rover have galvanic corrosion, and then says how great is a Land Cruiser, even though he only uses three parts from the original truck as they completely rust away.

His understanding of the seizures was completely wrong.
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  #16  
Old August 18th, 2015, 03:51 PM
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He's a business man, and his business is modifying vehicles that make him money. If he was only using NAS models as donors, he has VERY few to build on, and what is available is too expensive to start with.

He sees it just like JLR. They are stopping the Defender production, because there just isn't enough margin in it. Sure, there are a host of other reasons, but it's all business, and business is bottom line.
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  #17  
Old August 18th, 2015, 03:54 PM
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He does not need to use NAS trucks and really shouldn't. He is just finding excuses as he does not like Rovers. In all the vids on the Rovers he has done, you can see how he really does not like them. You can also see it in the builds he does. He just tacks on expensive stuff for the hell of it.

He is very arrogant about his design skills as well. Sorry, I don't see it. Nothing he does is innovative and design style is below average.
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  #18  
Old August 18th, 2015, 04:19 PM
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I agree with not using NAS trucks. The ones that are left should stay as NAS trucks and not be changed into what he's making.

Personally, I'm ok with his Landcruisers, (don't like the interiors all that much though). I'm not a big fan of his Defenders. What's the point of a "stupid fast" truck that is that high up off the ground? Is it for offload, pavement, or show? (oh, I know, it's for showing off) Other than that, what can it do?

On the video of his 90 build, he questions much of the original equipment, and in doing so, it tells me he does't really understand the what the original purpose of the truck is.
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  #19  
Old August 18th, 2015, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
He does not need to use NAS trucks and really shouldn't. He is just finding excuses as he does not like Rovers. In all the vids on the Rovers he has done, you can see how he really does not like them. You can also see it in the builds he does. He just tacks on expensive stuff for the hell of it.

He is very arrogant about his design skills as well. Sorry, I don't see it. Nothing he does is innovative and design style is below average.
Maybe his tone is a bit pompous, but some people come off like that just because they are talking to a wide audience and he may seem condescending. I know he talks bout some of the slide shows so casually as if he was building a popsicle model, but that's just the way he was explaining it. I don't know him personally, but at least he clearly has passion for improving things.

Not defending him or his work and maybe I wouldn't want some of the details I've seen on some of his builds, but remember a lot of that is driven by the client. and I'm not disagreeing with you John either. I'm fascinated with fabrication and small-run manufacturing that results in innovation. Look, Lav makes some nice billet stuff that wouldn't be possible 10 years ago but given the advancements and proliferation in CAD and CNC, it is now in the hands of more innovators. It wouldn't surprise me that if in another 10 years you could walk into a specialty fabricator and custom design your own vehicle based on a crate motor and electronics CANBUS that you liked. (now, I'm sure our all-knowing government will find some way to scuttle that and protect the manufacturers, but that's a different argument)

Forget about the ICON builds for a moment though, I was just really on the same page with his comments on engineered obsolescence and he made a very articulate case for small niche manufacturing among some real enthusiasts who happen to have the money to pay for over-engineered over-geeked auto stuff. THat's really what I was mostly getting at. I couldn't agree any more about the crap that manufacturers peddle on us consumers. The whole manufacturer/dealer model is designed to get a brand-loyal consumer on a perpetual hampster wheel of ownership (and by ownership I mean they OWN you).
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Old August 18th, 2015, 04:43 PM
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From an interview with Jon:

“I’ve always liked [Land] Rovers,” he explains. “And we were kind of thinking of doing Rovers as our next production model, but given the limitation of legal cars in the US, and the limited availability of all-new body structures, we decided, when Ford called and asked us to develop the Bronco, to do the Bronco instead. “That being said, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the Defenders in that I think their body shape, in a front three-quarter view, is unparalleled in its focused utilitarian beauty… but I really thought that the execution of them left, shall we say, a lot to be desired; use of plastics extensively, the manner in which the body is constructed with the aluminium on steel… and then the use of the archaic [3.5-litre V8] motor… that was leftover 1960’s stuff. Bless GM’s brilliance for finding a customer for it"

Taken from:
Modified Icon 4x4 | Land Rover Defender | | 4X4 Australia

I don't know much more obvious it can get than when the guy flat out says he likes Rovers.
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