You may know Roy Molloy as Alex Cameron's right hand man, saxophonist and business partner. You may also know him for his love of cranes and stools. Others know him as a hero. But he's also an astute car aficionado, as anyone who follows his Instagram stories knows. Last year Roy told us about the "top cars he spotted in Brooklyn" and this year he's done the same, but in a town that really loves its automobiles -- Los Angeles. Says Roy:
My my. Holiday time. Doesn't it come round faster every year. One minute you're coughin grey muck out your lungs in a NY bus station, next thing the years over an your lookin back misty eyed on all that was. Lying in your agents spare bed in Leimert Park. Los Angeles. The City of Angels. Watchin the cracks spread on the ceiling. 2018. Every beautiful fuckin moment of it. It's been a wild ride. Here's to another lap around Highway One. Here's to keepin it red hot and right between the lines, online, and in real life. Here's to my Five Fav Cars I saw in LA this year, you guys.
Check out Roy's picks, complete with full comentary, below.
You can catch Roy and Alex on the road in 2019 on their duo tour which kicks off January 24 in Philadelphia and wraps up March 2 in Alston, MA. (They play Brooklyn's Bell House on 3/1.) All dates are listed below.
ROY'S FIVE LA VEHICLES OF 2018
This is a vehicle that has haunted my periphery like no other. They were only produced from '02 to '06, so they're relatively scarce, but something about the stocky, flamboyant design makes it unmissable and unforgettable, and results in the impression that one lies in wait around every corner. When they were released, the half utility / half sedan design wasn't "enough" of anything to make an impression, but in the years since, they've proven to be one of the hardiest vehicles of the era. They're mechanically sound and cheap to maintain, and the high plastic bumpers that make the car so unfortunate to look at do actually help buffer from minor collisions. Admittedly the market is niche - people who need an ugly, under-powered 4x4 with a small amount of tray space aren't your everyday folk. But they're out there. I can feel it. And I know those people feel it too. And to the many people reduced to howls of disgust at the sight of this vehicle: I'm sorry. There is something wrong with my brain and I like this car now. I regard it with the same respect I would a little goat. That's high respect, you guys.
I cruise the streets of LA with a feeling of gratitude, folks. Gratitude I been blessed that I might enjoy this beautiful city in the decades pre-gas masks and water shortages. Pre- havin' to use a flamethrower to clear swarms of shoe-size cockroaches out from under your car each morning. I get thinkin things like that, I think about the 2000 Honda Insight. The Car the Future Needs. I remember when I first saw one of these bad boys a couple years ago in Portland. Lime green with rear hub guards, and cutting a bold yet aerodynamic profile, it really stood out to me. I was fascinated by its looks and was lucky enough to meet the owner, Molly, who told me she was getting nearly 60 miles per gallon. I shook my head in disbelief. But it's true. I looked it up. This 18 year old vehicle is, to this day, the most fuel efficient EPA certified gasoline-fueled vehicle in the United States. It was released onto the roads as a small batch "real world" test of the viability of Honda's hybrid technology at the time, and vastly outperformed their sales expectations. Super light, with a 1L V3 engine supplemented by an electric motor, it combines the fuel efficiency of a high end hybrid with the Honda design team’s inimitable early 2000s subcompact vehicle design. It looks awesome, runs on fumes, and has proven its reliability over the years. And when I see these bad boys cuttin through that Hollywood smog? I see a bright and beautiful future. A future where we motor in style, run on the power of the blood red sky, skin raw with windburn, our eyes fixed firm on the horizon.
Ford E 350
Folks I know a thing or two about vans. I know intimately the feeling of sitting in one for hours and hours, restin my head on the window, watchin rows of grey trees and endless foreign countries blow by. I know the feeling of loading em to the brim with furniture or instruments or young dogs ready to work. I know all about vans. And I'll tell ya who else does? America. And this is the van that America's agreed upon, whether you're a tradesman, a musician, or a drug mule. The first one I was lucky enough to meet in person belonged to mega producer and Foxygen padre John Rado. He picked me and Al up at LAX in it back in 2015. He's driven that thing across the country more than a handful of times. All night listening to talk back and sleeping across the seats type thing. And it still runs a treat. Reliability wise, these vans are motherfuckers. It's not at all uncommon to find em running comfortable around the 200k odometer mark. The only problem in buying one second hand is their immense popularity as intensive use commercial vehicles. Something about loading a van with tree stumps and driving it to the max all day every day for 15 years puts a sadness in the DNA of a vehicle in a way that can't be undone.
I spent a lot a time swanning around the beautiful city of LA. Riding the bus around trying to get a read on things mostly. Palm lined avenues. The sun lay upon the buildings just right. I was lucky enough to come across a pristine Landcruiser 100 parked in a car lot in Historic Filipinotown. It's a vehicle that, for me, is laden with memories, and as I stood there listening to an air-powered cement drill chiseling across the way I found myself reflective and emotional. See, back in the day my old man took his employer to court about back wages and, 18 months later, mum showed up in one of these bad boys at the house with a big smile on her face, and I just thought it was such a good look. A powerful V8 4.7L engine, purposeful styling that's held up to this day, and a base level interior that I remember as the height of luxury. My old man told me owning a 4x4 was an incredible feeling. The ability to tow, traverse terrain and, with a factory fitted bull bar, ram through roadblocks set up by fascist paramilitaries on the ruined streets of the water-starved future in his mind. It was a great comfort to him. Come 2005 the world financial markets had shifted and it was time for the Landcruiser's resale. An emotional day. The Landcruiser 100 is to me a vehicle that represents my ambitions and aspirations, and my desire to own a powerful yet tastefully styled passenger off road vehicle.
I'm a regular guy, you guys. I like my straws biodegradable and my sedans executive, and guys, the LS400 is, to my mind, the apex of executive sedans. This is a vehicle built to smooth the surface of the highway and soften the clamour of the urban environment. This is a vehicle designed for the modern Japanese businessman in 1996. That means three cigarette lighters, ashtrays available to rear passengers, a sunroof to whisk away the smoke, leather interior for pure comfort, and a six stack cd player and Nakamishi sound system and subwoofer standard. The cabin feel is exquisite. It's quiet in the cabin and authoritative on the road, and very spacious. A powerful V8 engine and long wheel base makes for a highway feeling like the urging on of a powerful jaguar you are riding, and the breaks are as a swan landing on a lake. Smooth. The styling is tasteful and low key. I mean it when I say this is a beautiful vehicle you guys. I am co-owner in a '96 model and can confirm it. Thanks to everyone who made it possible, aka my business partner Alex Cameron, Mac DeMarco, and our many generous Associates. See you all next year folks. Merry friggin everything.
Alex Cameron / Roy Molloy 2019 Duo Tour Dates
01/24/19 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
01/25/19 Washington, DC - DC9
01/26/19 Durham, NC - Motorco Music Hall
01/27/19 Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
01/29/19 New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa
01/30/19 Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall (Upstairs)
01/31/19 Austin, TX - The North Door
02/01/19 Dallas, TX - Club Dada
02/02/19 San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger
02/05/19 Phoenix, AZ - The Rebel Lounge
02/06/19 Las Vegas, NV - The Bunkhouse Saloon
02/07/19 San Diego, CA - The Casbah
02/08/19 Los Angeles, CA - Pico Union Project
02/09/19 Pioneertown, CA - Pappy & Harriet's
02/12/19 San Francisco, CA - The Independent
02/14/19 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
02/15/19 Vancouver, BC - WISE Hall
02/16/19 Seattle, WA - Barboza
02/20/19 Denver, CO - Lost Lake Lounge
02/21/19 Omaha, NE - Slowdown
02/22/19 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
02/23/19 Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
02/24/19 Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
02/26/19 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
02/27/19 Montreal, QC - Théâtre Fairmount
03/01/19 Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
03/02/19 Allston, MA - Great Scott