Words by Jasper Lipton
Photos by Ian Lipton

These days, 188 horsepower doesn’t sound like much. Most Camry models come with more. But the beauty of a great automobile is that joy isn't solely dependent on numbers. The numbers that do count? 1980. 911. 1975. 2002.

As in, a 1980 Porsche 911 SC and a 1975 BMW 2002, two examples of aging sports cars that are still wonderfully engaging. We met up with my friend Lucian to talk clothes, cars, and most importantly - go for a drive.

First of all, if you’ve never driven a car without power steering - go find one and give it a whirl, ideally on a twisty bit of road. The amount of feedback transferred to the driver is almost alien in contrast to today’s machines. Going back to your usual form of transportation will feel like driving a Hot Wheels toy.

It might not surprise you to learn that a 1975 2-liter BMW is incredibly slow. That doesn’t matter in the least, because it’s also some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a car, at any speed. Why? because it goes where you point it. “Understeer” is completely alien to this machine, as it will do its best to turn and turn and turn until the tail kicks out. Which it does with glee - pegging the throttle through the exit of a turn (or lifting on entrance - or, hell, just turning the wheel with extra gusto) has the car settling comfortably and the rear wheels squealing out happily.

The Porsche, by contrast, is fierce, sticky, and angry despite its 36 years. All 911's are possessed of a special magic: the combination of the flat-six and rear-mounted engine give them a distinct woofle and wobble, but the air-cooled versions are especially tactile. The sound they make is like nothing else - a guttural roar that makes you want to floor the damn thing at any opportunity. But because of the strange weight balance, the front of the car unweights unnervingly - you drive the thing with minimal steering input and a whole lot of footwork. We got rained out before I could get behind the wheel (too much fun in the 2002), but I did get to experience the ride from the passenger's seat. Lucian's car is about as mint as you can find: no modifications, matching numbers, and the original paint. Not even close to showing its age, and a beautiful piece of design and automotive history.

Regardless, the last Porsche I drove with any regularity was a modified 996 TT. While stupidly, brain-crushingly quick, it was point-and-shoot device, made for maximum efficiency. And it was a much less engaging drive. Much safer, though - old 911's have a propensity for snap oversteer, which isn't fun. I asked Lucian how to avoid it.

"Never, never, never lift," he said.

Noted. Now I just need to buy one.

The Clothes

Monitaly x Styleforum "Darkside" Collection

Our remaining stock of specially-overdyed Monitaly military parka and pants are incredible. You may remember that Fok and I worked with Yuki on this project a year or so ago; the idea being that the pieces would connote a dusky Canadian sunset. We wanted a very wearable black, and we got just that.The double-overdye gives these items a fantastically variable depth of color; offering chalky, charcoal grays that blend to deep black at a distance. The design of the jacket and pants is superb: heavy and utilitarian with enough detailing in the form of patches and snaps that you'll be playing with them for hours. And they're supremely comfortable - loose, but well-fitted; definitely hike-able.

Rider Boot Co. x Styleforum Balmoral Boots

We also worked with Ron Rider at Rider boots to come up with a brilliant design for a balmoral boot. Ron is a respected voice in shoemaking for a reason, and we're ecstatic at how well these came out. We're offering them in various shades of leather and suede, but I think the blue-on-blue and brown on brown are simple standouts. Purists will wear them with trousers, but I wouldn't be afraid to wear them with faded denim.

Luxire Leather Jackets

Fok has been working to make these a reality for the better part of a year, and he's finally achieved the fit he's looking for. We're offering two models: a double rider, based on the classic Lightning shape, and a very wearable band-collar moto jacket. Luxire has sourced some really thick, juicy leather for these pieces, and the heavy-duty Talon zippers are equally satisfying. The best part is that you can tweak the measurements and the fit through Luxire to ensure you get exactly what you want.

Other Great Stuff We're Showing Off

Shirts and ties by Yellow Hook

Yellow Hook, as many of you know, started out as a side project on Styleforum. Run by Rob and Courtney Rossicone, it's a Brooklyn-based labor of love that has branched out from characterful, hand-sewn neckties to a new venture offering shirts as well. Rob offered to let us give a couple of their brand new summer pinpoint oxfords a try, and they're a great warm-weather shirt. Yellow Hook has done a good job with these: they're comfortable, lightweight, and the fabric has a lovely hand - dry and cool; hopefully they'll keep you the same. I'd call it the ideal summer barbecue shirt, except that you can wear it with a tie.

Jackets and Denim by Shockoe Atelier

I asked the good people at Shockoe Atelier to let us give some of their goods a run-down mostly because I think they're producing beautiful clothing. You might have seen their work at last year's Proper Kit in NYC, where they showed off a collection of outstanding winter wares. Their spring/summer collection is just as great; full of washed blues and multi-use outerwear. The six-button blazer, is a particular standout; perfect for traveling - or, you know, taking a drive in variable weather. The washed jeans are equally comfortable, and are a great pair of lightweight denim for the warmer months. It's all great, and I can't wait to see the fall collection.

Leather-soled Loafers by J.Fitzpatrick

Finally, I have to say that I really like the shoes that Justin Fitzpatrick is making. I ended up buying a pair of oxfords from him a while back, and after innumerable hours of wedding-wear without so much as a tired instep it made sense to bring some attention to the rest of his line. The burgundy loafers shown here are a great option for anyone who enjoys a summer shoe, and they're brilliantly comfortable right out of the box. They have a nice, elegant last, and the materials are supple and solid. I know that a lot of our forum members have had great experiences with Justin's shoes - he made his name as the voice behind The Shoe Snob, and it's good to see that his knowledge has found its way into this venture.

Regardless of where you're headed or what you're wearing this Memorial Day weekend, I hope you can take a minute to enjoy the journey. Maybe find your own twisties and see what a little pressure on the throttle will get you - because you just might find a little joy along the way.

*As a note, no money changed hands over the course of this shoot - except that we ended up buying the Shockoe jeans for Lucian because he loved them. Otherwise, we've chosen these products because we believe they're worthy.

The Drive

Monitaly Mountain Parka and Pants

Jacket and jeans: Shockoe Atelier
Shirt: Yellow Hook
Boots: Styleforum x Rider Boot

Luxire x Styleforum Moto Jacket

Poor little BMW - always destined to chase

Discussing how best to not hit deer when you don't have traction.

Jacket: Luxire x Styleforum
Shirt: Yellow Hook
Jeans: Shockoe Atelier

The Aftermath

Jacket and Jeans: Shockoe Atelier
Shirt and Tie: Yellow Hook
Loafers: J. Fitzpatrick

Shirt and Tie: Yellow Hook
Jeans: Shockoe Atelier
Boots: Styleforum x Rider Boot

Tie: Yellow Hook

Shirt and Tie: Yellow Hook
Jacket and Jeans: Shockoe Atelier
Loafers: J. Fitzpatrick

Miss Moneypenny is a good sport