Shooting for a Hundred – Dehen 1920

As one of the iconic U.S. brands that have been able to sustain, Dehen 1920 is forging ahead to make it 100 years in business. Dehen makes motorcycle sweaters, varsity goods, and car coasts all while holding true to their preserved craft. From their Portland facility, they produce their line with a deep-rooted sense of pride on machines that have been in use for decades.

The appreciation wave of vintage and crafted goods is in their favor and embraced from Japan to the United Sates. Their production methods, materials, and overall quality give these wearable goods many years of use. They also do custom pieces for groups / clubs.

MGS likes to see such brands keep going as the appreciation for American goods and culture is on the rise. Note that some of the pieces are being made with Pendleton fabrics.  



Vanguard Designs........Bikes

We like some of these companies that are renewing period frames and giving them some aesthetic and performance twists. Vanguard Designs is a group that is on course in our book, embracing the past and the current simultaneously.  From commuters to cruisers to BMX bikes, these guys are tapping into all styles.

We like this 1970’s Bridgestone that balances scale and colors.
The oversized tires and chain ring playing off of the thinness of the frame and bars are the scale part. The colors part is covered by mostly silver (chrome) and muted red tires / bar wrap. This machine would be a blast to bomb around the city on. And the springer front end keeps us reminded of a period gone by.


Biscotti -

Here is another eye catcher built starting with a 1950’s Raleigh Roadster. Fitted with a coaster hub and an array of bits from Great Britain, Japan, and Europe, this refined single speed is ready to roll.

Bitzer -

This is their version of a Porteur bike, carrier and all, with the base being a 1970’s Panasonic road bike. A great mix of shiny metals and muted leather on this one! We dig the details of the top tube wrap and the front light placement too.

Laurent - 



Salinas Boy and Foxy Brown 

What do ya get when you cross a 1971 BMW 2800CS and Cole Foster, a hot rod / bike builder out of Salinas, CA.?

Foxy Brown of course……the Pam Grier version……not the rapper. I nicknamed this car Foxy Brown as it is one sexy beast……and it came to mind within seconds of seeing it in person, curves and all!

You see, this is not his first dive into the world of vintage BMW’s, as he cut his teeth on three different 2002 models over 20 years ago. That is a whole other chapter and will be covered another time, on to the current happenings.

The 2800CS is the model that followed the BMW Neue Klasse series of cars that were powered by the four cylinder M10 engine. The four door NK series eventually veined off to become the E9 series, as shown here, and the iconic 2002.

The 2800 stepped it up a notch by adding the straight six M30 engine with dual Solex carbs. (see under MGS / Transportation for further NK - 4 door info)

The MGS clan feels that Cole’s design has really balanced keeping aspects of the original car while putting his customized vision into play. As one glances around this beauty, these details pop up and then blend with the car as a whole. From shaved door handles to a period correct Nardi steering wheel and original dash / gauges. And then the overall new BMW brown color which leads to the original power plant, dual carbs and all. The new(er) 5 series BMW wheels that have been blasted which helps them take on a feel from the past. A 2000CS rear bumper that has been finished to jive with the window trim finish. And custom lenses, front and rear, that marry well with the body. It is this balancing act that we are speaking of. Some builders know how to navigate this, while others do not.

Yup, he dropped it. Bags? Nope.

Re-engineering the whole suspensions and the placement of was the route taken. All to get it to the ride height of his choice and to fit the 17” staggered (8” front / 9” rear) wheel set-up. It rides and handles quite well, unlike what one initially imagines after looking at the drop. And the fully stock engine / 4 speed set-up really seems to get it done and down the road.

Yeah, most folks would have gone for a stock nut and bolt resto or would have replicated a racer model. We can appreciate aspects of that as we hope others appreciate the direction Cole has taken with this specimen, a real combination of building talent, details, and imagination.

More on Cole = www.salinasboys.com


Matthew Hilton / McQueen Series for De La Espada

Here is a beautiful series by one of our favorite designers, Matthew Hilton, also a friend of MGS. Matthew has a couple decades of design under his belt and worked up to opening his name brand studio in 2007. His elegant simplicity is hard to achieve and comes through with his work with De La Espada. We see his series as Modern Craft due to the hands on building approach as well as the materials used – upholstery, wood, leather, and cast iron. Past influences are evident in the pieces while holding true to a current / modern mindset.

McQueen Series –

This series consists of a mix of materials including fabric, cast iron, and solid woods.

We focused on the McQueen Series today, but Matthew has around 38 pieces within the DLE line. You can take a look here – www.delaespada.com


Hella / Mixing Industry and Craft

Hella Jongerius has really excelled at mixing craft and industry. And has been doing so for some years now having started the Jongeriuslab in 1993. Her work has been recognized internationally working for both large and small-scale companies, as well as pumping out limited series. Her combining of materials, craft, industrial production, and signature mix of, has won the admiration of the design community and more. Her thoughtful designs feel very much in the present, with undertones of the past shining through.
Pictured are some of her limited design goods mixed with some massed produced goods. This line is often blurred with her works.