#takethewheel with Mr. Daniel Marcello

In the fifth installment of #takethewheel, we chat with Mr. Daniel Marcello, friend, fellow Land Rover enthusiast, creative director and the man behind North America's newest independent Land Rover Magazine, Alloy+Grit. When he's not at the day job, you can find him cruising Manhattan in his 1955 Land Rover Series One 86". Quite a sight indeed. Sit back and let Mr. Marcello dish on his current car collection, bullfighting in Costa Rica and why he saves his old passports.

Tell us about the day job:
Daniel Marcello (DM): I am a creative director with a focus on visual design here in New York City. I absolutely love what I do. I always try to stay creative and love discovering new trends but still follow the old school traditional ways about the discipline. I run a Land Rover Journal and publication called Alloy + Grit.

Word on the street is that you're a car guy / general lover of things with motors, how about a rundown of your current stable?

DM: Like most car guys, the stable can fluctuate between 5 to 15 cars in a matter of a few eBay clicks or "I-have-a-buddy-getting-rid-of-a." I recently had too many trucks and had to sell some Land Rovers.  I live in New York City so space is a problem and the EPA was about to have a field day with the oil slicks I was leaving behind. Right now I have: A 1994 Land Rover NAS Defender 90, 1955 Land Rover Series One 86",1967 Lanica Fulvia, and a1974 Alfa Romeo GTV

#takethewheel with Mr. Daniel Marcello
Do you have a favorite? 
DM: That is very hard to say, they are all my children.  The Defender was always my childhood favorite, so it takes the cake. It's the least reliable, but the favorite. I will never get rid of the Defender. Ironically, the Series One is the most reliable and oldest car I own. It wasn't running when I bought it, but a quick fiddle with the timing, some new plugs, a dizzy cap and it fires up every time. I plan to take it Argentina someday.

#takethewheel with Mr. Daniel Marcello

Is there anything you dislike about driving the rover?
DM: It's the only car I've had where it can leave you both freezing cold in the Winter and be on the verge of passing out from heat in the Summer. Diesel fumes constantly fill the cabin. Water pours all over you when you take a hard left turn and it's slowly making me deaf. But as a trade off, it's given me some of the most incredible experiences.

Car you most regret selling?
DM: I really miss my 1995 Land Rover Discovery Series I. It was white with white steel wheels and Michelin XCLs on it that sounded like a hornet's nest above 50 mph. I kept my Camel Trophy bumper I got from my '95 Japanese truck before selling it. I will probably build another one someday. Between the 1990s coilers, the Discovery is the best - better than the Defender and the Range Rover Classic. I loved my GDE (Great Divide Expedition) Range Rover but it was filled with 80s computers and electronics that ghosted anytime it rained or hit a bump. The Defender, while it looks cool, is still a Series truck underneath. You need a nap after a 300 mile drive in it. The Discovery was the perfect, reliable, inexpensive Land Rover to go on an adventure with. I also miss my KTM 640 Adventure and my KTM 690 Enduro. Whoever stole them, I hope you are living the life and ripping rooster tails.

Any toys on the wish list? 
DM: Where to begin.  Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3. Mercedes 190E 2.3. BMW E28 M5. BMW 2002. BMW 3.0CS. Land Rover forward control 101. Land Rover Stage One V8. Lancia Stratos. Lancia Delta Integrale. Ferrari 308GTB. Porsche 912. Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider. Jaguar D-Type.

You have one hour to escape your normal day, what do you do?
DM: Usually I'll chill out some good music. Love my old school hip hop and reggae. I try to get to as many shows as possible. Lots of good psychedelic bands coming out of Australia and Sweden lately.

Now you’ve got 2 weeks.
DM: South America, Europe, Asia, you name it. I love exploring new places.  It educates and opens us up and it's something everyone should do. Don't judge a place or its people until you go there, eat the food and shake some hands. 

#takethewheel with Mr. Daniel Marcello

Favorite trip not yet taken?
DM: My South American sabbatical.  New York to Tierra Del Fuego in my 1955 Series One.

The one hotel that you judge all others by and why.
DM: I mostly do an Airbnb or camp. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice hotel but I like living the short time I have in a local neighborhood. My hotel in Patagonia, Chile was amazing, though. The Chilean people are so welcoming. 

You can teleport to any bar in the world right now, where to?
DM: Good question! There was this bar in Barcelona called Numeronueve. I had a few too many and ended up going out with these two French girls. They dragged me to some random disco and we danced all night - great times. In New York, I'm usually in Brooklyn - Over Eight, Tiki Disco, Bossa Nova and my local place called Casa Enrique.  It's the only Michelin Star Mexican place in the city - highly recommend.

What’s your drink?
DM: Mexican beers in the Summer. Pacifico, Modelo and Tecate. Dark stouts in the Winter.  Guinness, Left Hand Nitro Stout, Allagash Black. I never got into whiskey or gin. I like my liquors south of the border. Tequila, Mescal, Cachaça and Rum.

What will we always find on your nightstand?
DM: About 5 sets of key rings. I feel like a janitor sometimes. There is always some random car or motorcycle part on there that needs to be installed. My RAEN and Persol sunglasses and always a hat. I like my hats. 

The one item you are never without?
DM: I always have chapstick. Sounds weird, I know, but I always have it. Here's a tip: Buy a random chapstick when you go on vacation and use it the entire trip. After you return home, sometime later during the year, break it out and use it. It will instantly bring you back to the memories from that vacation. Your sense of smell and taste are incredibly sensitive.

You travel a ton, do you have a travel hack for everybody out there?
DM: Save your old passports and drivers licenses. If you get in a pickle in a foreign country you can always leave the expired one behind and jet. I also screen grab maps on my iPhone so I'm not dependent on WiFi.

Where’s your hometown?
DM: I grew up in a small town in upstate New York called Endwell - yeah, like "startgood." Our little league baseball team just won this years Little League World Series over South Korea.

Place we’re most likely to find you if we’re looking?
DM: Cruising around New York or lying under one of my trucks trying to stop the oil from leaking out.

Place we’d never find you?
DM: 'da club.

The road you drive to take your mind off things?
DM: I love cruising just north of New York City around Bear Mountain. The roads are amazing up there. I also love heading to Vermont for the weekend to do some camping or off roading in the Defender.

What’s on the wrist?
DM: Alessi chronograph. Nothing expensive, I usually break nice things quickly. I love the simple Italian design.

Canon or Nikon or something else?
DM: I love my Polaroid 360. It gets people to open up and talk to you. I have a Lumix and a Canon. Next is the Sony A7S.

Diesel or Gas?
DM: Both. Diesel for the British workhorses. Gas for the Italian macchina.

Rocks or neat?
DM: Rocks. And salt that rim, please.

Last Google search?
DM: "urban v. rural poverty percentage." I like to be informed in a debate.

Biggest risk ever taken?
DM: Climbing into a bull fighting ring in Costa Rica. This tiny town was having a festival so some friends and I decided to check it out. I've always wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona, but this came up sooner and was much sketchier. I had flip flops on at the time so I though it best to run barefoot, you know, more grip. But there was broken glass all over the ground. I managed a selfie with the bull about 50 feet out. It was dumb, but I will always remember it. I even have the "Fiestas Villarreal 2014, Guanacaste Costa Rica" t-shirt to prove it.

#takethewheel with Mr. Daniel Marcello
#takethewheel with Mr. Daniel Marcello

Thanks, Mr. Marcello!
To find out more about North America's newest independent Land Rover publication and to subscribe, visit Alloy+Grit. You can also follow Mr. Marcello's Instagram for more adventures.

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