Dmitriy Shakhmatov was born in Ukraine, where his eye for trucks, SUVs, and American cars was honed in the waiting room of his father's office. Dad was an interior designer and kept a diverse rack of domestic and foreign magazines out for his clients' pleasure. And Dmitriy would flip through each one, picking out every car he could find. Soon after the Shakhmatov moved to Los Angeles in 1995, a friend pointed Dmitriy to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The minute he walked through the student gallery, Dmitriy said, "I knew what I wanted to do with my life."

He certainly knew what he wanted to do with this truck concept, too. First there was the Ford GT; then there was the Shelby GR-1 Cobra. Dmitriy took these design trends further by attaching another branch to the Ford and Shelby vine. Dmitriy's F-150 truly is "Built for the Road Ahead"...way ahead. Dmitriy likes cars, but he's fascinated by the sheer size of trucks. And while this truck looks not restrained, but disciplined in line and scale, it is outsized in attitude. Dmitriy gave his pickup progeny an aggressive stance refined by surgical nicks of grace. It keeps its game face on as it probes the murky otherness that shrouds the realm of possibility.

Since graduating, Dmitriy has had the luck of working with folks like George Barris (heard of him?), tried his hand at redesigning a vehicle for a TV show, and has delved deeper into hot-rod design--an aesthetic that he says is becoming more and more relevant in Europe and Asia. And being from over there, you would think that he would have an eye for that sort of trend.

Speaking "over there," Dmitriy's imagination took a wild romp through the outback of automotive design and came back with one heck of a souvenir. Everyone is familiar with the Land Rover's iconic boxiness and rugged demeanor. Dmitriy wanted to keep those elements in mind but created an alternative concept by "breaking some surfaces and creating some new lines, but still catching the essence of Land Rover," as he puts it. For all of the venerable British ute's storied reputation as the conveyance to fantastical wilderness adventure, it may be that no Land Rover has ever ranged as far off the beaten path as Dmitriy's concept. And that's too bad.

You can reach DMITRIY SHAKHMATOV at:
(323) 369-7122
dshakhmatov@yahoo.com