Icon 4×4 broke out the first in its Derelict series 11 years ago, a 1952 Chevrolet Deluxe Business Coupe. It pulled into SEMA that year looking like it had been driven nonstop since 1952. But under that worn skin, Icon had tucked goods like a brand new 6.2-liter LS3 V8, six-piston antilock brakes, alligator and buffalo hides for the bench seats, Wilton wool carpets, and one-piece CNC-machined wheels. It was a winning formula then, it’s still a winner on the newest Derelict, a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL. Jonathan Ward, founder and lead designer at Icon, said, “Our specialty is preserving everything that we love about vintage cars while making them more fun and enjoyable to drive.”
As with that Business Coupe, it starts with a powder-coated Art Morrison chassis sprung with coil-overs at all four corners and an independent rear suspension. A 6.2-liter LS9 has been tucked well back in the bulkhead, putting an unknown chunk of power through a rebuilt 4L85E four-speed transmission. New rack-and-pinion steering makes maneuvering easy, and Hydratech-assisted Brembos keep a leash on the one-piece machined aluminum EVOD wheels. New wiring and plumbing throughout ensure the new bits communicate with one another clearly. The classic interior looking fresh from a showroom floor hides a modern HVAC system and heated front seats, and modern audio with four Focal two-way speakers, a sub and amp, and Bluetooth connectivity.
In Derelict fashion, the sheetmetal wears its age, accented with touches of stainless steel and chrome. The newest member of the club will be on show at SEMA in the Optima Batteries booth before being parked in its new owner’s garage. Icon is ready to take more commissions, Derelicts starting at $450,000.