The world needs more twisted geniuses like Jonathan Ward. His company, Icon, is best known for building restored and bulletproof Toyota Land Cruisers and Jeep CJs, but it also dabbles in the fine art of what Ward calls “derelicts.” The concept is simple: take an original but worn car, then throw the best parts you can at the chassis, motor and even interior.
In the case of this year’s derelict project, a 1952 Chevy Deluxe Businessman’s Coupe (which had only 8,000 original miles when Icon found it in a Texas barn), Icon began the build with an Art Morrison chassis that used an independent front suspension and a four link rear. Next came Wilwood brakes, with six-pot calipers up front and four-pots in the rear. Under the hood lurks a 6.2-liter Chevy crate engine, good for 430 horsepower and fed by a 37 gallon fuel tank.
Inside, the seats, door panels and steering wheel are finished in what looks like alligator hide, and it’s impossible to tell the serious amount of money that went into the build. As Ward explains, part of the fun in driving the car is that no one gives it a second look, and you can park it anywhere. Just try that with a six-figure Ferrari.