Icon, the Californian design and engineering house, may have gotten its start building classic 4x4s, but the company’s line of patina-embracing Derelict cars have become its signature offering. Over the years Icon has produced some pretty fantastic Derelict cars, but its latest creation might be its best yet.
Icon’s latest Derelict model is based on a 1949 Hudson Coupe that company founder Jonathan Ward stumbled upon one day while casually searching Craigslist. Ward didn’t have a customer lined up for the Hudson project, but he bought the coupe anyway.
It didn’t take Ward long to find a client that liked the Hudson’s lines as much as he did. With a buyer secured, Icon began the process of turning the sleek coupe into one of its Derelict creations.
As with its other Derelict projects, Icon started by totally disassembling the Hudson. While the car was in good shape overall, a closer inspection revealed rust, so the car’s entire floor was replaced and covered with Icon’s proprietary rust-proof undercoating.
The Hudson’s low-slung styling was possible thanks to its revolutionary-for-the-time unibody design, but Icon ditched that in favor of a custom-designed frame chassis that allowed for the use of modern steering and suspension components.
Open the Hudson’s faded hood and you’ll find the same basic LS9 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine that powered the C6 generation of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. That engine is good for 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. Shifting duties are handled by a beefed-up 4-speed automatic.
In order to handle that kind of power, the Hudson’s wheels were upgraded to 18-inch units and wrapped in modern performance rubber. Those larger wheels, which retain the Hudson’s original hubcaps, were also necessary to fit the oversized Brembo brakes fitted to the car’s front and rear axles.
In typical Derelict fashion, Icon left most of the Hudson’s exterior bodywork as is. The interior, however, is a completely different story. The Hudson’s interior retains a vintage feel, but benefits from a plethora of subtle (and some not-so-subtle) upgrades.
The Hudson’s dash looks like a period piece, but all gauges and dials have been updated with modern componentry behind their vintage faces. Icon also made a custom piece to house the air conditioning vents, and the Hudson’s factory radio has been converted into a Bluetooth receiver that's connected to a state-of-the-art speaker system.
The Hudson’s seats were completely remade out of memory foam and then covered in custom-dyed leather. The backs of the front seats, the rear parcel shelf and part of the door cards are accented in alligator hides that were hand painted in a dark blue hue to match the seat covers.
Ward didn’t reveal the total cost for the custom-built Hudson, but prices for Icon’s Derelict cars typical cost in excess of $250,000.