Los Angeles-based Icon meticulously modernizes classic cars, but sometimes it leaves a layer of patina intact. Those cars are called Derelicts, and the latest one is a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL.
Set to make its public debut at the 2022 SEMA show in Las Vegas, the silver sedan may look slightly weathered on the outside, but underneath the faded paint it's full of modern upgrades.
Icon made a point of not touching the body shell, but mounted it on a new Art Morrison chassis that includes four-wheel adjustable coilovers and independent rear suspension. Brakes were upgraded with modern Brembo hardware and power assist, and Icon installed its own power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering setup.
The original engine was replaced with a GM-sourced LS9 V-8 crate engine. That's the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 used in the C6 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. Icon didn't list output figures, but we know the standard engine makes 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent to the rear wheels through a 4L85E 4-speed automatic transmission in the Mercedes.
Icon Derelict 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL
Icon tried to hide the modified nature of the car, although the enlarged aluminum wheels are a bit of a giveaway. LED lighting is a more subtle exterior upgrade, and helps reduce energy consumption, Icon noted.
The interior follows the same theme, looking mostly stock but concealing a modern audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, four Focal two-way speakers, and a dual subwoofer with amp.
Icon didn't disclose a price for this specific car, but noted that its Derelict builds start at $450,000 and are available on a commission basis. So unlike Icon's series-produced Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford Bronco, and Chevrolet Thriftmaster pickup truck restomods, each Derelict is unique.
Past builds include everything from a 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud to an all-electric 1949 Mercury Coupe powered by Tesla tech.