Icon Reinvents an American Classic

  • John Lyon

Since its founding in 2007, the Chatsworth, Calif., custom-vehicle manufacturer Icon has claimed numerous Best of the Best awards—most recently a 2013 Specialty Vehicles category win for the Icon Dodge D200 Power Wagon—and it may be poised to do so again with the introduction of the Icon Thriftmaster. The 1947 Chevrolet 3100 is one of the most iconic trucks of the U.S. post-WWII era and was the inspiration for the retro-styled Thriftmaster pickup truck. However, for Jonathan Ward, cofounder and CEO of Icon, the truck has much a more personal significance; he met his wife, Jamie Ward, while restoring one in 1991. (The couple founded Icon together and remain partners in the business.)

A far cry from the 85 hp generated by the original 3100’s Thriftmaster inline-6 engine, the V-8 engine that is affixed to Icon’s reinterpretation can propel the truck to 185 mph (faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera S) and achieve a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.3 seconds. Power options for the engine range from 315 hp to 440 hp, with an optional supercharger and automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The Thriftmaster’s vintage exterior, which can be coated with either a matte or a gloss finish, belies the wide array of state-of-the-art amenities that are standard on each vehicle, including GPS navigation, Wi-Fi, and web-enabled audio. Comforts inside the cabin range from bison-leather seats and an Alcantara headliner to wool carpets and brushed-nickel trim.

The original Chevrolet 3100 was nicknamed Thriftmaster after its engine and to entice value-driven consumers. Such consumers need not apply for Icon’s Thriftmaster, which is priced from $235,000 to $264,000, depending on options. Because each truck is crafted completely by hand, Icon will limit production to just five examples for 2014. (www.icon4x4.com)

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