Could Tesla be the key to the perfect restomod?
The automotive community has fallen in love with the concept of a restomod - an old car that has been completely refurbished so it drives like a new car. Among the companies that build these cars, few have reached the level of prestige of Icon, a California-based company founded by designer Jonathan Ward. Icon has become well known for building high-dollar off-roaders based on the Toyota Land Cruiser as well as its Derelict series.
The Derelict Series takes an old classic car and leaves the original patina, but replaces almost every original part with hand-crafted ones including a new chassis and a powerful engine. Icon has just released a new Derelict model at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show, but this one packs an interesting secret.
In the past, Icon has fitted its derelict with a crazy gas engine such as the GM LS7 V8. However, this 1949 Mercury Coupe is powered by a dual-electric motor with a Performance 85kWh battery from Tesla. The conversion was done in a partnership with Stealth EV, and the Merc now produces 400 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
The batteries allow for a 150 to 200 miles range and the car can be charged up in just an hour and a half on a fast charger. Icon has even retrofitted a CHAdeMO 125A fast-charger behind the rear license plate and converted the original gas filler cap to hide a Tesla fast-charging port. Since there is no "engine," Icon decided to have some fun by covering the battery controllers and Tesla modules with a polished finish.
On the inside, Icon wanted to make the car look period correct with Fabric from Knoll Textiles and hides from Moore & Giles. Though everything looks original, it was all reimagined to function as it would in a modern car. Even the power windows are controlled using the original analog window cranks. The smallest details have been painstakingly crafted, meaning this 1949 Mercury is no cheap date. Icon did not reveal any pricing, but we can assume it will be at least $250,000 to $350,000. The 1949 Mercury EV Derelict is now on display at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show in the Optima Battery booth.