Icon Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL Is A Corvette ZR1-Powered Masterpiece

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Why would you have a Maybach if you could have one of these.

Icon 4x4, which has a reputation for building some of the hottest restomods in existence, recently introduced its latest project, based on the 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL. The SEL was one of the most recognizable symbols of luxury during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

As is usually the case with Icon, you get elegant vintage styling with the most modern underpinnings. Icon stuck with the Derelict theme for this build, which means it has the usual time-aged patina with period-correct stainless steel and chrome finishes.

Under the hood, you'll find GM's LS9, mated to a hand-built 4L85E automatic transmission. Icon did not provide output figures, but this crate motor, which famously powered the sixth-generation Corvette ZR1, produces 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft straight from the factory. It's nice to know Icon is still doing ICE, even though its first EV was unveiled recently.

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That's a lot of power for a car from that era, and to keep it all in check, Icon uses a complete custom chassis built by Art Morrison. It comes standard with four-wheel adjustable coilovers with an independent rear suspension. Icon also blessed the car with power-assisted rack and pinion steering and Brembo brakes with Hydratech power assist. We don't have an official curb weight, but this should be one hefty beast. It's nice to know that it has enough power to slow all those horses down.

Icon also redid all of the plumbing and wiring, even though his car was made in an era when Merc's build quality was at its finest.

The wheels were machined from one-piece billet aluminum and are shod in the latest tire technology. You'll also notice that Icon upgraded the headlights with LED technology.

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The interior was upgraded with the finest materials and restored wooded trim. The original stereo has been carried over, but Icon upgraded it to control an updated audio system hidden underneath. The upgraded system includes Bluetooth connectivity, four Focal two-way speakers, and a dual subwoofer and amplifier. Additional luxuries include modern air-conditioning and heated front seats.

"At Icon 4x4, our specialty is preserving everything that we love about vintage cars while making them more fun and enjoyable to drive," said Jonathan Ward, Lead Designer and founder of Icon 4x4. "Our new Derelict 1971 Mercedes 300SEL is a showcase of our approach to car building with innovative engineering and painstaking attention to every detail."

This car is a work of art and is only available via special commission. The build starts at $450,000, roughly twice what the terribly nouveau riche Mercedes-Benz Maybach S costs. We know which one we'd rather have.

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