Since its inception, ICON has been at the forefront of reinterpreting vintage automotive designs, breathing new life into classic vehicles. Founder Jonathan Ward, known for iconic reimaginings of Land Cruisers, Broncos, and Thriftmasters, introduces the latest addition to the ICON lineup – the hand-built 1970 Suburban custom. This one-of-one masterpiece, part of the ICON Reformer series, promises to captivate automotive enthusiasts with its unparalleled blend of vintage aesthetics and modern engineering.
Jonathan Ward expresses his excitement about the 1970 Suburban, the first of its kind in ICON’s history. He highlights the Suburban’s versatility as a canvas for creative design, allowing the integration of ICON engineering and parts. The client’s desire for a departure from tradition led to a more aggressive performance and styling approach, resulting in a truly unique and unforgettable build.
Inspired by the legendary European designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the 1970 Suburban pays homage to Mies’s minimalist mantra, “less is more.” The exterior, featuring naked steel and modern glass, seamlessly transitions into a Mies-inspired interior that reflects the designer’s celebrated work in furniture and architectural design.
The journey of the 1970 Suburban began with a completely stock, three-door model. In response to the client’s request, ICON crafted a new fourth door for passenger safety, coincidentally echoing the safety measures of the original production. In a heartfelt tribute to the client’s family, who worked on the Chevrolet production line during the Suburban’s initial manufacturing, ICON machined their initials into the driver door handle’s push button.
ICON prioritized performance and handling in the 1970 Suburban build, collaborating with Nelson Racing Engines for the NRE Twin-Turbo Alien LS 427 powerplant, delivering 1,000 horsepower and 900 ft.-lb. of torque. The vehicle boasts a pristinely designed 4L85-E automatic transmission, rack and pinion steering, and a one-off Art Morrison four-wheel independent chassis with a Dana 60 nodular rear end. High capacity hydroboosted Brembo brakes ensure optimal stopping power.
The interior design reflects Mies van der Rohe’s philosophy, with meticulous attention to detail. Every aspect, from typography to knobs and handles, is thoughtfully crafted with Mies’s influence in mind. Custom bespoke parts, including a one-piece machined grille and exterior door handles, further showcase the dedication to craftsmanship.
Despite its vintage charm, the 1970 Suburban seamlessly integrates modern conveniences such as a modern HVAC system, power windows, power door locks, and a Mil-Spec One powder-coated frame. The exterior features a striking two-tone dark gray paint contrast with a hint of green and gloss black around the beltliner roof.
The ICON 1970 Suburban, priced at $1.1 million, will be unveiled at the “Icons of Design” showcase on November 19th at the Hagerty Garage + Social Van Nuys location. The event aims to benefit the GO Campaign charity, adding a philanthropic dimension to the debut of this extraordinary automotive creation.
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