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Icon founder Jonathan Ward on his latest 'Derelicts' project [w/video]

Mon, 06 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Bespoke car restoration company, Icon, along with its founder and lead designer, Jonathan Ward, are the subject of eGarages's latest short film, Derelict.

The documentary focuses on its namesake, a 1952 Chevy Coupe, built as part of Icon's ‘Derelict' project. The car is updated with modern mechanicals but with an aesthetic that bears the scars of its 60 years. Its interior has been remodeled using vintage briefcase leather.

"When we started Icon, the founding principle was really to maintain that vintage aesthetic and style and purposeful design but then marry it with modern engineering and chassis and components so that you really have a viable daily driver versatile vehicle but with more timeless, hand-wrought aesthetic", Ward says.

He explains, "The Derelict's style by definition is, you know there's that Japanese art ethic called ‘wabi sabi' which basically defines time earned, natural finishes and patinas.

"A lot of people have been busting my butt online saying we've faked the patinas on the cars but they're totally as found and that's almost like nine-thenths of a good Derelict is that right car, that blank canvas that hits the sweet spot, which has that natural decay," he says.

The public reaction to the Derelicts is one of the things Ward enjoys most about the projects. "They want to reach out and touch it and experience it," explains Ward. "To me that's a blast because that's really what it's all about, trying to save some vintage iron but really trying to recycle and repurpose it into something that's truly daily useable and user-friendly."

Los Angeles-based Icon is perhaps better known for its 4x4 range, based on vintage Toyotas and Ford Broncos.

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By Rufus Thompson