From Creating Toyota FJ Cruisers To Challenging History With A Model X

Illustration for article titled From Creating Toyota FJ Cruisers To Challenging History With A Model X

ICON’s cars are built by two-man teams and the waiting list is currently about two years long. Jonathan Ward, the man behind it all, doesn’t think that’s enough, and soon may have to buy a Tesla Model X with or without Elon Musk’s blessings.


It’s not like a company can appear from nowhere and start building some of the coolest cars California has ever seen straight away. Nope.


Before ICON, there was TLC, set up by Ward in 1996. Focusing on classic Land Cruisers, they did such a good job that even Toyota started to take note, with Mr. Toyoda himself visiting the shop and TLC ending up building three design studies for Toyota’s FJ Cruiser project.

ICON came to be because modern tools allowed them to take their restomods to the next level, completely re-engineering parts and creating custom chassis and interiors for their iconic donor cars.

Now, or more like two years from now, you can end up with a brand new ICON FJ, BR or TR, or go Derelickt if you choose to. The resulting cars speak for themselves either way.

I can’t wait to see Jonathan Ward’s answer to what could have happened to car design without Hitler’s intervention ruining everything and electric cars not losing out to gasoline before that Austrian painter got loud.


Photo credit: ICON


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Max Finkel

It’s great to see what creative engineers are interested in doing when money is no object and there is access to the finest materials and components around. These projects always come out incredible, with attention to detail in any aspect I’ve seen. But what would happen if we gave these guys a challenge— A challenge to design to a budget? I’d like to see a car that takes the ingenuity of the ICON designs and brings them to the materials we’re likely to see. I just want to know whether these projects are simply the result of “money-no-object” funding or whether these guys are really doing something special.