• ICON design studio

ICON Just Built a Tesla Powered 1949 Mercury Coupe

‘Derelict’ Project is a rolling piece of automotive art.

Matthew Guy By: Matthew Guy October 31, 2018
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Gearheads around the world salivate at the thought of ICON’s product catalog. The California company has meticulously restored off-road machines and classic whips to the exacting standards of the company’s founder, Jonathan Ward. While the bits and pieces of their creations may look stock, you can be assured they’re all reimagined and retooled to the nth degree.

For this year’s SEMA show in Vegas, the crew picked up a 1949 Mercury Coupe to use as their starting point. The first postwar Mercury, with its just-right lines and great stance, is a favourite of hot-rodders. In a twist, ICON’s take on this patina-laden classic is completely powered by electrons.

Taking a full set of 85-kWh batteries from Tesla, the crew assembled some of them under the hood to kinda-sorta resemble a V8 engine. The remainder are scattered around the car in strategic places. The electric motors, residing where the Mercury’s transmission used to be, cranks out roughly 400 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.

Thanks to its Tesla guts, the car should have a driving range in the neighbourhood of 250 to 300 kilometres. In an ultra-slick bit of theatre, the receptacle for recharging via a Tesla Supercharger is hidden underneath the original gas cap underneath the stock fuel-filler door on the fender. A CHAdeMO connector resides behind the flip-down rear license plate. So cool.

ICON design studio

That Mercury body has been reworked and reimagined in the visage of ICON’s Derelict line of machines, ones which remain true to their original shape while being hewn from the finest of materials. Ward’s signature lizard appears in different places around the car, which has been lowered and sits on a custom Art Morrison chassis.

As with all ICON’s builds, the interior appears completely stock at first glance but is, in reality, anything but. The upholstery is new but looks as if it could have easily been sourced from the Mercury factory in 1949. Those manual window cranks are actually power window switches, while the newly added dashboard vents for air conditioning look like they were part of the car’s original design. Even the digital Andromeda gauges do not seem out of place.

Apparently built for a longtime client of ICON, all hands are mum on the amount of money shovelled into this electrifying Mercury. There seems to be no limit to the creative thought in the ICON design studio. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

ICON design studio

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