ICON Makes Vintage New Again with Thriftmaster Pickup
If you are into cars – really into cars – you have probably once considered the purchase of a vintage ride of some kind. But realizing that your money will only get you a rusted heap is pretty disenchanting. What if you could own a vehicle that has all of the vintage looks but with modern internals and zero headaches? That is what ICON offers, and their products are a brand apart from anything else on the market.
Jonathan Ward is the man behind the concept. ICON first gained notoriety several years ago with their vision of the Toyota FJ, and continued that fame with the incredible ICON Bronco. These vehicles use original bodies, that Ward finds, and countless hours are taken to making them look better than new. While the panels are old, the mechanicals are brand new, and so are parts like the shocks and brakes. According to Ward, it is the perfect marriage.
“The whole point with the company,” Explained Ward, “Is revisiting classic transportation designs but in a modern context. People love vintage designs, but don’t have time to deal with the mechanicals.”
Following the success of the ICON Bronco (a project that gained national attention, and had participation from Nike), Ward’s friends at GM became a little jealous. The result is the ICON Thriftmaster; a rear-wheel drive farm truck-turned-hot rod, based on the classic GMC Five-Window Pickup. It is a head turner for sure, but the impressive features go well beyond skin-deep.
“We are basically recycling,” said Ward, “I buy a vintage Five-Window truck, and I have it scanned and digitized into a CAD program. Once it’s in the system, there’s a lot we can do.”
Ward says the digitizing is what sets ICON apart from the rest of the “resto-mod” industry. From there, his team can build a fully modern chassis that will bolt perfectly onto the vintage body. It features multi-link, independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, but is all this necessary? Does it need to be modern under the hood? According to Ward, the answer is “yes.”