Famous for celebrated reimaginings of classic Land Cruisers, Broncos and Thriftmasters, ICON introduces its newest hand-built modern automotive design: a 1970 Suburban custom.
The newest addition to the ICON Reformer series, the $1 million, 1,000-hp one-of-one build spares no detail.
“This new 1970 Reformer custom is our first ICON Suburban to date. In the history of ICON, this Suburban has been one of my favorite truck builds for a variety of reasons,” said Jonathan Ward, ICON founder & CEO. “The Suburban allows our designers such a great canvas with tons of room to get creative with how we integrate our ICON engineering and parts. The sky is really the limit with our vintage Suburban template.”
With this project, the client asked ICON to stretch creatively, resulting in more aggressive performance and styling upgrades.
“All these beautiful design touches were integrated with astounding performance and all the modernity one could hope for in a luxury vehicle,” Ward said. “This build was an incredible experience because the client kept wanting us to push further and further from the traditional, which I really enjoy.”
Set to be unveiled at the Icons of Design showcase to benefit the GO Campaign charity Nov. 19 at the Hagerty Garage + Social Van Nuys location, the ICON 1970 Suburban is inspired in part by the work of European designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the company notes.
Renowned for modernist architectural interior, and furniture designs, Mies is celebrated for his use of industrial steel, glass, and the minimalist mantra “less is more” approach. Designed with naked steel and modern glass, the ICON Suburban’s exteriors flow into Mies-inspired interior appointments that pay homage to some of the designer’s most heralded work in furniture.
This ICON custom started life as a completely stock, original paint, factory three-door 1970 Chevrolet Suburban. These particular vintage Suburban’s were built with only three doors as a safety measure, allowing backseat passengers to only be able to safely exit the vehicle on the curbside, away from the street.
Upon the client’s request, the ICON team created and fabricated a new fourth door for passengers. Coincidentally, the family of the client worked on the original Chevrolet production line when this 1970 Suburban was originally manufactured. In a fitting tribute to the relative, ICON machined their initials into the driver door handle’s push button in honor of their work on the production line.
Performance and handling were high priorities. ICON partnered with Nelson Racing Engines for the power plant, which is an NRE Twin-Turbo Alien LS 427 good for 1,000 hp and 900 pound-feet of torque. Designed for bulletproof reliability and convenience, the NRE Twin-Turbo Alien LS is capable of comfortably idling with the A/C on in the summer in traffic at 900 rpm.
Power is fed through a pristinely designed 4L85-E automatic transmission with overdrive and rack and pinion steering. The brand-new ICON 1970 Suburban is built atop a one-off Art Morrison four-wheel independent chassis, featuring a Dana 60 nodular rear end. High-capacity hydro-boosted Brembo brakes are represented on each custom HRE Wheel and ZR-rated tire.
Mies designs inspired the typography and font used in the vehicle to each knob, handle, armrest and seat design. Even the ICON 1970 Suburban’s grille is a custom one-piece machined from 6061 billet.
The new ICON 1970 Suburban’s exterior sports a shining, sharp, two-tone dark gray paint contrast with a hint of green and gloss black around the beltliner roof. Along with one-of-one door handles, modern conveniences and electrical were carefully introduced without distracting from the vintage spirit with a modern HVAC system, power windows, power door locks and a Mil-Spec One powder-coated frame.