Video: CarCast Talks to ICON’s Jonathan Ward About the Thriftmaster

There’s something about ICON that just can’t be denied–these guys make some incredible machines. Whether it’s an awesome $200K matte gray Bronco, or the 40 Series Land Cruisers that got the shop started in the first place, the coolest custom shop in Chatsworth, California is having a hard time staying hidden from the masses, giving their first take on a 2WD truck a new lease on life.

ICONTR_2Adam Carolla from CarCast hit up ICON founder and CEO Jonathan Ward for this video interview, and had on hand was a shiny new ICON model that’s been making waves in the restoration community. It’s the ICON TR, a repurposed and uprated Thriftmaster truck based off of the first variant of Chevy 3100s built between 1947 and 1953, which were the base models that stressed fuel economy and utility over performance.

For Ward, the love for these postwar pickups is derived not just from the delightfully retro script used on the logo, but also with the happy memories of how he met his wife, Jamie. “I restored six or seven of them to new, back when I called this job a hobby,” said Ward.

“One day, I was in the garage building a ’50 Chevy pickup and was literally stuck underneath it when I heard my friends arrive for lunch. So I asked the first pair of legs I saw, ‘Could you pick up the corner of the bed please?’ So she did, and I crawled out and introduced myself.”

ICONTR_12The development of the TR was something else entirely, however, requiring high-tech laser scanners to create a CAD-ready 3D model for computerized design. “That allowed us to engineer all the geek-out points of CNC’d work, the nickel work…redesign the dash, get HVAC and nav [and so on,]” explained Ward.

Further developments allowed Ward to slap on some incredible creature comforts too, like a hidden Kenwood touchscreen system that controls all the electricals. “It’s web-enabled, it’s a mobile WiFi hotspot, it has power windows,” said Ward.

Now let’s talk guts: Art Morrison chassis, Wilwood disc brakes all around, JRI tunable shocks, 315 hp/335 lb-ft. of torque Chevy Performance E-ROD LC9 5.3L V-8, TREMEC TKO six-speed manual transmission, custom 3-inch exhaust system with high-flow mufflers, and, for the high-dollar customer, an optional Magnuson supercharger giving the TR an extra 120 hp and 123 lb-ft. of torque. And all it would cost you is a mere $230-250K, depending on the options.

If variety is the spice of life, then ICON has demonstrated that no-holds-barred ideas can make for one hell of a reproduction based on a Chevy classic. Check out more information on the TR on the company’s website, and stay updated on their new concepts via their Facebook page.

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About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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