In the latest installment of Jay Leno’s Garage, we watched as he drove something a bit different. Leno got to unleash the now famous Corvette ZR1-powered ICON Derelict ’48 Buick on the open streets. The vehicle has the look of a classic Buick from 1948 that we all love, but has modern guts including engine, suspension, brakes and wiring.
Jonathan Ward, the CEO of ICON, wanted to leave the car in its rough but beautiful looking condition, but fill it with modern powerful internals. The powerplant is now an LS9 from the ZR1 Corvette running to a modern 4L85E transmission. The setup is good for just under 700hp and sits on an Art Morrison chassis. Jay Leno said it best, “This is one of the most fun cars I’ve ever driven because you can just beat the heck out of it because you can’t really scratch it or damage it. And with this modern chassis it’s a ZR1 Corvette that looks like a 48’ Buick.”
The dash holds original gauges but all the guts were updated so that even the clock now has updated electric. A backup camera was slyly placed with its monitor hidden, and the power windows and seats all blend seamlessly along with many other updates so as to not give away just how updated this beast of a car really is.
In just under two weeks the video has already accumulated over 300,000 views. Take a look at the video and see how easy the car handles and how smoothly it accelerates. Also for those keeping track, we counted: Leno says “hilarious” 11 times in 18 minutes.