Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese concept that was distilled from the Buddhist teachings of existence. Primarily that all things are in a transient state of being, and we should accept the transitions and imperfections as beauty.
Icon has taken the Wabi-Sabi principal to automotive restorations with their derelict line featuring the basic fundamentals of simplicity, roughness, economy, and appreciation of natural processes.
Ward, a retired actor, began the Icon industrial design and car restoration business with his wife Jamie after making a break from the entertainment industry. Originally focused on the popular Toyota Land Cruiser (TLC), Ward stumbled into the Derelict line by accident.
A well worn 1952 Chrysler Town and Country wagon sat behind the shop with no purpose until Ward decided to marry the body with the front end of another worn classic, a 1952 DeSoto. Because it was not a perfectly restored antique, Ward was more apt to drive the car, unhampered by fear of dings or scratches.
That’s when it dawned on him that maybe other people would like to have a car that blended “vintage aesthetic married with modern content.” The Derelict line was born.
“This car may look liked an abandoned rusted out wagon, but little would you know there’s a massive modern Hemi lurking under its hood,” said Ward. “And that’s the idea, except for maybe the ZR-rated tires, nothing about the exterior of this car lets you know its true character.”
According to Ward, there are two camps when it comes to the Derelict design. “One groups asks what color are you going to paint it when you are done. They are not going to get it. It is the group that gets it, and how deeply they get it, that makes me happy,” he claims.
Call them what you want, we love the derelict line and we call them daily drivers.