Custom Mercedes-Benz Car From Icon Is a Supercharged Monster

Icon’s gentlemanly brawler is a supercharged V8-powered muscle car masquerading as a stunning 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.2. The “Derelict” build, as Icon lovingly monikered the lineup where the Mercedes-Benz car lives, is a full-sensory experience; it’s fast, powerful, and beautiful. We caught up with the ground-up custom V8-powered Mercedes-Benz during our visit to Icon 4×4 in Los Angeles, California.

What’s special about Icon 4×4’s custom Mercedes-Benz car?

A 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL is a special car. Anyone who takes one look at the subtle, sophisticated four-door sedan will understand that it’s a magnificent classic. A stock 1971 6.3 from the W109 generation packed a 247-horsepower 6.3L V8. That might seem underwhelming, but it’s a great classic for collectors who want a rare and reasonable luxury sedan with a big motor. 

Icon's custom build Mercedes-Benz 300SEL muscle car packs a Corvette-derived LS9.
The Derelict Mercedes’ LS9 | Braden Carlson, MotorBiscuit

However, Icon 4×4’s custom Mercedes-Benz is anything but a reasonable car. Instead, the custom 1971 300SEL 6.3 ditches the comparably anemic classic Mercedes mill in favor of a supercharged LS9 V8. The LS9 is courtesy of a C6-generation Corvette ZR1, and Jalopnik says it puts down about 470 horsepower in a detuned state compared to the ZR1’s 638 crank-horsepower. Of course, the mighty Corvette heart is more than enough to motivate the Mercedes-Benz with muscle car urgency. 

The Icon Mercedes-Benz 300SEL car build is a Mercedes build with supercharged V8 power.
Icon’s 300SEL build | Braden Carlson, MotorBiscuit

How much does it cost to customize a Mercedes?

The custom Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 is a custom car build that, unsurprisingly, demanded a premium to create. Specifically, Icon’s commissions start at around $450,000. However, it’s plain to see where the money goes; the custom Mercedes-Benz is more than a car with a big heart. The Derelict build demanded modifications like a ladder-frame chassis to handle immense power and torque, a Dana 60 independent rear axle, adjustable coilovers, and a modern steering setup. 

Icon's custom Mercedes-Benz car build is a V8-powered 300SEL.
The Derelict 300SEL’s interior | Braden Carlson, MotorBiscuit

Even though the classic car packed a four-wheel disc brake application, Icon endowed the Derelict build with modern Brembo brakes. Moreover, Icon 4×4 ensured that the custom Mercedes-Benz classic car had delightfully unique components like 3D-printed storage and electronically-backed custom gauges. It makes sense that a car like the custom 300SEL would demand a premium. However, the classic’s appearance is deceiving; patina, custom stock-looking wheels, and subtlety reign supreme. 

What other vehicles did we see at Icon 4×4? 

In addition to Icon 4×4’s muscle car Mercedes-Benz, we got up close and personal with several custom car builds during our visit. For instance, we met a fully custom Toyota FJ Land Cruiser. Our own Braden Carlson got a ride in that Land Cruiser, which didn’t disappoint. Moreover, Icon’s Chief Operating Officer, Sherif Yassa, showed us “where the magic happens,” complete with finished and in-progress projects. 

A Mercedes-Benz 300SEL car is a luxury Mercedes build with muscle car credentials waiting to happen.
Icon’s custom 300SEL | Braden Carlson, MotorBiscuit
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Teams build custom vehicles in “pod” style, with different stages of building happening at various stations. Better yet, Yassa assured us that Icon will build, tear down, and rebuild a three-month FJ project with meticulous precision to ensure their work is above reproach. Icon’s operation is nothing short of the magic Yassa described. 

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