Today, there’s no shortage of restomod companies ready to give your classic car, truck, or SUV the modern touch. And one of the most recognizable names in the business is Icon 4×4. The California-based company earned its reputation by restoring Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers. But it now offers patina-d Derelict builds, as well as more extensive restorations, such as the Ford Ranger Reformer. And now, Icon 4×4 is turning to another classic pickup: the Chevy Advance Design truck.
Icon 4×4’s early Chevy Thriftmaster restomods
Technically, this isn’t the first time Icon 4×4 has dabbled with the classic Chevy Advance Design series of trucks, Wired reports.
Back in 2014, the company was working on its first Thriftmaster trucks, based on the 1947-1953 Chevrolet 3100. Not just because of the truck’s vintage looks, though, Road & Track explains. It’s because it was through restoring a 3100 that Icon 4×4’s founder, Jonathan Ward, met his future wife.
However, these first Icon Thriftmasters weren’t actually restomods, Truck Trend explains. Instead, like some of Gateway Broncos’ creations, they were brand-new trucks with classic Chevy 3100 ‘Thriftmaster’ looks. The steel bodies are licensed copies built by Real Steel, with custom chassis and components from Icon 4×4.
At the time, Icon 4×4 only had 5 Thriftmaster builds planned, HotRod reports. Over the years, though, the restomod shop has produced one-offs based on actual classic Chevy 3100 trucks, Motor1 reports. Each one is fully bespoke, though they’ve all have V8s. One customer, however, ordered theirs with a supercharged V8, Autoblog reports.
But now, it appears that the Thriftmaster build may become a semi-regular part of Icon’s production. Because it’s just released the first in what Ward calls the “Old School Edition” series, Autoblog reports.
The new Old School Edition Icon 4×4 Chevy Thriftmaster trucks
Like Icon 4×4’s one-off Thriftmasters, this new series is based on the Chevy 3100 Advance Design truck, Motor Trend reports. The first Old School Edition build is actually built on an old 1950 farm truck, Motor1 reports.
The new Icon 4×4 Thriftmaster build process starts with a frame-off restoration. After that, it receives a modern 6.2-liter GM V8 with 430 hp. That’s hooked up to a 4-speed automatic, which sends the power to the rear wheels. And to make sure the Chevy truck can handle the extra power, it gets new independent front and rear suspension, a lower ride height, and 4-wheel Brembo disc brakes.
Although the wheels look vintage, they’re brand-new ones custom-made by Icon 4×4. The restored Chevy truck’s bed is finished in African teak with stainless-steel rails. The bench seat, door panels, and headliner are upholstered in saddle leather. And while Icon retained the original dashboard, it now contains a Bluetooth audio system and A/C controls.
Getting one of your own
While getting an Old School Edition Icon 4×4 Thriftmaster will likely be easier than getting one of the earlier builds, it won’t be cheap.
For one, the Chevy 3100 is one of several classic trucks that have grown in value in recent years. Although the later ‘Task Force’ trucks command slightly higher prices, Hagerty reports, pristine Advance Design pickups can cost over $50,000. On Bring a Trailer, they typically go for $20,000-$40,000. Plus, although, as of this writing, there’s a 1953 model listed at $5600, Icon 4×4 typically sources good-condition models.
Secondly, the restomodding process isn’t an inexpensive one. The earlier bespoke Icon Thriftmasters cost roughly $250k, Autoblog reports. However, Truck Trend and Autoblog report these trucks are genuinely fun to drive. And all the interior and exterior materials are of excellent quality. Not bad for a former farming pickup.
Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.