Not all retro cars exude a timeless appeal, but those that do are quite difficult to come by in pristine condition. If one does hit the auction block, it typically reaches insane bids. Hence, we have shops like ICON 4×4 which caters to clients who prefer their rides with vintage looks and modern upgrades like this 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL under their Derelict series.

The name may not sound that impressive, yet whatever the customization outfit that operates out of Los Angeles, California builds nothing short of spectacular. As the product page says, “the purpose of the ICON Derelict Projects is simple, or it appears as such. Take timeless classic vehicles from any maker, from almost any era, then re-imagine them for modern use.”

We have a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL which is undergoing a comprehensive rework. The machine receives an Art Morrison chassis, an independent rear suspension, adjustable coil-over shock absorbers, power steering, and a Sport Hydratech brake system.

Next is a powertrain refresh to boost its performance over the stock setup. Rumbling beneath the hood is a 6.2-liter V8 LS9 crate engine with a supercharger producing 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque. ICON 4×4 then pairs it to a four-speed Chevrolet 4L85E automatic gearbox.

The team ditches the original lights and replaces them with LED units. Aesthetically, the exterior of the 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL still shows some of the patina, which adds to its character.

Overall, the silhouette remains accurate to how the donor appears straight out of the factory save for the minor blemishes. Meanwhile, ICON 4×4 adorns the cabin with fresh upholstery and stitching. This 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL now touts heated front seats, a Bluetooth-ready stereo unit, Focal speakers, and more.

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Images courtesy of ICON 4×4