Gonna Buy Me a Mercury: ICON Derelict 1949 Coupe
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Gonna Buy Me a Mercury: ICON Derelict

The soul of any hot rod is its engine — or, is it? This ICON-built Derelict Mercury challenges that idea with more than 400 electric HP!

The off-road experts at ICON4x4 know a thing or two about finding the seat of the automotive soul, and this incredible, one-off Mercury “Watt Rod” is packing plenty of it with a genuine, sixty-plus years years of weathered patina, meticulously restored interior that perfectly integrates modern luxuries behind classic looks, and a luxury-grade leather interior with a cavernous back seat and room for six. It’s an incredible build, but it’s what’s under the hood that’ll really get your juices flowing.

A quick explanation of what you’re about to see: this not an engine. Nor is it an electric motor (more on that in a minute). What you’re looking at, instead, are this EV’s batteries, which are mounted in a bespoke chassis and arranged in a “V” configuration, with all the necessary controllers, logic boards, and cooling systems nestled in between, and a pair of Edelbrock-inspired “heads” that will bring a tear of nostalgia to the eye of anyone who holds words like “Isky,” “So-Cal Speed,” and “Halibrand” in high regard.

Enough talk. See for yourself.

ICON Derelict Mercury | Under the Hood

“Note the black and red cloth braided lines,” reads the official ICON copy, which you can peruse here. “Those are actually properly insulated modern high voltage cables, but we wrapped them in the more traditional cloth braided as was the original wiring harness in ’49.”

The batteries and control components are sourced from a Tesla, and use an early, home-grown version of the type of EV control software you can now get from AEM EV. The ICON4x4 team, however, seems to have figured out a lot of this stuff on their own.

That “V-8” battery pack sends power to an electric motor that lives where the internal combustion engine’s transmission normally would, and sends power to the rear wheels through a stout, carbon-fiber drive shaft and out again to each of the independently suspended rear wheels. With the body off, the ICON Derelict Mercury’s rolling chassis presents a surprising familiar face to anyone who’s built a hot rod of their own, and looks every bit like a proper hot rod frame.

Derelict Mercury EV Chassis

Despite the old-school look, there’s a ton of modern technology in there. The wheels, for example, look a bit like vintage steels with a coat or two of Rust-Oleum paint, but are actually forged aluminum, CNC-milled then powder coated in a textured finish, capped off with vintage, OEM Mercury hub covers in classic chrome and wrapped in modern, high-performance rubber.

The brakes, too, are more than they appear, pairing computer-controlled regenerative braking with a set of hefty, Euro-spec Brembos. “(The) Brembo brakes assure a swift stop,” reads the ICON site, “especially when complimented by the regenerative braking!”

Everywhere you look, in fact, from the high-speed CHAdeMO charger hiding behind the original equipment fuel filler cap to the digital instrument cluster masquerading as a set of Classic Instruments gauges to the brass ICON badges, you’ll find the work of a true master hot rodder … and, if the details and craftsmanship don’t convince you of that, the 400 HP and Earth-moving, 470 lb-ft of TQ rocking the rear tires from 0 RPM certainly will.

Check out the rest of the pictures, then let us know what you think of this incredible one-off ’49 Mercury in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


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