1966 DERELICT BRONCO
ICON 4x4’s latest creation is their first Bronco BR Derelict. As ICON Founder/Lead Designer Jonathan Ward says, “We bought the truck from its original owner. It was way too cool for our normal process and had to be a Derelict. Twenty minutes after posting a photo of it on Instagram, a guy reached out and said, ‘I get it, I want it.’ We found the right client for this project.”
When the truck was complete but prior to delivery to its new owner, Ward collaborated with famed nature photographer Shane Russeck to create a limited-edition photo to raise money for the American Wild Horse Campaign (americanwildhorsecampaign.org). In a project loosely inspired by Ford’s 1966 ad campaign for the Bronco, Ward and Russeck set out to photograph the ICON Derelict with a herd of wild mustangs in Central California.
“The shot we wanted to get was one-in-a-million, but we were up for the challenge,” Jonathan Ward says. “We hit the jackpot! To experience the mustangs’ majesty in the wild was an amazing experience. They face so many challenges in the modern world.”
The resulting limited-edition print of the stunning image is called American Horse Power. Only 150 of these gallery-quality 24x36 prints will be made, each signed and numbered by photographer Shane Russeck; $100 from the sale of each will go directly to the American Wild Horse Campaign for protecting America’s wild mustangs on our public land. To order, please visit shanerusseckphoto.com/american-horse-power.
The ICON BR Derelict used for the project is a rare 1966 Roadster model. Only offered that year, this model featured no heater, no radio, no doors, no top, and fiberglass door inserts. ICON retained the existing body and all of the related factory features. They even added a factory knob to provide Bluetooth sound through Focal speakers hidden under the dash.
Otherwise, the vehicle received the bespoke ICON BR treatment. “It’s made to look like we did absolutely nothing from the exterior,” Jonathan Ward says. “That sounds easy, but it’s actually harder than our normal process. We had to be very forensic. We also faux patina-painted some of the new components, like the modified Tuffy center console and adjustable Ididit steering column. That ‘faux’ concept hurts my brain, but it actually works when done right.” To prevent further patina degradation, the Derelict BR was sealed with a ceramic coating by Ceramic Pro upon completion.
Under the old skin, the Derelict BR features modern engineering. The tried-and-true rigid frame ICON co-engineered with Art Morrison Enterprises accommodates a modern suspension. The rear is a four-link system, while the front uses radius arms. Eibach coil springs over Fox shocks control the ride. For ultimate geartrain reliability, ICON uses Dynatrac ProRock axles. The front is a fortified Dana 44 with hardened shafts and other upgrades, and rear is an even beefier Dana 60 design; both have selectable ARB Air Lockers for the optimal blend of on-road cornering and off-road traction. A Sport Brake system ICON engineered with Brembo includes large rotors and calipers plus hydroboost to stop the 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires quickly. To fit the big brakes, ICON designed custom 18-inch alloy wheels inspired by the factory steel rims — complete with period-looking hubcaps. Circle Racing manufactured the wheels from ICON’s CAD files.
Power comes from a 426-hp Mustang GT 5.0L Coyote crate engine mated to an Aisin AX15 5-speed manual transmission. A twin-stick Advance Adapters Atlas II transfer case sends power to the axles.
A few finishing details were added. To further protect the body tub, ICON coated the floorboard on both sides with heat-treated polyuria material. The top side was colored white to retain a factory look. Similarly, the seats were re-upholstered in period-correct silver vinyl. ICON also sourced a factory rear seat (not offered in the Roadster models) so that the Derelict BR’s owner can “share the fun,” as Jonathan Ward says.
“This is the first of what we hope will be many Derelict BRs,” Ward adds. “They’re entirely too much fun.”