Vintage Streamliner + Tesla Model X, by ICON

Icon Helios

Accoridng to its makers, this is the car that Howard Hughes would use to whisk Cruella DeVille to a luncheon on the Riviera. It incorporates design elements from early prop-driven aircraft blended with hints of classic Duesenbergs and Bugattis – and it is absolutely, 100% a Tesla under the skin.


Set to be built by Jonathan Ward, the mad genius behind ICON Motors in Los Angeles, the one-off car will be called “Helios”, in honor of the Greek personification of the Sun. In keeping with ICON’s reputation for building high-quality restomods from the bones of old Ford Broncos and Toyota FJs, also, we can expect the Helios to be built to an incredibly exacting standard.

According to an interview in Jalopnik, the idea for a vintage-style streamliner has been buzzing around Ward’s brain for a while.  He intends to build the car’s shell from period materials, using polished aluminum held together by exposed copper rivets. Power will come using components from Tesla’s upcoming all wheel drive Tesla Model X.

In keeping with the founding premise at ICON, of fusing vintage design with the best modern drive experience and technology, I can think of no better platform to build this on, than the Tesla. I have such great respect for the company and the creative spirit of Mr. Musk, plus the S is a blast to drive. I want to take the new Model X platform – so selectable AWD, 380-mile range, pure electric.

As with all ICONs, the first Helios is being billed as “just a concept”, and only one would be built. That said, ICON tends to follow up its builds with high-priced, limited run sales, and they certainly have the skill set required to build one of these in low numbers, profitably. Still, it’s a one of one, for now – but Ward thinks he has the right customer for the Helios already lined up …

I’ve got a meeting with Ralph Lauren to talk about something else. He doesn’t know I plan on totally taking over the room and making him buy this car… Most of [his cars] suck to drive except for the McLaren. So … that’s my pitch.

… Here’s hoping Lauren jumps on it, because when you have a design as compelling as Helios, selling it should be the easy part! Feast your eyes on Ward’s sketches, showcased below.


Source | Images: ICON, via Road & Track

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.