News: The Hudson Derelict Is A Retro Remake That Takes Shabby Chic To A Whole New 638hp Level

The Hudson Derelict Is A Retro Remake That Takes Shabby Chic To A Whole New 638hp Level

By News Desk
August 17, 2019

Spot this 1949 Hudson coupe cruising down the road and you might easily but incorrectly assume that it is a slightly tatty original vintage car just getting on with business. That’s because underneath the disarmingly standard-looking exterior is a thoroughly re-engineered car with some of the latest mechanical and electrical components around. It is called a Hudson Derelict and is the latest creation of Jonathan Ward, owner of Icon, a company that specializes in fitting classic cars with modern internals while leaving the exterior largely untouched.

Ward built this car for a special client of his who has already commissioned a number of other vehicles from the company and this time he was left to his own devices. The only prerequisite was that the car had to fit in with the unique vibe and spirit of the Nashville local culture, something the owner deeply appreciates. Ward took the project very personally and built something that exudes not only what he calls a ‘rockabilly spirit’ but also a sense of effortless style which took more than a little effort to create.

The beautifully styled Hornet coupe is now a bespoke daily-driver with the performance capabilities of a modern sports car thanks to a supercharged LS9 6.2-liter V8 which is pushing out 638hp and 604lb-ft of torque. It sends its power to the rear wheels through a performance four-speed automatic transmission and Dana 60 differential.

An Icon Brembo GT braking system and adjustable independent suspension take care of stopping and cornering duties while the custom-engineered Art Morrison subframe has been reinforced to cope with the additional stresses. The interior features a specially designed and hand-dyed wild alligator and calf leather interior, which took over 400 hours to complete. Other highlights include LED lighting, a discrete modern infotainment system and there are plenty of special touches like an electric parking brake that is activated by the original handle mechanism. The attention to detail in all areas really is impressive and the Hudson Derelict is the type of car which deserves a detailed inspection to truly appreciate. Happily, visitors to the Monterey Car Week can do just that as Icon will be displaying this vehicle at its stand this year.

Images courtesy of Icon


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Harv Falkenstine
Harv Falkenstine
3 years ago

The youtube video on this car is excellent. The attention to detail is what sets the Derelicts apart from other Resto-Mods. Fortunate enough to tour Icon while this Hudson was under construction. The photography in this article really compliments the “noire” aspects of this build. The car should be featured in a retro-style “gumshoe” type of movie or video game.

3 years ago

As Mr. Ward puts a lizard on all of his Derelict creations, I’m curious as to where this particular one resides on, or in, the car.

3 years ago
Reply to  slinkeyj3

It’s on the dash – soaking up the sun 🙂 Check out the video on his youtube channel.