Modern Masters: Jonathan Ward Icon 4x4
For more than 20 years, Jonathan and his wife Jamie Ward have been revisiting classic automobile design in a modern context, restoring iconic models with mechanical and design elements that make them irresistible to collectors. This Toyota Land Cruiser FJ 40, for sale exclusively through EBTH, was built in February 2008 for actress Angie Harmon.
“We start with a vintage Toyota Land Cruiser that’s sort of beyond salvation stock —at the very end of its lifecycle — and we bring new life and usability to it through extensive engineering and restoration,” explains Ward. “This one that’s being sold on EBTH is based on the original Toyota Land Cruiser FJ 40, which was proven in the harshest terrains in the world. They’re very iconic utility vehicles — arguably one of the ones that started many modern trends. The original ones had a lot of archaic mechanical elements and shortcomings, which is what we seek to evolve and improve at ICON. The utility element of the truck is still a part of its DNA: the original super slow drive train, the non-responsive gas pedal and brakes, the three-speed transmission and the carburetor have been evolved into a far more versatile, bespoke vehicle.
Icon is all about revisiting classic transportation design in a modern context. “We’re pioneers in that space, and now we’re happy to say it’s become more than a trend, almost a renaissance of craftsmanship and respect for engineering and details that we see growing in many market segments,” explains Ward. “We basically look to create modern reliability and performance married with classic vintage aesthetic. So many people yearn for the personalities of vintage but don’t want to be a martyr to the archaic mechanical.”