Icon Creates Passion-Driven Products…

The New York Times did a story (“What Price Perfection? The $80,000 Army Jeep”) about Jonathan Ward, the 40-year-old owner of ICON, a company that is rebuilding Army jeeps with aircraft-quality parts.


Restoration 2.0: Icon CJ3B

It referenced how Mr. Ward refers to ICON as a restoration business.  “Restoration” does not begin to describe the effort put into each of the finished vehicles Icon produces.  So let’s take a page from the high tech industry and call it Restoration 2.0.

His latest creation is the CJ3B. It starts with an actual vintage CJ Willys (AKA Civilian Jeep by Willys-Overland Motors), which donates a handful of parts.

  • The CJ3B’s frame is made in Washington and much of the body sheet metal is stamped in the Philippines.
  • The engine is a 4-cylinder General Motors Ecotec that produces 210 horsepower.
  • The axles are modified versions of the units in today’s Jeep Rubicon
  • Most of the driveline comes from well-established industry suppliers.

By using the more modern components, the ICON vehicles (CJ Series and FJ Series) are more reliable and repairable than any restoration of a 50-year-old could be. Plus, more functional – the CJ3B is a much more usable off-road than a straight replica of the original Willys would be.

Ward mentioned how trouble spots in the original design, from the leaf springs (which can limit the wheel travel needed to negotiate rough terrain), to a balky choke cable (electronic fuel injection assures quick starting) and weak drum brakes (there are discs at all four corners) have been swapped out.

Check out this 10-minute video and you will get a true appreciation of Ward’s business — developing passion-driven products — is a true labor of love.

Sure the end product is impressive. But equally so is Ward’s process and the fact he is a living example of someone who has taken his passion and made it happen.


Link to the 60+ page brochure here:


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