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Icon Gives This 1960 Willys Overland Two-Door Wagon a Modern Refresh - Video

The lizard does it again

Corey SimoneWriterIcon 4x4Photographer

The team at ICON4x4 is known for building some of the coolest and cleanest vintage iron around, including the company’s super-popular BR Series Bronco and ultra-cool Land Cruisers. Their latest commissioned project, a 1960 Willys two-door Overland Wagon, might be one of our favorites to come out of their Los Angeles based shop. Starting with a Willys Wagon plucked from storage in West Virginia the ICON 4x4 team left no stone unturned when restoring and upgrading this pristine Willys.

The customer who ordered this resto-mod wanted a modern Willys Wagon that offered him the convince and reliability of a modern vehicle with the classic styling of the Willys Wagon from his childhood, and ICON gave him just that. An Art Morrison chassis was used underneath the pristine body giving this nearly six-decade old 4x4 a new and modern foundation to build from. The suspension was upgrade in the front to IFS with coilovers and rack-and-pinion steering, while the rear suspension switched from leaf springs to a four-link setup, bringing the suspension into the 21st century.

The chassis wasn’t the only major component to be replaced. The heart of the Willys received quite the upgrade too: a 5.3L fuel injected, emissions compliant Erod V-8, giving this Willys power it could only dream of before. Thanks to the modern GM powerplant the Willys is quite smooth and efficient, but the best part is the new air conditioning that cools the interior down like a new car. To handle all that power a new disc brake setup on all four corners and a hydroboost system bring this wagon to a stop in a hurry.

With a body that hadn’t seen the sun since the ’80s the paint was in immaculate shape and didn’t require much work to get it back to a like-new appearance. Since this wasn’t a show car the minor paint imperfections were left alone including the ones in the cargo area, keeping this Willys well-earned scars from working. The wheels are larger than stock and fit a large BFGoodrich All-Terrain tire, the center of the wheel was machined to accept the stock hubcaps and keep that retro appearance. All the lighting except the headlights, those are Hella halogen, were upgraded to LED, making sure everyone can see you, even in the dark.

The interior was left nearly stock, and received only subtle upgrades. The seats retained the stock covers and only had new foam installed underneath. The floor received a wood trim detail that would have been a factory option originally adding a classy touch to this utilitarian 4x4. An ARB fridge freezer was added to keep your food and drinks cool on long road trips, and Fix-A-Flat was added since space is tight for a fullsize spare.

ICON 4x4 added subtle touches that make this Willys a real work of art. A billet phone dock allows you to stream music to the wireless speakers so you can enjoy music without ruining the aesthetic by having a big head unit sticking out of the dash. The stock gauges were upgraded with modern electronics to improve accuracy but keep their vintage appearance. A clean push-button electronic parking brake was added, simplifying the install and eliminating extra cables. A cool horn button was added to the steering column with a trombone graphic since the owner plays the trombone. A cool handcrafted shifter with the Willys W was built and added, continuing the subtle, yet traditional, Willys look.

For more information on this project or ongoing projects from the team at ICON 4x4 ,head over to icon4x4.com.