The Derelict

Nothing is what it seems, just take a look at the Derelict

Jonathon Ward is taking the “vintage aesthetic married with modern content” idea even farther with the Derelict series.  One would never know by looking at the exterior of these heavily patinaed vehicles that there is a thoroughly modern car masked by its weathered skin. Jonathon appreciates the Wabi sabi aesthetic  and decided to incorporate it into his one off division of derelicts. Wabi sabi is a Japanese term that applies to the beauty found in imperfection; and although the words are difficult to directly translate into English, wabi sabi speaks of life’s natural progression, and as such celebrates tarnish and the history that went with it.  This car may look liked an abandoned rusted out wagon, but little would you know there’s a massive modern Hemi lurking under its hood. And that’s the idea, except for maybe the ZR-rated tires, nothing about the exterior of this car lets you know its true character.

The car is a 1952 Chrysler Town and Country Custom which Jonathon had laying around gathering more character in his storage area for a few years before turning her into the beautiful creature we see today. He had always really liked the cool industrial design quality of the interior and loved the history of the vehicle (especially the oil change stickers of a local LA service shop on the inside door jamb dating back to the 1950’s), but didn’t care for the Chrysler front end. Then he happened upon a ’52 Desoto with the same weathered pantina, and which also shared the same parent company in 1952 allowed it to be a direct bolt-on to the Chrysler. Thus the Derelict was conceived. With some help from Art Morrison it received a custom chassis complete with triangulated four link suspension in the rear with coil-over’s up front. An all stainless four muffler exhaust system provide this beasts grumble. Custom made wheels retain the stock aesthetic but are large enough to accommodating the 6-piston ABS brakes all the way around. Which he’ll need because this sleeper will be freaking out the squares all day long with the help of a 500hp modern 6.1 liter Hemi SRT8  and six speed tranny;  plenty capable of burning as much rubber as you’d want….wabi sabi style.

 

DERELICT SERIES SPECS:

  • 1952 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon Custom
  • 1952 De Soto front clip
  • Art Morrison custom chassis
  • 6.1 SRT8 HEMI
  • 545RV six speed transmission
  • ABS 6 piston four wheel disk brakes
  • Hidden iPod audio system
While visiting Jonathon’s work space we got a sneak peek at another Derelict collecting character as it awaits its Frankenstein makeover. This special project is a rare model of a 1939 Nash Camper Sedan which he intends to build for his son; as the lucky devil’s first car no less. Originally purchased as a birthday gift for his 11 year-old and with the overhaul to ensue as inspiration to get the young man’s grades up. The Camper Sedan was a short lived 4-door model, and came from the factory complete with removable screens in the back, suicide doors, and seats that reconfigure to become a queen sized bed. This hard to find classic will soon be transformed into one-of-a-kind monster. Underneath the tarnished exterior the Nash will receive an ultra modern mechanical layout, with plans for a hefty motor capable of 400+hp, independent suspension, and ABS disk brakes. The interior will also be made over to feature modern comforts, while the vintage interface will remain but updated to conceal air-conditioning and an ipod dock in the ashtray. I know that it would be more than enough reason for me to hit the books.

’39 NASH GALLERY

THE PASSION THAT DRIVES THE CARS

Jonathan Ward was born in Elkridge, Maryland on February 24, 1970. Starting acting while a young man, Jonathan was just twelve years old when he made his on screen debut. With a long career spanning the 80’s and 90’s Jonathan worked in both television and film. While he worked as an actor he would often have a few weeks off between filming and would work with local car design and fabrication legends. His passion for industrial design and car restoration evolved and eventually led to Jonathan and his wife Jamie deciding to make a break from the entertainment industry and go into business for themselves.

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ICON 4X4

An ICON 4 × 4 vehicle represents the utmost in form and function. “The most advanced form of simple”, these hand built trucks are meticulously constructed using only the best of the best components and materials.

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THE DERELICT

Jonathon Ward is taking the “vintage aesthetic married with modern content” idea even farther with the Derelict series. One would never know by looking at the exterior of these heavily patinaed vehicles that there is a thoroughly modern car masked by its weathered skin.




See more of the Derelicts »

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