Icon Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG
Here is a description of the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG project from the owner of ICON4x4, Jonathan Ward.
"So a repeat customer of ours went and bought a new G55, and loved it. What he did not love was the plastic trim and generic look of it. Here in LA, they are everywhere, and he wanted to make it unique, so he reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in restyling it for him. Seemed like a fun and different project for us, so we agreed to have at it. Turned out to be quite a fun project. On close inspection, there were tons of opportunities to refine this ride! Mechanically, we chose not to mess with it, as the stock performance was fine for the customers needs. We focused our efforts on the cosmetic surfaces, lighting and audio system.
First, we stripped it and tore it down for a repaint in the 300SL matte silver. The matte finishes are not offered by MB, and we have a lot of experience with them. Then, as we tore it down, we were surprised how cheesy much of the exterior trim pieces were. Kinda 1980's economy car quality stuff; side trim, vents, hood plastic washer insert panel, side marker lights, rear tire MB insert, etc.. Did you know the side marker lights are the same used on the VW Westfalia vans in the early 90's? Yuck. Also, the inside door lock knobs were plastic and lame, so we machined them in stainless with a cool knurled detail on the crown. So we scanned all of those parts, and started building the CAD files so that we could redesign them and craft them in aluminum and stainless with a CNC. We did a few samples as "grown parts" with SLA technology. Once we were all happy with the designs, we cut the final parts, then had them powder coated in the ICON Volcanic black surface coating. These trucks are so electronics intensive, that if you change the weight of the wheel-tire combo, it wants to brake the inside rear wheel on high speed turns! So with that in mind, we chose to simply modify the color of the stock wheels.
The stock chrome grill guard is a bit '80's too, so we deleted it and coated the bottom tube bar. Next we decided the factory running boards could be improved. So we removed the rubber and stainless overlay and built our own to fit the factory structural parts, powder coated it, and inset silicone rubbers for grip and style.
The factory grill is all plastic. Reminded my of the stuff my kids snap together from the model store.... so we hand made a new design in stainless...
We decided to ghost tint all of the factory lights except the headlights. We added in LED daytime lights, a monster Vision-X LED light bar, rack mounted reverse LED spot lights, and redesigned the side marker lights with guards. By this time, the truck was back from paint, and we reassembled it with these trim goodies.
The spare tire carrier came out nice and clean. Factory was chrome with painted hub and another plastic stick on emblem. Looks much nicer now in metal and matte....
Then the client got excited, and asked what else we thought could/should be done. We were not big fans of the 80's Holiday Inn gathered leather look on the door panels, and we are kind of over the wood dash & door veneers. So we tore down the dash and hand wrapped the wheel, shifter and grab handle in matched German leather, to get rid of the wood properly, and then etched and repainted all of the wood dash and door surfaces to match the exterior matte silver. Much nicer. We often use the Rosen visors as found in Learjets, so we had a custom set made for the truck. We replaced the door panel inserts with Chilewich woven vinyl, made a custom set of matching floor mats, and integrated the switches for the added lights so that they would appear stock.
Next it was time for the audio system. We added multiple Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, a programmable equalizer, JL Audio bass, and improved the stock speakers with Focal units. Everything runs through the stock head unit. We also added one of our trick fire extinguishers and made it a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot! For the audio gear, we created a false floor enclosure in the cargo area. We wrapped and stitched it in factory leather with white double stitch to match the OE trim, then built two layers of Dynamat enhanced mats. Stealth!"
Source: ICON4x4 press