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A Tesla may soon travel back in time to a future that never was.
California boutique auto builder ICON is developing a streamliner coupe inspired by the aircraft of the 1930s that it hopes to build on an all-electric chassis.
Dubbed Helios by ICON boss Jonathan Ward, the car is meant to be from an alternate universe where the Great Depression never happened and the luxury custom coachbuilding craze of the era continued unabated.
In Wards words:
“If Howard Hughes, around the time that he created the DC-1 experimental plane (and before he went totally bonkers…), had too many martinis with Gordon Buehrig and Buckminster Fuller at the Beverly Hills Hotel Cabana… what would they have dreamt up?”
ICON specializes in building modernized versions of classic trucks, like the Toyota FJ40 and Ford Bronco, and even a $300,000 Dodge pickup, but dabbles in reimagining cars from bygone eras, as well.
The Helios is designed to be constructed around an aircraft-style frame and wrapped in sanded, raw aluminum bodywork with an interior outfitted with vintage-look instruments and high-end leather and aluminum trim.
It was originally conceived with a big V12 under its prodigious, belted hood, but Ward later got the idea of using Tesla mechanicals, in particular the all-wheel-drive system from its upcoming Model X SUV. Right now it could go either way.
In the true coachbuilding tradition, whether or not it ever gets built, and what powertrain it ultimately gets, depends on whether or a not a client looking to travel through the decades found to fund the project, as something along these sleek lines too expensive of an undertaking to pursue on spec.