The Golden Sahara
The Lincoln was George's daily driver, and he nosed and decked the car before he took it up north for a show. He was driving along with Dan Landon and his 1949 Chevrolet. On the way back home the motor blew on Dan's Chevrolet, so they decided to flat tow it home behind the Lincoln. It got foggy, and out of nowhere appeared a flat bed truck. George's Lincoln went under the truck. As they went under the truck they leaned over and ducked under the dash. After the smoke cleared and the cops came Geroge needed medical attention for some cuts on his face. The guys were in the middle of nowhere, and George had to walk a few miles in order to reach the local bar were the doctor was at. The doctor was drunk, but managed to clean George's bloody face.
The $25,000 Custom Car
After the accident, the remains of George's Lincoln where used to build the radically restyled Golden Sahara for Jim Skonzakes of Dayton, Ohio. This version featured sloped doors and rear fenders covered with gold-dyed aluminum with a satin finish. The rear end of the car housed a molded in spare tire cover. The trunk was opened by twisting the license plate. Up front the Golden Sahara featured a combined headlight, parking light and bumper arrangement.
The interior of the Golden Sahara featured a curved rear seat that was built around a complete reffigeration unit that housed a cocktail bar. Glen Houser and Bob Houser upholstered the car at Carson Top Shop. The interior featured a TV set mounted in the dash, a hi-fi radio mounted below the TV, and a tape recorder installed between the driver and passenger in the front seat. Golden frieze material and white Naugahyde covered the seats, dash, and side panels. A shag rug with two-inch padding made the floor of the car luxuriously soft to the feet. All interior trim were gold-plated.
Motor Trend Cover Car
The first version of the Golden Sahara was featured in Motor Trend May 1955. Displayed on the cover of the magazine, it was featured as a "$25,000 Custom Car." Motor Trend Magazine had shown photos of the car to a group of people who were asked to give their impressions of it. Most of the people in the group hadn't seen it before, and the reactions were many. "Must have been built for Ava Gardner," was one of the comments. Some people expressed that they "just don't like that type of car," and one man wisely concluded that it obviously was built for "show and blow rather than utility!" About half of the group admired the car in general, while the other half varied down the line toward outright dislike. Almost all people agreed that they thought the lines of the car were good, the smartly sloping door in particular. Half of the interviewees guessed wrongly that a Detroit manufacturer had built the car.
The Second Version
TV and Movie Appearances
Where is it Now
Jim Skonzakes still owns the car, and that he has the car stored away in Ohio together with the original Kookie Car. According to a thread on the HAMB, the car was last seen in public at a local cruise night in Hamilton, Ohio in the early 80s. At the time it was in need of a full restoration.
Cars Inspired by the Golden Sahara
Motor Trend May 1955
Trend Book 133 Custom Cars 1957 Annual
Custom Cars June 1960
Custom Cars July 1960
Trend Book 143 Restyle Your Car
Trend Book 197 Custom Cars 1961 Annual
Rodding and Re-styling January 1961
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