The Golden Sahara

From Kustomrama
(Redirected from Golden Sahara)
Jump to: navigation, search
An early, mildly restyled version of George's Lincoln.
On the way back home from a show the motor blew on Dan Landon's 1949 Chevrolet, so they decided to flat tow the car behind George's Lincoln. It got foggy, and out of nowhere appeared a flat bed truck. George's Lincoln went under the truck. This photo was taken at the crash site. Notice the fog. Photo by George Barris.
Another photo of the Lincoln taken after the accident.
The remains of the Lincoln after all damaged body parts were cut off.
The first version of the Golden Sahara.
1953-lincoln-golden-sahara4.jpg
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, and about half of the interviewees guessed wrongly that a Detroit manufacturer had built the car.
The Golden Sahara at the 1955 Los Angeles Motorama. Photo from the GT350LADY Collection[1]
Golden-sahara-motorama-19552.jpg
Golden-sahara-barris.jpg
Jim-street-skonzakes-1953-the-golden-sahara.jpg
The second, and more extreme version of the Golden Sahara.
1953-lincoln-golden-sahara2.jpg
1953-lincoln-golden-sahara5.jpg
Golden-sahara-barris2.jpg
The Golden Sahara at the 1959 Bakersfield Motor & Boat Show.
Barris-golden-sahara.jpg
Barris-golden-sahara2.jpg
BarrisGoldenSahara-vi.jpg
Jim-skonzakes-golden-sahara2.jpg
Jim-skonzakes-golden-sahara.jpg
The Golden Sahara appeared in the movie Cinderfella
Jim-skonzakes-golden-sahara-5.jpg
Jim-skonzakes-golden-sahara-2.jpg
Jim Skonzakes demonstrating the steering mechanism in the car.
The electronic control system in the trunk of the car.
Golden-sahara-ii-custom.jpg
The Golden Sahara being loaded into a trailer. Photo by George Barris - Barris Kustoms.
In 2009 Jonnie King sat down with George Barris and John D'Agostino, during the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas, to talk about "The Golden Sahara." "The Golden Sahara" is one of Jonnie's personal favorites, so he asked George to give him the fill story on the legendary "Dream Car." Click here to hear the interview at www.legends.thewwbc.net/.
The front end design of Leo Lyons' Ultra Modern Merc seems to be heavily influenced by the Golden Sahara.
Built by Larry Grobe at VooDoo Larry Kustoms, The VooDoo Sahara was built as a tribute to the Golden Sahara, combinging details from both versions of the car. The build was started in November of 2014 and completed in August of 2016.

1953 Lincoln Capri originally owned and restyled by George Barris of Barris Kustoms.


The Crash

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.[2]


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.[3]


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.[3]


The Second Version

In 1960, the second version of the Golden Sahara won Best Custom and Best Display at the first annual National Champion Custom Car Show.

TV and Movie Appearances

The Golden Sahara appeared in the 1960 movie called Cinderfella, starring Jerry Lewis. June 25, 1962 Jim Street did also present it on the TV-show I've Got a Secreat.


The Golden Sahara II on I've Got a Secret June 25, 1962.


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

Leo Lyons' Ultra Modern Merc
The VooDoo Sahara


Magazine Features

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


Further Reading

Check out the VooDoo Sahara, VooDoo Larry's tribute to the Golden Sahara.


References


Sources

Internet Movie Car Database
The HAMB





Calling all Early Customs for Customs by the Sea, a pre-1952 custom car show presented by Kustomrama and the Race of Gentlemen. Pre-Registered Cars Only. Register Here.

Promote your shop, show or business on Kustomrama - This ad space can also be bought to promote cars for sale or to hunt down rare parts you're looking for. Click here for more info...

 

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.




Help Us Make This Article Better

If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about The Golden Sahara, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: mail@kustomrama.com.


Personal tools
Please Help Kustomrama
facebook
Recommended reading