If you don’t know what the Golden Sahara is, you’d be tempted to think that it comes from Snoop Dogg’s private car collection. But you’d be wrong, so very wrong.
It started life as a 1953 Lincoln Capri, in the possession of one of the most famous car customizers of the 1950s and 1960s, and the person responsible for the 1966 Batmobile, George Barris.
Subsequent to an accident, during which its top got completed peeled off after a close encounter of the third kind with a truck bed with Barris behind the wheel, he turned to his buddy Jim Skonzakes (Jim Street) for the funding to bring it back to life.
Little did they know the sensation it was about to become. The initial project saw it completely repaired and fitted with a half-bubble top. The exterior was finished in a pearlescent 24-karat gold paint made from fish scales, and the interior had a white look. Under its new name, the Golden Sahara, it was paraded at different events around the country and quickly became an icon, but the best is about to come.
During another build process, the vehicle was turned into the Golden Sahara II and fitted with state-of-the-art technology. Among them, it had automatic braking made possible via the front bumper sensors, selectable electronic steering, aircraft-inspired control lever for the acceleration, braking and steering, and a set of translucent tires made by Goodyear, with internal lighting.
After its debut on the silver screen, the Golden Sahara II was forgotten from the late 1960s until last year, when it was sold at auction. Now, it can be seen at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, after it was unveiled by Goodyear and Klairmont Kollections. The car has undergone full restoration with the help of Speakeasy Customs and Classics in Chicago and sits on a pair of translucent tires developed by… you guessed it, Goodyear.
“The Golden Sahara II is a unique vehicle and a part of American motoring history,” said Larry Klairmont, founder and owner of Klairmont Kollections, a museum of 300 classic and custom vehicles in Chicago, Illinois. “My team and I are proud to have partnered with Goodyear in bringing this iconic vehicle back to life at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.”